If you're battling a case of the winter blues or something far worse, spending time in the kitchen can be part of a solution. Home cooks everywhere have known for a long time that cooking and baking can be soothing, boost confidence, and reduce anxiety and depression. Now therapists are joining, saying that there's value in cooking and baking for helping ease various mental health issue symptoms. A recent WSJ article outlines how time in the kitchen can help with everything from depression to anxiety to other conditions.
Something as simple as a two hour cooking course can help someone focus on something other than negative emotions or other stresses, while helping them be productive. Given that that can be a high hurdle to clear when facing such issues, something as simple as putting together a dish or meal can boost confidence and ease stress. This can be especially true if someone finds the process and results rewarding.
Just make sure that you focus on cooking and baking healthy items, or you may find a different issue plaguing you: weight gain. That said, many people find that it's easier to lose weight when they begin cooking because they find themselves eating less fast food and processed foods. The incidental weight loss can also help offset a common symptom of depression: weight gain!
So, if you're already spending time in the kitchen, enjoy the benefits you are already getting for your mental health. And if you haven't done much of that yet, there's no time like the present to start. Just remember that time in the kitchen is being recognized as a potential part of treating mental health issues and, as is the case with any serious issue, working on it with the help of qualified health professionals is always the best course of action. But now, part of that journey might involve delicious stops in the kitchen: Doctor's orders!