Photo by Sofia Torres
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, several families turn to their kitchens for comfort and solace, and psychologists have tied this behavior and influx of people baking as an outlet for stress and anxiety.
“The heart of the explanation is that cooking and baking bring comfort,” culinary art therapist Julie Ohana told CNBC’s Make It. “Baking a loaf of bread or some cookies is so basic, but it fills such a void.”
Due to the almost instant gratification that is found in baking, whether it is chocolate chip cookies made from scratch or some gourmet churros, the feeling after making a dessert is an addicting high. Many have found value in their day-to-day lives by baking different desserts to break the monotony of the California stay-at-home order.
Cathedral Catholic High School student Shea Brown ‘22 has been making chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, along with several other desserts from scratch.
“I think it’s helped me mentally because it takes my mind off of things that can be stressful,” Brown said. “It is kind of relaxing and it’s just a good mental break from school and life.”
Two of the most popular hashtags on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok are #quarantinebaking and #stressbaking. Though baking is a form of therapy, it could also affect one’s health. If you stress bake in moderation and eat relatively healthy meals throughout the day as well as going for daily walks, then baking has nothing but a positive effect on your mental health.
Van Galder, the owner of Depressed Cake Shop, hopes to bring awareness relating to mental illness through baking, and he also gave comment to CNBC’s Make It.
“Baking requires and rewards being very specific and following the directions very carefully,” Galder said, “so your brain is very absorbed in the activity at hand and doesn’t have time to think about other things that might be worrying you.”
Baking allows for people to take their mind off of the stressful things happening throughout the world and only focus on how much flour to put in their cookies. It is a much needed escape from reality that can be done in the comfort of your own home.
“The process helps aid the baker and the finished product helps comfort the person or people receiving the delicious outcome,” Ohana said.