Anxious Black Woman: Cooking As A Form Of Healing

My sensation and joy after a long day is smooth soulful jazz and r&b, a glass (or two) of Pinot Noir, and something well-seasoned in my oven. Monday and Thursday evenings are usually reserved for MY self-date and solo-celebration evenings where I spend intentional and uninterrupted time with ME. This past Sunday afternoon, I had the sounds of Sade blaring through my speakers, a glass of Pinot Noir accompanying me in the kitchen, and Sunday dinner in preparation.

Cooking is a form of expressing creativity, experiencing peace, and overall spending time with myself. Over time, I’ve allowed cooking to be a place of serenity for me, a place of escape. When I feel myself becoming overwhelmed by any emotions from the day I’ve had, I cook.

In previous posts, I’ve shared that I struggle with sitting with “uncomfortable emotions” due to this constant need of being productive to mask my frustrations (although it helps, it isn’t healthy). I’m getting better day by day. Cooking helps me relieve any tension, anxiety, or worry that I may experience.

I’m consistently growing through my challenges while seeking and receiving the help & support needed to function on a daily basis. Cooking and expressing myself through writing, specifically poetry, helps calm my anxieties; but it doesn’t erase my anxiety or magically make my anxiety go away.

What it does do, is it allows me to be in a separate place for a while. It allows me to surpass suffocation from the exhaustion of perfection. Cooking and writing allow me to be free, innovative, and discover new pieces of myself I didn’t know existed because of … my anxiety.

As time has passed, I’ve worked through my ability to be authentic with myself and understand that vulnerability is a gift to myself as I work through my healing. I am grateful for my skill of cooking, I am beyond grateful for the beautiful souls within my life that allow me to be me, authentically me, and whole without an apology. My love for those transcends to a height unimaginable.

Music brings me joy in the kitchen.

A Seat At The Table TRULY got me through some of the most challenging moments during my twenties-chapter. I still reflect on what this album does for me.

Waiting to Exhale, This soundtrack, I listen to weekly and Babyface knew what he was doing with this writing and the collaborations; such powerful Black women on this project.

India Arie, Anything by this woman is absolutely phenomenal and life-changing. Specifically, Voyage to India and Songversation.

I’ve come to the realization that what I need most on days where I feel stagnant in my cooking & creativity. I need peace, patience, and the space to fail, pick myself up and try again. To recognize the light within me that ignites a passion that I’m able to fulfill. I need to stand firm in the reconstructed boundaries I set for myself and others.



Heather Macon is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Heather is a creative who enjoys art in all forms. You can follow her on Twitter @HJanaii.

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