Learn to Cook and Stay Healthy
There are a number of factors that contribute to someone’s recovery from addiction. While you can fling yourself into new ideas and practices in an attempt to replace your old ways of life, the number of different options can seem overwhelming. However, at the core of recovery, there is a need to tend to both your mind and body. Recovery contains both a biological and an emotional factor, and addressing both of these aspects in tandem is important in pursuing a holistic recovery. While there are many practical life skills that you can engage with during recovery, learning to cook is an accessible, all-encompassing option.
The Importance of Learning a New Skill
Learning new skills is an important part of the recovery process. These new skills can be coping mechanisms, social practices, and practical life skills. Using these skills in practice is a way to view growth in progress, and for you to measure the changes that you are making in your new, sober life. Each new skill employed or new hobby pursued is a way for you to establish your own identity outside of using drugs or turning to alcohol.
New skills can serve as a testament to you moving away from your old life and embracing a new path of healing. Finding something that you are interested in and learning more about it is a way to expend pent-up energies that you may have. It can also provide a way to occupy your mind outside of past addictions. Keeping your mind and body busy can help reduce the risk of relapse, and using that energy in a positive, healthy way reinforces lasting sobriety.
Cooking as a Creative Outlet
Creative outlets are important in recovery. They provide a safe space for you to express your feelings, instead of allowing negative emotions to pile up. They also play a crucial role in establishing your identity. Painting, writing, and other forms of art therapy are all effective ways to engage with your innate creative side. Cooking also provides a new dimension for self-expression. While one person can see a dish for its vibrant colors and lean vegetables, another person may seek to create a heartier, heavily seasoned, earthy dish. Cooking new dishes and exploring new flavors is a way for you to further express your identity in a very personal way.
Acts of Service
There is an inherently communal aspect that comes with the process of learning to cook. Food is something that is often shared, with meals being created for families or groups of friends. Being able to create something personal and then share it with other people is a powerful act of service. Not only can you feed those around you, but you can also open up a degree of selflessness and empathy, which allows you to build deeper relationships with them.
Being able to serve someone else is a reinforcement tool on its own, as you are proving to yourself that you have worth and a useful place in a community. Not only does this become a self-motivational expression, but it can also further grow or rebuild trust between friends and loved ones. Being able to experience, express, and receive love are major factors in healing; food can help make a direct bridge between people.
A New Way of Coping With Holidays
During recovery from addiction, holidays can prove to be a very difficult time. Celebrations and festivities are commonly paired with the presence of alcohol, and parties can bring back old feelings and traditions that may cause urges to re-engage with past addictions. Having a role to play at parties can help you keep your mind and body busy during those times.
By volunteering to cook, whether you want to be the baker or grillmaster, you can still provide service and be an integral part of the party, without placing yourself amidst potential triggers. Cooking is a universal skill that you can use in order to establish a role in many situations. Its effects can be wholly therapeutic and can even stretch beyond the bounds of recovery, into the professional field.
Recovery is something that requires a lot of time and effort. Having something that you can put all your effort into is important, and cooking is just one option. Having something that is constantly evolving—or that always has new techniques and practices to learn—can be important in your overall health. Cooking is just one way of helping both your mind and body stay healthy, as you continue to learn more styles and flavors. More than a skill, cooking can be a way of exploring new worlds, interests, and even cultures.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction to drugs, alcohol, or any of their co-occurring disorders, contact Brighton Recovery Center. Championing their various programs ranging from individual and group to family therapies, Brighton has a way for you to take the first step into recovery in the right way that works for you. Their large campus allows for multiple recreational facilities as both patients and professionals focus on a strong sense of community and group healing, using each person and their personal experiences to create a tight-knit group with a shared goal and successes. For more information on any of their programs, call Brighton Recovery Center today at (844) 479-7035.