With exam season approaching and all those final pieces of coursework being submitted, new ways to combat stress need to be found. One good way proved to de-stress is baking and it could be your solution to having a calmer and better last few weeks in Southampton this year.
With so much hype around programmes like Masterchef, The Great British Bake Off and various cooking programmes, the incentive to bake is becoming higher and higher. Baking has become fashionable, and to talk about your recent baking ventures seems to be a suitable topic of conversation with many people. With studies suggesting baking is good for our mental health, we should maybe be even more convinced that baking could be a good pastime for us, and particularly for us students!
Baking is said to be good for our mental health because it encourages us to not only think of ourselves but also of other people. When we’ve baked something, we usually share our goods with other people. Sharing can be positive for our mental health, as this makes us feel good about doing things for others and encourages us to socialise with people. By gaining praise for our baking skills (from sharing our bakes), our self-esteem can also be boosted and give us more confidence in ourselves. Given that self-confidence can be an issue for students with their doubts regarding performing well in exams and coursework (we’ve all been there!), baking could be a way to give us confidence in ourselves. We can realise we are capable of being successful and need not always be so harsh on ourselves.
Baking is also a good way to forget about things that may be causing us to stress. When we bake, we have to completely concentrate on what we are doing and the baking process. This sense of concentration can be seen as a form of mindfulness. When we bake, we have to be more aware of our surroundings and senses in relation to creating successful bakes. We have to rely on our sense of taste, touch, smell and sight to create tasty goods. Without honing in on our senses, our bakes may not be as successful as they could be. When our bakes go well, we can be proud of these and trust more in our senses and self, as we are the sole reason for the success of our baking ventures. When it also comes to eating our goods, eating something sweet sends happy chemicals to our brains, meaning we can physically feel happier from eating the products of our hard work (a tough job, I know!).
In all, baking seems like a pretty good way to de-stress – whether that’s to boost your self-esteem through successful bakes; sharing these with friends and giving yourself an excuse to socialise; or having something different to focus on. Whatever your reason, baking may be the way forward. So maybe gather a few friends and have your own bake-off, or take yourself to Sainsbury’s’ baking aisle to find some baking inspiration, and bake away that irksome stress!