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Make Cooking Your New Friend

Cooking at home is the best way to maintain your health, your budget, and even your sanity!

Cooking is an immersive experience.

Or at least it could be.

Whether the dish at hand is simple or complex, we see, touch, taste, smell, and hear while preparing it.

If you're the type of person who finds cooking relaxing, you're probably allowing yourself to get in touch with your five senses whether you realize it or not. The colors & shapes, textures, flavors, scents, and sounds of chopping, blending, or sizzling occupy you and if you allow it, this immersive experience can take you out of your head (where the stress and anxiety of the day live) and into the task at hand.

On the other hand, if cooking feels like a chore, you might consider your approach the next time you head to the kitchen. Are you lost in thought? Reliving the day's conversations and events, paying little attention to what you're doing? Sometimes getting out of your head is the best way to get into your cooking.

Consider how taking a break from your thoughts might help you find the process more enjoyable.

After gathering all of your ingredients and equipment, try to focus on

...what you see when you chop your vegetables (what colors are represented on your counter?) things feel when you hold them (is something smooth? rough? slippery?)

...what you hear when the food hits the pan...

...what you smell as the chemistry of cooking changes the food

...and what you taste as you season or check for doneness.

The events of the world can feel heavy and overwhelming and sometimes, immersing yourself, even for a short time, can temporarily provide a much-needed emotional and mental break.

Time spent cooking can be a stress reliever and a way to work with your whole self to produce something that feeds and nourishes you and those you love. And if you can, invite others into the kitchen to take part. You'll likely all feel more connected and more relaxed...and isn't that a good thing?

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