Sometimes when you work all day, interacting with your boss and coworkers non-stop from 9 to 5, you can feel overwhelmed. In addition, when you get home, you often have to take care of your kids and tend to their needs, meaning more time spent interacting with people. And at night, you are also spending some (admittedly) quality intimate time with your husband.

Despite how amazing these social interactions are for your overall well-being, sometimes it feels good to have some time alone where you can unwind and explore yourself from a creative standpoint. For me personally, I can find that sort of creative outlet in the kitchen, and in my experience, that is the case for many women.

First of all, for whatever reason, I find that when I am “working” in the kitchen, my kids and my husband don’t bother me as much. Maybe that is because they know how therapeutic being in the kitchen is to me, but whatever the case, when I am in the kitchen, I typically am able to relax and enjoy myself while cooking.

Admittedly, a lot of times I am just cooking meals for my family, which may not sound very fun to most people, but when you are simply focused on cooking food, without distractions, the exercise itself becomes less about the end goal (i.e. a great homecooked meal) and more about improving your cooking skills overall. Through this mindset, I unconsciously forget about the rest of my responsibilities in life (particularly work) and am able to focus on a fun form of self-improvement. In this way, I am taking a brief vacation from my daily life.

However, from time to time, I also try to cook new and exciting dishes – the kinds that I read on magazines or online. This is another way to get my creative juices flowing in ways that I haven’t done otherwise in years. When your day-to-day life is otherwise completely monotonous, having a chance to try new things is an invaluable experience that I absolutely cherish whenever I get the chance.

Now, keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to be an amazing cook to find solace in the kitchen. As long as you are enjoying what you are doing and ultimately can get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, you will find value in the time spent in the kitchen. Now would it help if your cooking actually tasted good? Of course it would, since you would feel more accomplished overall and would be more eager to return to the kitchen to top your last dish. But on the same token, you should hopefully be improving in the kitchen gradually over time regardless, so in that sense, the feeling of self-improvement should also make you value your time in the kitchen.

Although some might scoff at spending time in the kitchen as a form of “vacation”, I beg to differ. I strongly believe that finding a quiet place free from distraction, where you can focus on yourself and therefore forget about your troubles in the “real world” is a genuine vacation that has a lot of value. And for me, that place is the kitchen. And it very well may be for you too. So the next time you are cooking (for whatever reason), think about how you are feeling in that moment to see if the kitchen is your unsung vacation spot as well.