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Stress-Free Kitchen Living Tips

Stress-Free Kitchen Living Tips 3 Rating(s)

 

Stress Free Kitchen Living and Cooking Tips

 

Some people are relaxed and completely at home in the kitchen, comfortably curious and content to putter around experimenting with ingredients, textures, and processes until they find their favorite ones for dishing up simply fabulous food for friends and family. (Above Photo by Katherine Chase on Unsplash)

And then there are the rest of us – some completely stressed at the thought of having to get in the kitchen and pull together an edible (if not completely enjoyable) meal for themselves or their family on a regular basis (all while either dreading or listening to the cries of “What’s for Dinner?”)!

If you find yourself more closely aligned to the latter group, take heart! Here are a few simple tips that will reduce your stress in the kitchen, and help you move towards being more comfortable and relaxed while cooking and prepping meals (perhaps even having you dancing in the kitchen before you know it).

1. Have a Plan

Start small – if you are unaccustomed to meal planning, pick two or three dishes that you already know how to make (or feel comfortable that you could learn quickly) and plan to make those in the coming week. Add the ingredients to your shopping list for the week (so you’ll be prepared with everything you need), and see which days of the coming week will work best with the schedule for you to prepare those meals (not on the night when you’ll have 15 minutes between getting home from work and leaving to get the kids to sports practice).

We have lots of quick and easy recipes here on Dish Dish, or pick up a cookbook like Quick Six Fix by Stuart O’Keeffe that contains 100 recipes each requiring only six ingredients and six minutes of prep. No matter your plan, just having one is going to reduce the stress immensely!

4 Week Meal Plan (Menu) with Grocery List

2. Clear your Work Area

This simple step should only take a few minutes and will make all the difference in how you “feel” as you start prepping and cooking in the kitchen. Clear off the counterspace you’ll be using (in the long-term, it’s best to have a place for things, so the clutter isn’t an issue); for now, it can be simply setting the things in a different part of the kitchen or adjacent area while you work.

Professor Joseph Ferrari of DePaul University in Chicago noted that a chaotic and disorderly living space can disturb your “sense of home and ability to bond with others.”

cleared kitchen counters; stress-free living tips

3. Enjoy Stress-Reducing Ambience

I know, the word “ambience” makes you think this is going to be real work, but it isn’t! If you have an essential oils diffuser, turn it on and diffuse relaxing scents like lavender, citrus, or cinnamon. No oil diffuser? No problem! Set a saucepan on the stove and throw in a few cloves, a cinnamon stick, or some ginger slices and a lemon slice, with 2 cups of water and allow to simmer while you’re working. In no time at all, the familiar, soothing aromas will help clear your head and reduce the stress level. For an even easier route, light your favorite scented candles.

decorative candles

4. Play Some Dancing Music

Having grown up in a family that was very musically-inclined, music was a large part of most of our activities and gatherings. Even if that is not a familiar custom for you, enjoying some of your favorite music (whether it’s upbeat dancing music or your favorite soothing instrumental music) will always make the task you’re doing be a little less tedious and a lot more enjoyable. If other family members are in the kitchen with you, let them help pick out something to listen to together while everyone pitches in on the prep tasks.

Dancing in the Kitchen; stress-free kitchen living tips

5. Remember to Be Kind (to Yourself)

Okay, this isn’t really so much of an action step as a frame of mind. In the end, remember if the meal doesn’t come out looking like a Pinterest recipe (and how many of us actually end up with that kind of result?!?) or tasting like a million bucks, cut yourself some slack. Accept a pat on the back for taking steps in the right direction; and if the meal turns out to be a complete fail, don’t cry if you have to order a pizza as a last resort.

All of us learn by trying different things until we find what works best for ourselves and our particular situation. A friend of mine used to say she had decided to just smile and say “Ta-da” even when things weren’t going well since it reminded her to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective – it’s not usually as bad as it seems in the moment.

 

We look forward to hearing how these tips inspired and reduced stress for you; please leave us a comment below with other ideas and suggestions you would like to share, too! We love hearing your stories and feedback.

Remember to reduce the clutter in your kitchen by digitizing your paper recipe collection with our Digital Recipe Album (just stuff them all in the envelope we send you, and we’ll digitally organize them for you online in no time)!

 

 

April 6th, 2018

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