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The Kitchen Became My Zen

Posted by Dakota Stanley on

Anxiety and The Kitchen

This Spring I experienced a lost like I’ve never felt before. My grandmother who inspired me to be the absolute best version of myself trusted me to make a life altering decision for herself and me! I was beyond honored to oblige by her last wishes not truly understanding the effects it will have on my long term mental health.

Two weeks after her passing I was diagnosed with massive depression and anxiety. I didn’t want to do anything. I took a leave of absence from my full time job to do absolutely nothing. There were days I wouldn’t leave my bed, there were days where I felt like a complete failure and then there were days when I was overly excited. Anxiety and depression has a way of playing major tricks on your brain.

During my challenge with my mental health, I received an awesome email requesting catering for the Upward Bound Program at Temple University. I feel like that email saved my life. Being in the kitchen became my zen. Many of the meals I prepared for the students I prepared alone. I didn’t want anyone in my space, it was just me, food and Les Brown yelling motivational quotes into my ear.

I still struggle daily with my feelings, emotions and excessive over thinking and the Kitchen continues to be my relief. I don’t know if I’ll ever be one hundred percent better or if the mood swings will ever stop, but I do know that when I need a break or need to slow down my brain, the kitchen is where I’ll be!

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