On Cooking and Mental Health

Roast chicken

I’m stuck in that moment where I’m teetering on the edge of a cliff, fearing the unknown vastness but excited about the potential for flight. I don’t feel very present in my every day reality, in fact I’m leaving trails for myself to make the days less prone to the effects of my distraction. I don’t mean to be melodramatic, because nothing tragic has happened, I just really struggle with anticipating the unknown. I’m the one who would get sick before fun events (for some reason Valentine’s Day was the worst for this in elementary school, don’t ask me why). Food is what gets me through the worst of my fears. If I’m not preparing it, I’m daydreaming about it. Not even the eating part as much, just the part where I’m carefully selecting my ingredients and then making them into something nutritious and soothing. Over the past 5 years or so I’ve really grown to see cooking as a sort of meditation, I used to rush through recipes and spend very little time getting things as accurate as they should be. I’ve come to find great comfort in the meticulousness of making food, it gives me something to focus on while I’m caught up in panicky energy. There’s something immensely quieting about layering, stirring, arranging, and measuring; on days when I feel especially tired I’ll concentrate especially on making beautiful salads for dinner. I know I have the luxury of time to do these things, and the luxury of indulging lengthy means to keep my mind focused. All I can stress is that for me, cooking has helped save me on hard days and dark days. Luckily, Ian is a happy recipient of my methods, which further makes me feel warm when I need it most.

This is cocoon music, perfect for achieving that feeling of reassurance and softness.

Andy Stott – Numb

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