If you’ve paid attention to what’s going on in the wellness world in the past few years, you’ve probably noticed everyone expounding upon the myriad benefits of meditation. It’s good for your brain. It’s good for your body. It’s even good for your soul. Basically, it’s good for just about everything.
But what happens if you’re one of those people who hates meditating…? Considering all the hype around it, you may be embarrassed to admit that you just can’t bear the thought of sitting down for twenty minutes to breathe deeply and think of nothing. Sound like you? You’re not alone.
If you find yourself craving the benefits of meditation without actually having to meditate, it turns out that there is a solution. What is it, you ask? Therapeutic cooking: the act of cooking as a mindful and meditative experience.
Though it has become something quite prescriptive, with people feeling the pressure to mediate in the same specific way as everyone else, meditation is actually something much broader. As a concept, meditation is simply the idea of taking a few moments for yourself during the day, taking the time to draw away from the outside world and into yourself for a set period of time. So, why couldn’t that extend to cooking? Therapeutic cooking gives you the opportunity to create a bit of time and space for yourself in the day, and it can be much more enjoyable for some than sitting silently on a pillow, thinking about your breath.
Whether you’re more of a baker or a cook, your typical rushed weekday cooking is not what we have in mind when we talk about therapeutic cooking. If you only have a few minutes to spare, we’d suggest ordering a nutritious Berry Beauty Bowl on UberEats or Deliveroo right to your door and taking a meditative bath instead. However, if you do have the time, we think it’s hugely beneficial to focus solely on preparing your food and following your recipe without any other distractions. You need to carve out a window of time, just as you would for a workout.
Because this isn’t about improving your cooking skills, you can choose any recipe you like. Anything that allows you to be fully absorbed in what you’re doing. Therapeutic cooking is about creating space for you and you alone. It’s also very beneficial in connecting you to the physical world, as you are working and creating with your hands. It may not seem so, but it is incredibly powerful.
Feeling intimidated? Worried you’re not a good enough cook to make therapeutic cooking effective? There’s no need to stress! Even if you’re not incredibly confident in the kitchen, that’s totally ok. Start by making yourself a beautiful slow-cooked tofu scramble in the morning. It’s a great way to begin the day mindfully focusing on something, and it’ll also ensure you’re properly fuelled for the day ahead.