Mental health can be challenging to navigate. We hope to enjoy a consistent sense of emotional balance yet stress and anxiety can escalate quickly. As social obligations, work deadlines, and comparison culture mount up, our practices of self-care can fall to the bottom of our priority list.

The result? Emotional depletion!

Thankfully, there are several empowering ways that we can all improve our health and happiness without breaking the bank or needing to entirely reconstruct our weekly routine. Simply getting creative in your home kitchen can cultivate powerful effects of healing and emotional rebalance.

Here are the 5 significant ways that getting creative in the kitchen can support mental health:

    couple cooking together
    Image by Jimmy Dean

    1. It’s called soul food for a reason.

    When we become exhausted it is all too easy to reach for junk food fixes. Our depleted systems cannot thrive on poor fuel. Food preparation is an easy way of ensuring that you have better options on hand.

    Plus, the process of creating delicious snacks and meals ahead of time can lessen stress within the coming week. Being in your bespoke kitchen is good for the soul.

    woman cooking in her kitchen

    Image by Jason Briscoe

    2. Quality time alone is restorative

    Our minds need time to process our experiences, especially when they have been testing. Taking time to cook your favourite recipes in a much-loved room of your home is an opportunity to reflect in a non-confrontational manner.

    Let your thoughts simmer gently as the food you’re preparing does the very same.

    woman adding food to pan

    Image by Conscious Design

    3. There is beauty in error.

    Cooking for mental health is multi-sensory nourishment. Badly baked cookies are still a powerful self-loving message to yourself. Stew not quite turned out the way you wanted? That’s OK… have another go tomorrow.

    Learning and growth is great for the mind, that feeling of accomplishment when everything comes together. Learning to switch off perfectionism to accept where you are is a crucial emotional support skill.

    Embrace it—burnt edges included!

    woman adding seasoning to a pan

    Image by Becca Tapert

    4. Creative flow is a positive force.

    Becoming absorbed in one task is cognitively beneficial. As your mind locks in to cookery it allows room for your inner thoughts to gently surface. Cooking is immensely meditative, especially when it comes to repetitive motions such as stirring or kneading.

    Let go of expectation to allow your mind to embrace the present.

    turning meat

    Image by Andrew “Donovan” Valdivia

    5. License to cook is freedom to heal

    When life becomes overwhelming, spending time in your kitchen can put you back in the driving seat. Validating your feelings is an important part of any restorative mental health strategy.

    Listen to your intuition. How do you feel today? What do you need most? Some home cookery could be the support your consciousness is calling out for.

    Making delicious food for yourself or your loved ones is a process of self-love. It involves listening to your gut (not just your stomach) to know what you truly want and need. As you prepare each meal, you are able to tap into the most positive and productive parts of yourself.

    Embrace a sense of culinary fun within the heart of your home.

    Who knows what you might discover?

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