Do you cook? I’m not talking about your regular meat and veg deal—I’m talking about gourmet cooking at home. If you don’t, that may be about to change, and that’s a good thing. We’ve already talked about cooking and mental health, but with Mental Health Day coming up on October 10th, maybe it’s time to explore the emotional benefits of cooking at home. Cooking can bring your family closer together, help you de-stress, and boost your confidence.
While only 36% of Americans cook at home daily, people’s confidence in the kitchen has risen dramatically since the pandemic. What’s even more interesting is that 50% of the population wants to learn everything they can about cooking! So why aren’t more people preparing restaurant-quality meals for themselves and their families? Many studies tout the positive financial and health effects of cooking at home, but what is not as widely talked about is the emotional benefits. That’s right, cooking at home is good for your very heart and soul! And you can contribute to your happiness, confidence, and family cohesion without having to sacrifice your standards for good quality food. Let me tell you how.
Tell me if this sounds familiar to you. You walk inside after a long day, and even though everyone else is already home, the family rooms are deserted. You stick your head in the bedroom doors—only to get a grunt or an absent-minded hello. You retreat to the kitchen for a glass of wine and stare out the window. It’s all very sad. But what if I told you it didn’t have to be like that?
While everyone in your family (you, your partner, the kids, the dog) needs their own space—they also need time with their family. To bond, to connect, to support one another. Cooking at home gives you a chance to cook together. While this may sound chaotic, it can also be wonderful!
Talking while you chop, grate and mix, teaching your kids valuable skills (like food preparation, cooperation, and hygiene), and appreciating what you’ve created together while you eat. Rituals like these are moments where you can find magic in the ordinary, every single day.
Did you know that cooking is a meditative practice? When you dice, sauté, stir, and plate, your mind is given something to focus on externally. Something that isn’t about work problems or dramatic relatives or whether the kids have found a portal to another realm to throw their shoes, lunch boxes, and left socks into.
You can just breathe. Crazy, right?
Not only that, but it’s a great outlet for stress, sadness, and the occasional fit of rage (crush that garlic!). You can stare into your pot of sauce while going over the events of the day (just set a timer first), smash that chicken breast into shape, or even better, turn the internal dialogue off completely. Just slice, slice, slice, toss, toss, toss, whisk, whisk, whisk.
Give Yourself a Boost
You may already feel like Wonder Woman and so you should! But if you need a confidence boost, or want to feel even more capable than you already are—cooking is the way to do it. You’re creating sustenance (not to mention flavor and art) out of thin air!
There is something so fulfilling about preparing a meal out of fresh, healthy ingredients and providing it to your loved ones. The whole process, from choosing the best produce available—to plating up something that looks amazing makes you feel more confident, happier, and more engaged in life itself. And the fact that you can create restaurant meals at home is something to be very, very proud of.
Why not start reaping the emotional benefits of cooking at home now? You can begin with my FREE Mini Recipe E-Book featuring 5 of the most popular dishes my students cooked with me on the Outschool platform during the height of the pandemic.
Send a DM if you tried any of the recipes and feel free to tag me so I can see your culinary creation