Thursday, 8 September 2011

PIO 2: Mindfulness

Activity: Cooking
In PIO 2 the main occupational activity I will be focusing on is cooking dinner. The purpose of this post is to introduce and share my previous experiences of cooking, being mindful while cooking and how cooking relates to occupational therapy. I will touch on how cooking can be used in occupational therapy and examples of how cooking can be hindered for my own personal cooking experiences. According to Baer, (2006), "mindfulness enriches the experience of the moment and brings new, accurate information about yourself and the world to life"

Preparing and cooking dinner is something I have recently started having more input into. Previously I have prepared and cooked basic meals such as pasta, salads etc however I am now starting to experiment with more complex meals/dishes. Since coming back from Wellington for my course placement I have gained more independence in cooking as I was cooking most nights and having to think ahead for the day. I am interested in learning how to make more recipies and I have made a starting point by buying a recipie book and I am writing recipies I like and collecting cut outs and recipies from magazines and newspapers.

Cooking dinner can be enjoyable but can also sometimes feel like a chore. When I have succeeded in making a dinner meal I feel proud of my achievements and it is a nice way of helping out around the home. Cooking can also be relaxing especially when it is a nice evening and you are preparing a barbeque or outdoor meal.

How cooking can be used in occupational therapy
As preparing and cooking dinner for one or ones family is a huge part of daily occupation, to lose this ability can be a huge personal loss. Meaningful occupation is the main focus in occupational therapy, when a client needs to work on their motor and processing skills, cooking mindfully and focusing on making a meal can be a helpful and meaningful intervention technique for improving these skills. Cooking can also be a therapeutic intervention for clients and can work as a way of relaxing or improving confidence in getting back into their meaningful occupation.

Cooking mindfully (expanding your thoughts around a specific activity) could be hindered by time constraints, availability of food, distractions such as children, short attention span, visitors etc. If I have decided to make a meal with meat in it I will get it out of the freezer to let it thaw for the day however, I sometimes either do not have time or forget to do this so I will compensate and make a meal that doesn't require any preparation.


Baer, R. (Ed.). (2006). Mindfulness Based Treatment Approaches: Clinician's Guide to Evidence Base and Applications. United States of America: Elsevier Inc.

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