5 Ways Quarantine Baking Works to De-Stress You

Fruit Pie coming out of the oven

Grocery stores are reporting low quantities of active yeast, flour and other staples revealing that baking has become a trend during coronavirus quarantine. But, what is it about baking that people are drawn to? Clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho shares 5 ways baking is actually self-care and doing more than just feeding your family. It's a great stress reliever, and not just because baked goods are comfort foods.

Dr. Judy shares, "Baking offers a sense of control and right now it is extremely helpful since there is so much unknown. Unknowns are very stressful to the human mind and body, as it leaves us feeling like we’re in fight or flight all the time." Here are some of the great ways Dr. Judy shares that baking can help you keep your sanity, if you can find some flour. 

  1. Baking involves the creative part of your brain which is freeing and helps us to take a break from the analytical part of our mind which is the one that’s associated with all those to-do lists and worries.
  2. Baking is an excellent mindfulness and meditation activity because you have to be focused to follow a recipe. This can help soothe your mind and keep it in the present moment, instead of your thoughts going into an uncertain future of possible catastrophe.
  3. Related to mindfulness, it is also something that engages the senses, another great way to tap into the therapeutic benefits of staying in the moment. Baking, and the aromas and textures associated with it,  triggers the same physiological effects as smelling candles and aromatherapy. It engages the feel-good chemicals in your brain which helps to boost your mood. 
  4. Baking also involves a sense of community and being part of a larger piece. This is especially important as many people are feeling isolated. Baking allows you to provide for others. if you are not feeding someone else, the online communities of sharing recipes and pictures of baked goods are helping connect people and reduce isolation.
  5. Baking also involves skill and bolsters feelings of competency and self-esteem. We all want to be masters of our own universe and to feel like we are strong when there is so much fear. So, baking and finishing a completed product really helps us to tap into inner strength and allow us to feel like we can withstand the pandemic.

The current pandemic is triggering a lot of existential crisis in people. So, it is no surprise that everyone would turn to baking because in a very direct sense you are nurturing yourself and others. While we might not be able to be with all of our loved ones right now, we can certainly bake like we are. Here are a few of The Doctors favorite baked goods with nutritious and good-for-you ingredients.