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Cooking redefined. How can cooking help with stress and anxiety?

When food smiles at you, you can’t help it but smile back. Photo by Lily Ciric Hoffmann.

We all have to eat, right. For some, it’s a simple act of moving food from the plate to your mouth, from point A to point B.

Food is more than what we eat. It can heal us, make us laugh or cry, makes us forget or remember, helps us (re)focus, teach us about success and failure, connect us to others and ourselves, and so much more. Food can make us feel.

How can cooking help with all the feelings of stress and anxiety that we are having during the pandemic instead of adding more to our plates?

Cooking is for everyone. And the skills we develop in cooking go beyond the kitchen.

In “What Cooking Can Teach You About Innovation and Creativity” published at author Lizeth Aranda writes:

“The cooking process for me is the clearest example of how we develop widely applicable skills while doing something we love. I think cooking not only develops our learning agility, but it also builds analytical skills and mathematical thinking. Among all the skills we acquire in the process of cooking, I think creativity and innovation are the most powerful.”

If the pandemic has taught us something it’s to make the best of what we have. When things around us are so uncertain and out of our control, what you do for yourself, and how you show up for yourself is in your control. Cooking/baking is a great way to reclaim that feeling.

A little creativity in the kitchen can really add up and go a long way.

If you immediately think “I don’t cook or I don’t like to cook.” Why is that? Do you think it’s a waste of time? Do you think it’s too expensive? Not for you? Something you’re not good at?

These standards need to be reevaluated. Go past the binary good vs bad. Do you enjoy it? Does it make you feel something? Are you trying to live up to someone else’s standards or your own?

Scrape all that and give cooking another shot. It’s a relationship worth nursing.

There must be one dish you claim that “no one makes it as I do.” How does that make you feel? Proud, satisfied, empowered, accomplished, happy. And if there is no such dish, now is the time to find and claim it.

Cooking doesn’t have to be laborious and complicated. As a matter of fact, everything counts. Simple dishes like simple pleasures in life oftentimes bring us the most happiness.

I am on a personal quest to redefine cooking with Dishmeetup, an online community of people from all walks of life doing their best to show up for ourselves and loved ones one dish at a time.

I am constantly amazed at what the Dishmeetup members are making. Having a supportive community is so important. When you see what others are making, making it yourself seems so much more doable.

What are you cooking these days?

Join our growing community at

Discover the mental and physical benefits of cooking.




Food is more than what we eat. We are a community of folks from all walks of life who use cooking to nurture, heal, and feel better. Dishmeetup’s goal is to highlight and emphasize the mental and physical benefits of cooking.

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Lily Ciric Hoffmann

Lily Ciric Hoffmann

Creator of @dishmeetup. Creative techie in love w/ multimedia storytelling, design thinking & the healing power of homecooked food.

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