For almost two years, we’ve experienced the serious challenges brought on by COVID-19 and as a result, more of us than ever have struggled with our mental health. The festive period is usually associated with celebration and cheer, yet for many of us it can also be a difficult time. So, as the days get shorter and chillier, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself, your mental wellbeing and to look out for those around you.
At Pasta Evangelists, pasta making is our mindful activity of choice. That’s why we’re continuing to support Mind this festive season by donating £3 from the sale of our signature Christmas gift, our pasta making kits, to aid the fight for better mental health - for fairness, for respect and for life-changing support for all.
Mind is an inspiring charity providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Continuously campaigning to improve mental health services, raise awareness and promote understanding, Mind won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets the support and respect they deserve.
The De-stressing Benefits of Pasta Making
Much like painting or writing, cooking encourages focus and can provide a feeling of achievement, as well as allowing you to develop a sense of curiosity and adventure. Here are five ways pasta making can be a gateway to the magic of mindfulness:
The Rewards of Routine
Following a recipe is like any kind of routine: it creates structure with a beginning and end, the steps in between are easy to follow and the outcome is predetermined. Humans are creatures of habit, so particularly during times of uncertainty, it’s important to have an outlet to decompress. Cooking provides a designated period of time where your only focus is the fun and rewarding task in front of you.
We know that repetitive actions can have a soothing effect on the brain. The repetitive movements involved in the art of pasta making, be it measuring ingredients, or kneading, rolling and crafting individual pasta shapes, can all contribute to feeling relaxed, as well as productive.
A Shared Moment
If you ask someone in Italy where they learnt to make pasta, they will likely recount stories of hours spent in the kitchen with their nonna (meaning grandmother). Even the anecdotes of strict grandmothers insisting on specific techniques are remembered with fondness and appreciation. Pasta making is a social activity serving as a wonderful excuse to simply spend time with family and friends, whilst learning and creating together.
‘Knead’ a workout? No problem!
It is well known that exercise or activity can be positive for our mental wellbeing. Our pasta making kits come with everything except a pasta machine so you can expect an ‘Italian style’ workout..
A Sense of Accomplishment
The process of watching your ingredients turn into a finished dish, which you can then sit and enjoy, can feel extremely rewarding. The pride that comes with creativity can have an unbelievable effect on mindset and confidence, which can then translate into positivity and productivity in other areas of your life.
Mental and physical wellbeing are intrinsically linked. In Italy, pasta is usually paired with a host of fresh, seasonal ingredients to achieve nutritional balance. It is traditional for pasta to be cooked ‘al dente’, which not only gives a delicious ‘bite’ to the texture of the dish, but also contains a lower glycemic index, meaning that the pasta will keep you fuller for longer, releasing energy at a more gradual rate.
Click here to find more about Mind and the impactful work that they do.
At Pasta Evangelists, we bring a taste of Italy to your kitchen. Prepared using the freshest ingredients, our gourmet pasta dishes are perfect for those looking to enjoy restaurant-quality meals, delivered to your door, and ready in under five minutes. Order from our weekly menu today, and we’ll offer you 25% off your first delivery - simply enter the code BLOG25 at checkout.