5 Tips To Reduce Your Cooking Anxiety

Cooking with anxiety can often feel a little overwhelming as it can seem as if there’s a high amount of pressure on you to achieve certain goals. This can be especially true when following a more complex recipe from a book or an online tutorial.  This kind of pressure can cause you to become more stressed and anxious when cooking, which can turn a task that can be enjoyable and calming into a process filled with panic and anxiety.  The fact is that while cooking can seem rather overwhelming, eating healthy, nutritious foods can actually aid mental health. So, it’s worth taking the time to try and reduce your cooking anxiety and learn to love – or at least, enjoy – cooking healthy foods.  Wondering how you can reduce your cooking anxiety? Have a read of the five tips below for everything that you need to know!
  1. Make a weekly meal plan which includes takeout and leftovers
A great way to make cooking – and eating more healthily – a little easier is to create a weekly meal plan. By scheduling a meal plan, which includes leftovers and takeout (if you like to have it as a regular treat), you can make it easier to ensure that you always have access to healthy and nutritious food – as well as the odd treat here and there.  You can create a schedule using a pen and paper or you can download a meal planning app onto your smart device. By creating a physical plan, you can make it easier to keep your feelings of anxiety at bay as you can clearly see what food you have mapped out for the week, including what you will need to cook. 
  1. Select food you like that is good for you
When it comes to cooking, a great way to make it a little more enjoyable is to cook foods that you like and enjoy. Instead of following recipes that don’t really appeal to you, cook foods that you know you love to eat and will be pleased with after you finish cooking. Whether it’s homemade thin crust pizza, hand-rolled sushi (it’s actually super easy to make), or steamed fish and roasted vegetables, it doesn’t matter – what’s important is that you’re cooking something that you will enjoy.  Need a little cooking inspiration? There are lots of cooking tutorials online, as well as blogs and recipe apps that you can utilize to find new easy-level dishes to make. It might be worth scrolling through some ‘easy cooking’ recipe articles to create a folder of simple, easy meals that also happen to be some of your favorite dishes. 
  1. Keep Meals simple
It’s worth noting that cooking anxiety can stem from trying to cook dishes that are just too complex and involve too many steps. Instead of choosing meals that feel just too complicated to prepare and cook, opt to keep your meals simple. There’s nothing wrong with basic cooking – some of the tastiest dishes stem from basic recipes and cooking processes.  As mentioned above, there are lots of recipes and tutorials online for creating tasty, easy dishes, so keeping meals simple really couldn’t be any easier. 
  1. Find comfort in the process
As you would learn in anxiety counseling, cooking can act as a comfort process if you learn how to find comfort in the process. The process of cooking can actually be super calming and therapeutic, if you are able to move away from the stress that you associate with cooking and learn to enjoy it.  Think of cooking as a comforting process by considering how the process helps you to lead a healthier and more contented life. You can also find comfort in cooking by thinking about how the process is a methodic one and how that means that it’s easier to follow the process and see the results that you want. 
  1. Cook familiar things for guests
When you have guests coming over, the chances are that you become anxious about what you’re cooking for them and making sure that they enjoy the meal. Instead of trying to create a recipe that’s too complex and will cause further stress to occur, consider cooking something that’s familiar to you. Choose a recipe that you’ve tried and tested many times over and know how to get right without even thinking about it. This will help to absolve some of the stress that you might be feeling. 

Anxiety Counseling in Lakewood & Longmont Colorado

There you have it, a guide to five tips for reducing your feelings of cooking anxiety. If you try these five things and still need help, we are here for you.  We invite you to call us at 720-551-4553 for a free 20-minute phone consultation with an anxiety specialist. You can schedule your appointment via phone, or the contact page on our website Self Care Impact Counseling envisions a new age of counseling for adolescents, adults, couples & groups that makes a REAL difference with core values of GROWTH | BALANCE | COMPASSION | INNER HARMONY. Author, Alayna Baillod, LCSW, EMDRIA Approved EMDR Consultant/Therapist, Level 1 & 2 Gottman Couples Therapy, Trained in Emotion- Focused Therapy, CBT, DBT, IFS (Internal Family Systems), Attachment Theory, Narrative Therapy, Solution- Focused Therapy.  Alayna is as real as-it-gets! Clients see Alayna as down-to-Earth, relatable, having a good sense of humor (and using it!) and confident in sharing her therapeutic expertise. She is an extensively trained, passionate therapist who strives to meet clients where they’re at while providing an appropriate amount of challenge to gently push clients to grow beyond their comfort zone. You can expect a supportive, guiding and grounded presence in the therapy room with Alayna.