I get stressed. I’m sure you do too. My stress usually involves me beating myself up about whatever it is I’m doing at the moment. Because usually that means I’m suffering from a case of the shoulds. I should be writing. I should be reading. I should be working. I should be cleaning etc etc etc. It’s exhausting to hold that much should. It’s all guilt, all the time with me some days. It’s my Inner Critic being a big Jerk Wad.
So after a particularly stressful day, I decided that on my next day off I would COOK ALL THE FOOD. Cooking is a way for me to relax and unwind. I don’t me the kind of cooking where it’s 6:00pm and you’re STARVING. I’m talking about the cooking where you have all day to make meals that will eventually be eaten throughout the week. There’s something about chopping vegetables or kneading dough that allows my mind to wander away. I like this.
If you don’t have a Pinterest account, go get one because all the best recipes are here. I found recipes for Mushroom & Barley Soup, Pita Bread, Snickerdoodles and Cuban Beans. I love making soup, so for this I used three different recipes to create my own.
There’s a lot of creativity in cooking. You can mix seemingly random items together to create something delicious. But how does this chase away my inner critic? Well, it allows my mind to focus on the task at hand whilst new and creative ideas form in the background! Ideas that my inner critic can’t touch because it’s too busy focusing on cooking.
It’s making sure I measure out items correctly (this is especially important when baking because there’s less room for error), set timers correctly and watch the food so it doesn’t burn. And I’m okay with that. Better that then telling me I should be doing better with my writing, querying agents, reading goals and scolding me for my lack of new creative ideas. You know, normal jerk wad, inner critic bullshit.
So I cook to chase away my critic and it works for me. I get peace and quiet from the constant nattering in my mind, even if it’s only for a little while. New creative ideas percolate and BONUS I get a ton of healthy (well mostly healthy) food out of the deal. WIN WIN!
How do you tackle your Inner Critic? Leave your tips and tricks in the comments below. You might just save another creative person’s sanity. 😉