Making biscuits contributed to my wellbeing
Bake Off 2022 is on our screens and this week is the ever-popular Biscuit Week.
Our development officer, Andy Ryland, was inspired by his baking experiences to share how baking biscuits can generate feelings of positive wellbeing.
Here’s what he had to say:
“I am not sure what prompted me to consider making macaroon biscuits. It may have been fond memories of the ones my mum used to make for family teas. It might even be the taste of the small ones you are sometimes given with a coffee after a meal in a restaurant, or perhaps just the fact that they are a delicious biscuit I can enjoy.
Anyhow, a few weeks ago I looked up an online recipe and even for someone like me, who has never made biscuits before, the recipe looked surprisingly simple.
My first attempt was, surprisingly, quite a success and I have gone on to make more batches and even branch out to making variations to the recipe (all very adventurous!).
So how has the making of biscuits helped my wellbeing?
Through reflecting on this, I have realised that the process ticks many of the boxes of what is called the Five Ways to Wellbeing.
- Being in the Moment
- Learning something new
- Giving to others
- Social connection
- Physical exercise
Being in the moment is very much about concentrating on what one is doing. So worries or negative thoughts are replaced by thoughts relating to the activity in hand – such as following the recipe.
For me, making biscuits has been about acquiring a new skill and this has been immensely satisfying.
The creation of something attractive to give to friends or colleagues is also a very satisfying experience and gives pleasure to the soul. In turn, this creates the opportunity for social connection.
Regrettably, there is only a limited amount of physical exercise involved in the process of making the biscuit (although I could replace my electric whisk with a hand whisk). However, it has distracted me from watching the TV, which I think is a good thing.
If you are like me, you may not be an experienced cook, but if you want to experience the joy of a little creative baking, do have a go. Perhaps you could find something that trigger positives memories from your childhood or another memorable moment.”
By Andy Ryland
Please send us your stories and pictures of your bakes, and why the recipe evokes positive memories for you by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to share them on our social media channels.
We have a wide range of resources on our website to help your mental health and wellbeing on our VCSE Wellbeing Hub toolkit.