Quarantine Coping Mechanisms: Cooking & Baking

FINAL Quarantine coping mechanisms_ cooking and baking - Somya Duggal and Caleb LimWriter: Lila W.

Visual: Somya D.

Editor: Amelie L.

Time: Something many students don’t have with their extracurricular activities, tutoring sessions, and the demanding expectations to succeed in school. With packed schedules, students typically spend the little time they have left socializing with friends as a relief from the strenuous pressure. Although many agree that such pressure has become relieved with the Coronavirus lockdown, numerous individuals also acknowledge that their social lives have been pushed into a corner with people choosing Netflix binges and Animal Crossing over video calls. 

While some may not mind the solitary time the quarantine presents, a number of students can agree that [with less school work and effectively no social lives] they have been undoubtedly bored. That’s when cooking and baking comes in. Snap stories have been filled by countless photos highlighting the intricate cooking processes of a dish and the final, aesthetically-pleasing product. From chocolate chip cookies to oven-baked pizzas, students have been baking & cooking surprises in their kitchen as a way to provide entertainment in a more practical way. Good food not only provides sustenance to the family, but it can light up their hearts too, especially with their beloved fast-food spots, cafes, and restaurants closed.  It provides a feeling of fulfillment to the chef as they provide their loved ones with meals and baked goods to enjoy. Meanwhile, it has also been scientifically proven that cooking and baking helps with depression and anxiety, relieving stress, improving focus, and aiding sensory awareness. The repetitiveness of cooking, from chopping vegetables to rolling out the dough, makes it a mindful activity.

That being said, I think it’s time to move on to our fellow Bearcats and see what’s been cooking or baking in their kitchen. Sophomore Caleb L. has cooked numerous dishes from traditional meals like nasi lemak and curry laksa to desserts like cheesecakes and chiffon cakes. He explains that he “cook[s] during quarantine to not only pass time with my parents but also to learn an essential life skill for when I go to university. It’s also great to make food to your own exact taste and really shows how difficult (or sometimes easy) it is to prepare food.” Meanwhile, junior Christian L. who has spent his fair share in the kitchen cooking pizza and irresistible eggs states, “I cook during quarantine because its fun to learn new things and keep your mind active, especially in these times.” Last but not least, one anonymous junior comments that “I cook during quarantine cause it’s really therapeutic, I get to try new dishes and develop my skills. It also provides a sense of enjoyment and bonding, since food brings everyone in the family together.” With that being said, cooking is truly a great way to spend time during this quarantine. It’s definitely a useful skill that would be helpful in the long term, so why not start now? Cooking brings joy to the chefs and the people around them, relieving them of stress from such an uncertain time.