How baking can improve your mental health

Baking is a great activity requiring no skill which anyone can take part in, it’s a great way to get creative and stop mindlessly scrolling on your phone. Moreover, baking unlocks all of the senses, releasing the feel-good endorphins, and is something you can do with minimal equipment and time. It allows you control in a time of stress, keeping you focused on something other than what is worrying you, making it a great escape with its repetitive motions. Other than being methodical, baking can also boost your confidence, since it’s an easy way to create without requiring lots of practice, taking pride in your baking boosts your confidence and self-esteem and once you’ve perfected one recipe, you can move on to another, salty or sweet.

Baking doesn’t have to be a solo activity either, it can be done with family or as an activity to better get to know your flatmates, or boost the morale of your coursemates by bringing in something tasty to your next study group. 

You can challenge yourself and go for something you’ve never done before, try a recipe from your favourite episode of Bake Off, or just use a packet mix from the supermarket. However you choose to bake, let it take you out of your current stresses and focus solely on what you’re doing, keeping you off your phone since it’s very hands-on and allowing you to make something you can be proud of. 

If you’re unsure of what to bake here is a cupcake recipe tried and tested by myself that I can definitely recommend!

  • Preheat your oven to 160*C 
  • Crème together 125g of caster sugar and 135 of unsalted soft butter in a bowl 
  • Whisk in two eggs
  • Sift in 85g self-rasing flour, 25g cocoa powder, ½  tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt 
  • After mixing add in 1.5 tbs milk (any type will be fine!) and ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Leave in the oven for 22 minutes, wait to cool and decorate with whatever you want!

A good icing recipe to try is…

  • 200g unsalted soft butter
  • 450g icing sugar
  • 3 tbs any type of milk
  • Mix of these in a bowl until stiff!

Whatever you make, even if it doesn’t turn out how you hoped, as long as you enjoy the activity of baking and it takes you away from any of your current worries then it was a success!

If you are finding your mental health to be declining and you are getting very stressed, don’t hesitate to get in contact with Student Wellbeing.

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