Social distancing and self-isolation create difficult times for everyone. The simple act of baking can be therapeutic – and puts delicious treats on the table.
John Whaite, a winner of the hit U.K. television series “The Great British Bake Off,” calls baking “a form of pill-less Prozac.” Gather up the ingredients, put on some music (or enjoy peace and quiet), and read on for five ways that baking therapy works.
1. The Smell
2. The Singular Focus
When measuring out ingredients, decorating cupcakes, icing cookies, or completing other baking tasks, you can focus your energy on the creative process rather than on the stress of your day. In an article for the Boston Globe, Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer for the Cleveland Clinic, states,
“Clearing the mind and focusing so intensely on something that you can’t think of anything else — such as when you’re being creative — reduces stress.”
3. The Accomplishment
Following a recipe with clear-cut directions and proven results gives you a sense of power and allows you to feel like you are the captain of a ship sailing on smooth waters. You can craft something beautiful, delicious, comforting, and perfect.
“If the activity is defined as personally rewarding or giving a sense of accomplishment or pleasure, or even seeing the pleasure of that pumpkin bread with chocolate chips making someone else happy, then it could improve a sense of well-being,”
says Jacqueline Gollan, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, in an article for the Wall Street Journal.
4. The Sharing
With social distancing, now isn’t the time to share food in gatherings with friends. But, sharing with your family and seeing their smiles can do the trick. If you don’t have anyone to bake for right now, you could even make treats for your dog or your chickens!
5. The Doctor Says So
Did you know that in some hospitals and centers for rehabilitation, baking is used as an important tool for the healing and coping process? If professionals believe in and use baking as a therapeutic treatment, we can all be thrilled that it’s something we can do in our homes!
But, who really needs a doctor to tell us that baking and eating a piece of homemade pie can bring a smile to our faces?!
Do you use baking as a stress reliever? How does it help you?
This article was originally written by Kaitlin Marks. You can find her on Instagram. Her favorite dessert is any cake with phenomenal frosting, but she’ll eat ice cream anytime. She’s a dreamer, a writer, a baker, a reader, a volunteer and a believer in how wonderful things can be.