Inspired by the new series of Great British Bake Off, many people in the UK, both young and old, will be dusting off their aprons, mixers and scales and getting back in the kitchen.
A popular hobby, baking up treats in the kitchen can do more than just create delicious comforting food, but can have a therapeutic value that can help to ease depression and anxiety.
Cooking is meditative
Any activity which takes all of your attention – especially if it's simple and repetitive – can have a calming, relaxing quality. The process of measuring sugar, beating eggs, and folding flour into dough can relax our negative thinking processes as we concentrate on the task.
We all know about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness, especially the benefits of lowering stress, and baking can reap some of those same rewards. Cutting, blending, measuring, smelling and tasting, can really allow an individual to focus on being in the moment, where all of their other worries rest on the back burner for a while.
Baking stimulates the senses
Feeling the dough as you knead it through your fingers, the whirring of the blender, and of course the smell and the taste of the delectable goodies at the end all stimulate the senses, which in turn increases feel-good endorphins.
Nourishing activities feel good
Baking and other kinds of cooking or food prep is ultimately about nourishing ourselves and others. The thought process of putting together delicious and nutritious ingredients that can feed yourself and others can by an energising and positive experience as we anticipate the delicious result at the end.
Baking is creative
Psychologists believe that there is a strong tie between being creative and having an overall positive wellbeing – mixing up ingredients, perfecting recipes and decorating your baked goods or even presenting your plate of food well actually stimulates the creative part of your brain- who knew!
Make other people happy
One of the best things about baking is sharing with your loved ones and your friends, and feeding others. Making other people happy really does contribute to your own happiness, and that can be enjoyed both baking with loved ones and baking for them.
Baking at Barchester
Baking at Barchester is a popular pastime in our care homes throughout the country. Special occasions such as royal weddings, resident’s birthdays and national holidays give our chefs at the home, as well as residents and invited guests another excuse for baking and enjoying deliciously baked treats, including personalised birthday cakes, tasty cupcake towers, and flaky pastries.
A few Barchester homes also feature adapted kitchens for residents to be able to bake themselves with one of our care team, so those that love to bake or cook themselves have the chance to (with a little assistance should they need it), and can still enjoy their favourite hobby.
Our hospitality trolleys at Barchester are one of our key ingredients in bringing our residents together. Often doing the rounds twice a day, the hospitality team will visit residents with a tray of freshly baked delights that are both modified and specially made for alternative diets so everyone can enjoy.
To find your nearest Barchester home, please click here.