I gotta say, cookies make me happy!
A few weeks back, I started to lose track of ‘Lockdown Groundhog Days’ because all days seem to blur into one. I began to feel unmotivated. I didn’t want to go for another run or do another yoga class. I was also bored, irritable, and agitated. While I’m all for acknowledging my unwelcome feelings and letting people know about them, after a few days, I wanted those feelings to stop. I knew from my past experience of ‘behavioural change’ and becoming a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, I had to find something different to do, something that brought me a ‘reward’.
I searched my memory for these ‘things’ that might bring a sense of reward, and it didn’t take long for my grandmother and cookies to pop up. My grandmother was a star. She would let me help her make the family favourite Chocolate Chip cookies and her own recipe Lemon Snowflake cookies.
I’d stand next to her on a step stool, and she would let me beat the eggs with a hand-powered beater, and taught me how to measure flour and other dry ingredients by levelling off the filled measuring cups with the back of a knife. She taught me to ‘pack sugar’ and whip butter until light and fluffy. When it was time to clean up, my grandmother would leave a little more batter in the bowl than was necessary so I could lick the bowl clean before it went into the sink.
When the cookies finished baking, I helped her put them in the huge airtight container ready for the family’s ‘cookie attack’. The cookies never lasted long. This made me and my grandmother very pleased. A job well done!
This makes me reminisce about simple family time with my grandmother, learning and practising a ‘craft’, knowing my family loved the results. All these memories made me dig out my beloved Kitchen Aid mixer, search out recipes, start baking, and even sparked a quest to develop my own cookie. This holds value to me. I felt my motivation returning.
Now, I schedule cookie making on a Sunday mid-morning. It leaves me with a cheery smile and continuously talking about food science for the rest of the day. Two kitchen shelves have become home for every type of flour imaginable, different % dark chocolates, all types of sugar, and oils whilst the fridge is stocked with unsalted butter. I know a cookie passes the taste test if my son asks could I make it again.
Now, just so you know, I do watch what I eat. Basically, I watch what I eat, so I DON’T HAVE to watch what I eat. I don’t eat all the cookies in the cookie jar,(I honestly probably eat more of the dough than the finished product!). I play around with ingredients, and I enjoy eating nutritionally. I like to provide my body with what it needs to function and function well, hence cookie recipe development to satisfy all my needs.
That’s just me.
I’m not suggesting you bake cookies all day long; what I am suggesting is that if you happen to feel unmotivated, irritable, agitated, or just bored, think about what you used to enjoy, what used to make you smile, what brings value to your life, then go do it, or adapt it during lockdown, noting how you feel after. Do you walk around with a cheery smile? Is your mood that bit brighter? You never know, you may just find your sense of motivation returning.
If you would like to know more regarding Behavioural Change and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, please get in touch via the form here – I’ll be happy to chat.
PS. My son’s favourite home-baked delight: Paleo Coconut Flour Banana Bread!
Oncology Massage and Mindfulness Meditation References
Lopez, G., Eng, C., Overman, M. et al. A randomized pilot study of oncology massage to treat chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy., Sci Rep 12, 19023 (2022)|https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-23372-w Massage and cancer. Massage therapy, Complementary and Alternative Therapies, Cancer Research UK. (2022, September 6). Retrieved December 18, 2022, from https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatme nt/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/massage
Weinberg R, et al. The Relationship of Massage and Exercise to Mood Enhancement, Sports Psychologist, Volume 2 Issue 3, pg202-211, doi: https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/tsp/2/3/article-p202.xml Mao J.J., Et al., Integrating Oncology Massage IntoChemoinfusion Suites: A Program Evaluation, Journal of Oncology Practice 13, no. 3 (March 01, 2017) e207-e216. Published online January 03, 2017.DOI: 10.1200/JOP.2016.015081
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