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Baking for Therapy!

Last year, I submitted a story to a cake magazine about "Baking for Therapy".  It never made it into the magazine and I kept this story saved to my computer.  But instead of it remaining buried on my hard drive, I thought I would share it here.  To give you a better understanding of who I am.  So here it goes....

 

I get tonnes of messages daily through social media.. some people just want to say hello!  Others want to know about consistencies and recipes. Others, well, they just get deleted!  But most of the time, people want to know how I do it all. 

"Mary, how do you manage everything?"... "How do you run a business and take care of your family?"  They want to hear my story about how Emma's Sweets got started......

Let me tell you first hand -- it's been really hard- and is still hard!

I have two small children who constantly demand my attention (9 year old twins). A pile of laundry that never goes away! Housework that is neglected for weeks on end!! And the list goes on... (I am sure most can relate!).  

What started off as a hobby turned into something larger than I could have ever dreamed off.  I am grateful for everything that I have accomplished, but will not disregard that it has taken a lot of hard work, commitment and determination. There were times when I wanted to pack it all in because of the pressure I put on myself to be perfect, and the pressure others put on me with their nonsense.

With all of that being said, everything that I now have has come at a hefty cost. My physical and mental health has deteriorated, and that is a heavy price to pay.

I have suffered from debilitating anxiety all of my life.  It only got worse as I got older. Nobody warned me that being in my mid 40's would be so challenging. Some days I struggle to take a deep breath.  Catastrophic thoughts ruminate in my head on the best of days.  It is a vicious cycle - and just when I think I have overcome it -- the little voice of anxiety taps on my shoulder and says "Uh no - I am not going anywhere!"

I worked in the financial industry for 15 years and that just added to my stress. That's when I began to bake on a more regular basis. 

Eventually I discovered the world of "cookie decorating".  And this is where my life began to change.  Did it cure my anxiety disorder? Of course not.  But did it provide me with relief? ABSOLUTELY!!

After leaving my banking job in 2017, I began to pursue baking and decorating on a full time basis.  Decorating cookies has become highly therapeutic as I can channel all of my energy into creating edible works of art! It truly is a win win for everyone involved.  For me, a tonne of stress and emotion is released and for those receiving them - well they get to eat a cookie that not only looks pretty, but tastes delicious!

It is so important to take time for yourself on a daily basis, as in not doing so can prove to be damaging to your overall health. I am the worst at this and need to remind myself of how important this is. I encourage everyone to find a passion and pursue it!  For me, baking and decorating cookies has proven to be an effective activity in a meditative sense.  And if I can make others happy in the process, it makes it all more worthwhile! 

 

I want to create a community, both here and on my social media.. a community that uplifts and supports one another.  A place where you can just be you and not be worried about what others are saying or thinking of you.  There is enough stress and hardships in our day to day lives, and we simply do not need the added drama that comes with social media..

Leave your comments below if you can relate.. I am going to send a small gift to 1 random individual who comments - giveaway will close on August 9th :)  thanks for reading!

 Mary xo

68 comments

  • Hi Mary,
    Thanks so much for sharing your story. You a true inspiration to the cookie community. I discovered you a few years who when I was looking on YouTube for Shopkins tutorials and found your cupcake tutorial.💜
    I myself know how difficult it is to juggle a full time job, a family, cook, clean and decorate at night. Some nights can be long and exhausting. It can be very stressful and relate to your experiences. I am learning to say No ,and taking more time for my self and my family and not worry about how many likes you get on a post. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter it’s just a number. 😊 take care.

    Clara
  • i can remember anxiety as early as 7 years old and only being able to describe it as a “stomach ache” to my mom. I’m 46 now and still get that “stomach ache” over the most basic things. I’ve learned how to cope more than hide but it’s a journey….a long windy road sometimes it’s straight and flat and sometimes it’s curvy and steep. We keep walking. Thank you for sharing. Baking and Creating has been a therapeutic outlet for me for as long as i can remember. Your post resonated with me, thank you.

    betty
  • Hi Mary! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I’ve always loved baking and found it a really therapeutic, creative outlet and reading your blog was so relatable for me! I’ve been a Registered Nurse for 2 years in London, Ontario where I have a high stress job for a new nurse 2 years in; I float to 16 units and my assignment changes every shift. I love my job but I have a lot of work & performance anxiety. Being 25 and developing this new anxiety is something I never expected. Recently my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and has gone through a lot of treatment, so I temporarily moved home to support her. Since being home I’ve started taking my baking more seriously (but still for fun!). I bought my first scribe & some other supplies from you – I love it all! I was a vendor in our local market and have taken my first cake orders! It’s pretty neat to have a hobby that is so therapeutic and also something I can share with people. It’s an absolute dream that people are willing to pay me for my creations, and show so much love and support! My 6 year old niece is so intrigued by baking, especially watching your videos! And the 3 year old niece wants me to hire her in my future bakery haha!

    Shelbey Bernard
  • Mary – thank you for sharing your story! You’re such an inspiration to those looking for alternative modes of dealing with anxiety ❤️ Your work is phenomenal!!

    Georgina
  • Thank you for sharing! It’s very important to me to read it. I also have anxiety disorder, is hard to me to fight every day with this disorder. I discovered a few months ago this amazing cookie world and I love it! And I discovered you few days ago. You have became an inspiration for me! Thank you and keep going!!! God bless you

    Pd: I ordered my Christmas Cookie Cutter Gift 🤗 I can’t wait to decorate!!!

    Maria Serrano

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