Be Happy: Bake

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This isn’t a long-term answer to finding happiness. However, it is a simple solution to fixing feelings of frustration, sadness, inadequacy and boredom with a great end product. This week I was feeling a few of those emotions and I was trying to think of a way of making myself feel better that wasn’t going to cost too much money. I remembered a time before I went travelling when I would bake all the time. It was something I did religiously and it made me feel like I had a purpose, even if only for an hour of the day. I made goodies for friends birthdays or just for the neighbour because I felt like it. It made them beam with delight and we all know there’s no better cure for sadness then being the reason for somebody else’s happiness.

So, the reason for this blog post is to prove that baking is a small way to make yourself feel better. Making colourful, delicious cookies like the ones above will keep your hands and your mind busy and will take your mind off of whatever is troubling you. You don’t need to be the next Delia Smith – baking is simple and as long as you follow a recipe carefully you shouldn’t go wrong. It’s an easy way for near-instant gratification and the textures, smell and taste (you’ve gotta sample as you go) are a feast for your senses.

If you are watching your weight and can handle the temptation, make something delicious and surprise a friend. Or be really ambitious and research lots of different recipes and try to make something you would normally avoid. Challenge yourself – don’t be afraid of making a big juicy cake a la Matilda. Even if it doesn’t turn out quite like the photos in the cook book, don’t beat yourself up. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve screwed baking up – I just put it down to practise and devour the gooey mess anyway. If you have a free day, your errands are done and your friends are all busy and there is nothing to do, then this is the perfect time to give baking a go. It’s true, there’s no simpler or more rewarding route to happiness then through some flour, eggs, sugar and a little bit of enthusiasm. Rewarding in the sense that you can give your home-baked goodies as a gift to others – or in the sense that you can treat yourself, Nigella, and eat the results of your own hard work with a nice cuppa.