Have I got a suggestion for you!

Our world is getting more complex and stressful, to say the least.  And we all need to look for ways to relieve stress.

Some of us look to the gym for stress-relieve.  And I am a big believer in exercise as a way to reduce stress as well as shed some of those pounds. And, how about a great massage? Other terrific ways to relieve stress are yoga (hot or “cold”), meditation and walking the dog…right?

Suffice to say, where stress is concerned, the first place many of us look for relief is some kind of physical activity.

But, have you ever thought of the kitchen as a venue for stress relief? For me, it’s right up there with the gym, pool and yoga studio as a great place to unload the anxieties and cares that build up over the course of a day. 

Maybe I just naturally gravitate toward that very special room. I come from a background in the restaurant business.  My son is a Chef /owner of several restaurants.  And I am Italian!

But, however you find your way to the kitchen, you’ll find, as I do, it is a wonderful place to relieve stress.


Well, there is cutting, which for me is like slicing away the problems in your life…at least temporarily. There’s nothing so satisfying as the feel of a smooth cutting edge winning its battle with meats and veggies. And, the sound of the blade hitting the cutting board with the finality of a job finished is like the sound of a door slamming closed on your cares.

Kneading dough is my punching bag workout. Talk about taking out your aggressions! Whose face would the dough become for you…your boss, the client from hell, or someone a bit closer to home? No matter, you can eliminate him or her and the stresses they bring – for the moment, at least – in a safe and, can I say, extremely satisfying manner. 

The smells with which a kitchen in action engulfs one is better than any aroma therapy session I’ve ever attended. The best part is that they’re the smells of my creation. They are my passport; I can close my eyes and sail away on them to a stress-free place. 

A glass of wine, or an alternative libation of your choice, helps along that journey and adds even greater distance between me and my stress.

Then there is the satisfaction of creating a work of art (at least in my eyes).

And watching my family enjoy the meal…  While I may not be a celebrity chef, I am to them. That is great satisfaction!

Where did the stress go? I walk into the kitchen an uptight bundle of nerves…and walk out a different person. 

I’m not saying that cooking will relieve all your stress.  But for a brief period, you are in total control of your world.  And that is a peaceful, relaxed place to be.


  • Jan Molino

    President & CEO -

    Jan Molino is the President and CEO of the consulting firm, Aspire Ascend, LLC based in Washington, DC. Bringing her unique combination of corporate and non-profit management experience to the firm, she focuses on providing a comprehensive portfolio of career building, board development services and coaching programs to enhance the success of women in leadership positions and build power as a female executive. She works with executive women across the full spectrum of industries, businesses, organizations and the nonprofit arena who aim to build lasting legacies of outstanding boardroom and C-suite performance, delivering board development, leadership training, executive coaching, career management, Women’s Leadership Forums and public speaking on women in leadership.