How Baking Can Help with Depression and Improve Mental Health
Many people don’t know that baking can help with depression.
Teh Healinghart Centre Clinical Psychologist, Ms. Doreen Teh shares a story of how baking helped a girl to say no to depression.
Here is the insightful story: of how this young lady discovered that she could bake her blues away.
We all feel down sometimes.
However, sometimes, it just does not seem to go away. This is when we lose our loved ones.
We know death is inevitable. Yet, death often scares people.
There are many taboos associated with death. Hence, it is a hush-hush topic.
Often, when we lose our loved ones especially unexpectedly, we feel ‘lost’.
In fact, there are many other associated feelings – anger, shock, disbelief, bitterness, sadness, etc.
We all have heard of the saying, ‘Time heals all wounds’. It’s easier said than done.
Dealing with Death and Letting Go of Pain
Several years ago, I saw a young woman, M, who was very close to her grandmother. Grandma was more of a mother figure to her as her mom had died young, and Grandma raised her. When Grandma suddenly died after complaining of not feeling well, M felt guilty and sad.
She blamed herself for not responding fast enough to get Grandma the help she needed. She regretted not keeping awake to check on Grandma’s status.
It plagued M with the vision of seeing Grandma’s dead body the next morning. It haunted and paralyzed her for months.
She stopped ‘living’ and lost interest in everything from taking care of her appearances to going out with friends. Later, she withdrew from everyone and the world.
She became so scared of doing anything and everything.
Good Friends Help Encourage
Fortunately, she had a very good friend was like a sister to her. She took her under her wings and really kept close observations of M.
Ms. Doreen planned to bring M to work with her;She brought M for treatments, and she encouraged and supported M.
In therapy, M learned the importance of acceptance and forgiveness, the process of grieving, and rediscovering herself.
Slowly, she started to reconnect with her friends and tried to go out for short periods.
Can Baking Improve Mental Health?
One day, she tried baking as a new hobby. I was pleasantly surprised that M received rave reviews from her friends. It motivated her to try new recipes.
As her confidence and passion grew, she decided to re-enter the working world. Despite some setbacks, she continues to maintain a positive attitude in life and learn to practice a healthy mindful living.
I hope M continues to bake away as we never know the next winning recipe is around the corner!!