I think I’ve found one of the very best strategies for managing anxiety.
I started doing meal prep once a week because I knew that if I didn’t have prepared food at the moment of a meal, I’d be too lazy to cook, and I’d order food, go out to eat or prepare something easy and unhealthy. Since I’ve started I haven’t ordered food again. So far I’ve managed to:
- save money on eating out and ordering food
- lose 4 kg
- make sure I’m getting food that’s more appropriate for my body and where it is at the moment (slightly overweight and type 1 diabetes so I go for low carb)
But I’ve also found that cooking is something very grounding. I know detachment is something most people with anxiety and depression struggle with and it’s really annoying because it’s so hard to control. I think we can all agree that the solution is to get out of your head by becoming mindful of your body but at times you can’t force it either or it might get worse.
Cooking is an extremely sensorial activity. You look at the food to make sure it’s good. Then, you prepare the ingredients by touching them, cold or hot, with different textures (I personally love the touching part). You start cooking, you season, you taste, you. season some more. It’s very stimulating but in a safe, stress-free environment.
This works as therapy for many people, by the time I’m done cooking and cleaning the kitchen, I feel grounded and my mind is clear. There’s also a very satisfying feeling of accomplishment when you look at all the beautiful food you’re prepared that helps fight negative feelings as well.
Finally, it’s time to relax in the couch for a while, have a cup of tea, enjoy feeling good before you get to have on of your own delicious meals.