In the current state, many have adopted the idea of exploring new opportunities. However, with all of the stress surrounding your life at these times, finding the motivation or the right opportunity might be difficult. Perhaps you are making things too hard and overlooking the kinds of opportunities that will expand and support your recovery. Cooking is a practice that you are probably familiar with. While you might not be a top chef, you can take this opportunity to expand upon this practice and learn how to make a few dishes. You need to eat and you probably love food—why not use cooking as a way to not only learn a new skill and help with your recovery, but also to reward yourself with a meal or snack to eat?

Why Cooking?

Cooking is a tool you can use for the rest of your life. It offers incredible benefits not only for your health and well-being, but it is a practice that will help sustain a healthy recovery regimen. To begin reaping the benefits of cooking, you need to form a plan.

  • Eating Plan

Your recovery has most likely taught you by now that what you ingest not only impacts your digestive system, but can affect your mood and overall well-being. Much like the impulses that form bad habits, a burger and fries might satisfy you now, but can have some negative long-term effects (e.g., heart and cholesterol problems and/or weight gain). This is why forming a healthy eating plan will not only serve your well-being in the long run, but also keep you healthy during the shelter-in-place. Consider what you are currently eating, and begin to substitute junk foods with healthier options. Look at the healthy foods you enjoy, and see what kind of dishes they can be used in. For example, if you love tomatoes, maybe start small, like grilled chicken served over a garden salad with tomatoes.

  • Independence

Since you are designating time to prepare a meal, you will be exercising your freedom of choice, and therefore supporting your sense of independence. Self-sufficiency will help you improve your judgment, which will help build stronger self-esteem and help you to rely on yourself, as well. Building a sense of independence could have the kind of positive effect that creates the feeling of being able to handle difficult challenges—ultimately leaving you happier and more energized. Think about seeing a beautiful dish that you created, but with the added benefit of being able to eat and enjoy it, as well.

  • Stress Relief

At any point in your recovery, returning to alcohol to cope is never an option, though at times it might be tempting. Given the current circumstances, the urge to return to alcohol abuse could be very strong. Cooking can be a therapeutic outlet you are lacking. When you are cooking, you are focused on the task at hand: following recipes, regulating cooking temperatures, and moving about the kitchen to tend to various ingredients—this all helps to reduce negative thinking. It is also theorized that the smell of cooking food could even offer aromatherapy, which can also help reduce stress. Cooking and the blending of foods is in many ways a small creative project that you are doing every day. When you cook a meal, you are accomplishing a project which in turn will help you feel more relaxed and satisfied.

Consistency Creates a Good Work Ethic

Your drive to work hard might be suffering during these times. When you cook, you are accepting cooking for all of the challenges it presents. As you know, no good thing comes without challenges. Cooking requires diligence, hard work, and consistency. These three factors will create a better work ethic. When developing a good habit of cooking, you are setting yourself up for the long-term. Think about when the pandemic passes—which it will. You can show off your hard-earned skills by cooking for friends and family.

  • Consistency Supports Creativity

Not only does cooking improve your mood by lowering stress and promoting a good work ethic, but it calls for creativity. There are so many different techniques to cooking, therefore making it an art. The more you cook, the more confident you become, meaning you will be more willing to experiment. Your creativity is not limited to what you cook—it can include how you might add certain seasoning, how you arrange the food on your plate, and how you might plan meals for the week. This kind of creativity should help promote thoughts of care, which can manifest itself in both your dishes and you.

Cooking as a Daily Practice

If cooking has not yet been playing a role in your day, now is the time to start. Eating is something you need to do every day, therefore cooking can become a daily habit. It will help to keep you occupied and can be a source of happiness for you. Additionally, with so many grocery delivery services, you do not have to risk leaving your home. Utilize all the fun that comes with learning how to cook—watch cooking shows, study recipes, get excited about the flavor that can come from using fresh ingredients, and get excited about taking control and manifesting the meals you want.

Finding a new hobby of practice can be both intimidating and difficult. If you are continuing to struggle to find something to get you motivated in your day and often dealing with negative thoughts, it is time to talk with somebody. True Recovery is available 24/7 to talk with you about your concerns. We offer customized care to get to the root of what is causing you to struggle and find the most appropriate treatment option for you. Call us today at (866)-399-6528.