Restoring joy in the home kitchen is one of my greatest passions and driving reasons for WHY I started “Savoring Joy”. Though I’ll be the first to admit that being in the kitchen isn’t always a joyful experience. And there are definitely times when I just don’t feel like cooking. Like at all.
But I’ve learned some ways to help combat those feelings, get my booty back in the kitchen & in the mood to cook even when I feel like it the least.
So how do you get in the mood to cook when you don’t feel like it?
17 little known ways to get in the mood to cook when you just don’t feel like it.
1.) Flip on some tunes.
- Listening to music is a powerful way to lift your mood and increase energy.
- This is one of my favorite playlists to turn on when I step in the kitchen and don’t feel like cooking (minute 14 is when one of my favorite songs begin). It instantly ignites a desire to create something wonderful!
- (Proof- I was listening to it when I made this delicious butternut squash mac and cheese!) YUM!
2.) Disconnect from Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
- Gasp! Yes, I mean it. Sure they all have their purpose and place, and yes I use all three of those sites like you might, BUT haven’t you ever hopped on just to check ONE thing and then realized 30 minutes had gone by? Whoops…
- Social media can be wonderful, but it can also be a black hole that zaps all of your time & energy. So if you’re hoping to light a spark and get moving, shutting those off is key.
- Besides, do you really want to keep looking at pictures of everyone else’s food or do you want to make and eat something delicious for yourself?
3.) Dress for the occasion.
- Sometimes just changing clothes can make a huge impact on your mood.
- If you’re lounging & feeling low in energy, change into something that makes you feel motivated to get something done or even just throw on a pair of shoes.
- Caution: If you change into something fancy, throw on an apron just in case something splatters out of a pan.
4.) Depend on a plan.
- Sometimes not knowing what to make can keep us unproductive and hungry. Develop a meal plan or go for totally simple and use this ready-made meal plan. (I created it with YOU in mind). 🙂
5.) Clear the house.
Cooking is an artful and whimsical experience for me and I sincerely enjoy it. But continual interruptions and distractions can make cooking a bit of a challenge.
- Every now and then, my husband will take our son outside to play so I can have a little space to create and cook.
- If you’re struggling and notice interruptions are part of the difficulty, see if someone can take the kids on a walk or outside to play, or simply set them up with an activity that they enjoy so your kitchen is ready for you and you alone.
6. ) Enlist some help.
- This is the opposite of the previous tip. Maybe you need some extra hands in the kitchen to help get motivation going.
- I love when my hubby and I spend time cooking together. Isaac is just reaching the age where he can handle some tasks (with our help of course).
- I really believe anyone can cook so make it a family affair and refer to this list for jobs your kids can do in the kitchen.
7.) Start a kitchen cooking club or (or join this facebook group I’m in where everyone shares pics and recipes of what they’re making) to help inspire and motivate one another.
- Cooking with friends, sharing food and recipes together is a great way to bring accountability and joy back in the kitchen.
- Starting or joining a community like that will not only give you some ideas of what to cook but also provide you with encouragement and inspiration to cook when you need it the most.
8.) Keep your kitchen clean.
Keeping your counters and sink clean is especially crucial.
- Walking into a messy kitchen is a great way to sap all your energy and desire to cook. But walking into a clean kitchen is an invitation for creativity to flow freely.
- You need a clean space to work in, so if your house is a disaster, just get your energy up using some of these tips. But instead of getting energy and motivation to cook, get in your kitchen and clean.
- Order take out for the night & start fresh with a clean kitchen to cook in tomorrow if you have to. You do what you gotta do. 😉
9.) Invite someone over for dinner.
- Seriously! Knowing you have company coming over to eat is a sure fire way to get your booty in the kitchen. Or you could volunteer to bring someone a meal! That’ll do it, too!
10.) Shop locally (@ farmers markets).
- I’ve mentioned this before– but shopping locally in your community helps you appreciate and value where your food is coming from.
