Counselor Corner

Critical Topics addressed and evaluated by YHELP!'s Professional Certified Therapist Consultant



Cooking was a required skill to have for the generations before us. Now there are never-ending fast-food options that you can access by a simple tap on your mobile phone, there is no need to cook or to learn about cooking. One may ask, why is food an important topic? It is important because cooking can be used a therapeutic and survival tool. Cooking can make you independent and, in some cases, help you with nutrition and save money. But it is also relaxing and a form of self- care. Most importantly with Thanksgiving approaching, cooking can bring family and friends together.

During the pandemic, when many of us were forced to stay inside, it was reported that people rediscovered their passion for cooking or developed a new talent. Some people turned cooking into an art form and became very creative. Some used cooking to share their love for one another. It also brought generations together, by sharing and passing down recipes filled with history, stories, and memories.

Independence- Cooking is a skill that everyone should learn, especially if you live on your own. Some people prefer ordering out, but it can become costly and time consuming. You can save a great deal of money by grocery shopping and budgeting. Also, in a time crunch after getting off work or getting out of class, you can make a quick health meal. Another positive aspect about cooking is that everyone has different dietary needs and with cooking you can control the ingredients that go into your food.

Self-care- Whether you are having a good or bad day, people use food as comfort or to celebrate. When you are going through a breakup or celebrating a birthday, having a bowl of your grandmother’s homemade spaghetti can make you feel better. For some people the art of cooking can help you destress because it is a form of completing a project that can take your mind off negativity in your life. It also can increase your self-esteem by developing a sense of accomplishment when you master a new skill such as perfecting an apple pie or trying a recipe that your family passed down to you.

Family & Friends- Around the holidays cooking can feel your home with togetherness, fun, love, and laughter regardless of culture, gender, or age. Parents can allow their little ones to help with small tasks such as sprinkling cheese on macaroni. Older teens can learn how to follow directions by following steps on a recipe independently with minor assistance. For those advanced chefs, cooking can turn into a fun competition between different groups with a fun reward, like winners do not have to clean the kitchen.

Next time if you are presented with the opportunity to cook do not look at it like a chore. Change your perspective by challenging yourself by seeing what you can learn, how you can have fun, and what memories can you make with loved ones.

Until next time,

Jamese Jefferson, MA, QMHP

YHELP! Executive Director