How Stress Baking Improved My Mental Health

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s how much people keep to be busy in everyday life. The most trying period of the pandemic was without a doubt, the two month stretch of time when nothing was open, the world was shut down, and life was just downright terrifying. With online school starting, the same stress that people faced finishing the school year is coming back. Although online classes can help to keep people busy during these hard times, as well as working part time jobs or volunteering, it is important to take time to yourself and do something that does not necessarily always have a crazy end goal or involve doing things you do not necessarily want to. In a time when the best case scenario for a night out is going to an outdoor restaurant with a timed table for 90 minutes, hobbies are important now more than ever. 

Throughout the time in lockdown, I found that baking specifically was a hobby that kept me optimistic and calm in a time of uncertainty. Beginning with making Irish Soda Bread for Saint Patrick’s Day, over the period of lockdown, I baked every type of bread imaginable and made different pastries to bring a little sweetness to my home. The process of picking out a recipe, planning everything out, measuring the ingredients, and putting everything together just made me feel more at ease with the situation. It gave me something to do every day, since my family could not go to the grocery store often. I knew I was responsible for making breads and muffins throughout the week for breakfast and dinner staples. Baking gave me something to do every day, and beyond that it gave me an opportunity to help provide food to my family during this hard time! I started to bake more and more, to the point where it is a twice a week thing I do to break up my time spent on classes and working. Some of my favorite creations include a birthday cake, lemon blueberry bars, chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin spice muffins! Through baking, I found a way to calm down and focus on what matters most to me, my family, close friends, and food. 

Baking is an easy way to channel stress, but it is not the only hobby that works! Along with baking, exercise, drawing, painting, and writing are also great stress relievers. What matters most is finding a hobby that works for you and helps to channel your stress. It is best to find multiple hobbies; one to channel your imagination and creative side, one to help you stay healthy, and one to share with others.