- Having that connection will increase your passion for making great use of your purchased resources as well.
- Plus the food will be fresh, in season, healthy, and taste amazing!!
11.) Taste your food as you cook.
- Tasting as you cook is a great way to prepare your body for eating & digestion, improve your palate, and restore joy in the whole experience of cooking, which in turn will be a motivational boost to get you in the mood to cook in the first place.
- I know a lot of people feel like there’s no reason to taste their food till it’s on their plate. …Or they feel like it’s taboo or unsanitary to taste their food while its cooking? …Grab a new tasting spoon each time and you’re totally fine 🙂
- Regardless of the reasons why you may not currently taste your food, I say start tasting it!
- You have full permission to taste your food each step of the way. 🙂
- Add one ingredient at a time and taste and see how it affects the flavor, how is the texture and consistency as its been cooking for a bit, what happens if you add this or that, etc.
12.) Turn to recipes.
- I used to be very unmotivated to cook because I just wasn’t very good at it. I’d have more fails in one week than successes and was tired of eating food that just did not taste good. So I decided to become disciplined at following recipes. I stuck to recipes until I felt like I had a grasp on some basics and was ready to branch out and experiment.
- Nowadays I just throw things together and it’s actually hard for me to measure! But cooking wasn’t natural for me in the beginning. I had to practice and learn a bit before I ventured off into the freedom of not using recipes.
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed or like an unsuccessful cook, grab some tried-and-true recipes and start there.
13.) Ditch the recipes.
- Unlike what I just mentioned, if you always follow recipes and are bored with that routine, then put the recipes away for a change.
- Try to dream up something of your own. Get in your kitchen and let your intuitions and tastes lead you. And have fun with it!
14.) Decorate your space.
You probably eat at least 3xs a day so you have the potential to spend a lot of time in your kitchen. Make it a place you enjoy being in.
- Take time to dream up how you want it to feel.
- Open your kitchen window and blinds to let some fresh air and sunshine in.
- Decorate your kitchen to create an atmosphere of peace. Make it a place that is inviting and inspiring and watch it become a room you want to dwell and cook in.
15.) Invest in some good tools.
- Having a kitchen stocked with all the right tools will make a HUGE difference.
- Imagine having dull knives and dingy pans to do all your cooking? No wonder you’d lack motivation to cook!
- There are lots of great resources these days for budget-friendly or even free items that are new or gently used, so check around (thrift stores, buy nothing groups online, craigslist, etc) for upgrades you might need.
- My friend Mary created this excellent post on her blog all about the top kitchen essentials you didn’t know you need.
- It’s a great list! …And reminds me- I still need to get an immersion blender! One day… 😉
- In addition to those on her list, I’d also recommend a garlic press and a Veggeti (veggie noodle/spiralizer) to have on hand.
- I also think your dishes can make a difference, too.
- Having great dishes to serve your food in will encourage you to create something delicious to fill them with.
- These from Mary & Martha are my top favorite dishes right now.
- This tip may seem silly and materialistic, but if it helps inspire you to cook something wonderful to nourish your family, then it’s totally worth it.
16.) Awaken your sense of smell.
We’ve covered a few of the senses already, but let’s not overlook our sense of smell.
- An invigorating scent can be powerful at boosting your mood & productivity.
- Light a candle, peel some citrus or get these going over the stove or in a crockpot for a major shot of energy!
17.) Eat something.
Does this seem backwards? You’re looking for a mood booster to get into the kitchen to cook and I’m telling you to eat something first?
- What I mean is grab a snack– an orange, banana, handful of nuts or seeds, bowl of yogurt… something quick and easy to combat low energy from hunger or a blood sugar crash.
Putting these action steps into practice has always worked to get me in the mood to cook when I haven’t felt like it.
Ironically, such times have resulted in some of the most enjoyable cooking experiences as well as my family’s top favorite meals! I can’t wait to hear how it works for you!
Any of these tips surprise you? Share in the comments. 🙂