How to Safely De-stress Your Distress in the Kitchen
It seemed like a good idea at the time - have the whole family over for Thanksgiving dinner at your place. The day before the big event, however, you realized you only have one oven and four burners on your stove, which just won’t do for preparing ten dishes for thirty people. Right now, distress is the only thing that’s beginning to boil over.
There are some things you can do to put your mind at ease and calm your nerves into de-stress mode. Sure, the turkey may still be partially frozen an an hour before your guests arrive, but don’t lose your head. Read about these five simple ways to de-stress your distress in the kitchen.
1. Deep Breath – Take a deep breath and repeat after me: “I will not burn the turkey…again; I will not burn the turkey…again.” Seriously though, taking deep breaths fills your lungs, muscles, and blood with oxygen, and oxygen keeps you focused, relaxed, and more alert. It may not feel like it initially, but deep breaths also give you a well-needed confidence boost, something you can use to push away stress levels so you can focus on the matter at hand.
2. Music – You’re thinking of an enjoyable day. Maybe you took a drive in your car with the windows down, hair blowing in the wind, music on the radio, singing to your heart’s content without a care in the world. Music has a way of lifting spirits and keeping your mind away from self-defeating thoughts.
Bring a radio into the kitchen and turn up some of your favorite tunes while cooking. You just might enjoy what could have been a chaotic experience by introducing some soothing sounds in the kitchen.
3. Chop Something – Really, busy hands and an occupied mind are great for letting go of some stress. Grab your biggest knife and chop up some produce as soon as you start cooking. Simple tasks like this bolster your confidence for the coming meal, so go ahead and show that carrot who’s boss. Better not make that an onion, or your eyes and nose won’t be as happy as you’d like them to be.
4. Open a Window – Vitamin D is one of the better natural mood enhancers. If you’re feeling stressed out, step outside and take in a few rays of warming, calming sunshine. If you can, open a window and let the sun inside your kitchen, too. Spend a few minutes basking in the sun’s rays, paying attention to deep breaths flowing in and out of your body.
5. Have Fun – That’s right, whatever it takes. Getting a little silly in the kitchen never hurt anyone’s mood. Don your apron and channel Julia Child; do a little moon-walk in your socks while you cook; see if you can carve a face into that lime you’re about to slice up. The key is to have fun with what you’re doing. It releases tension and puts things in perspective. Free your mind and spirit by getting a little goofy to lower your stress levels considerably.
Once you take these steps, you’ll find yourself enjoying your cooking experience more than you thought possible. These five tips are designed to get you stress-free in no time. We won’t take any responsibility, however, for the strange looks you get if someone catches you in the act of having a conversation with the turkey on the way in the oven. We strongly urge