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Absorbing Stress

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, this is something that I've been working on in the kitchen, but a few helpful pointers would be amazing...

The kitchen I work at is very stressful (aren't they all smile.gif), and sometimes it becomes so intense I find it hard to just suck it up. Me and the other staff are very close and I want to know how I can absorb stress without exploding and offending people, and/or let off steam in an appropriate manner (not Gordon Ramsay style lol)
I'm sure a few of you have been there,


post #2 of 9

Don't take anything personally. 

Remain emotionally detached. A kitchen is a practical place. When a problem arises, focus on fixing it, not getting upset about it. Getting upset wastes time and in the middle of service you need to use your time wisely. 

Avoid drugs and alcohol as a stress relief. Get proper nutrition and sleep so you are at your physical best. Find a good, healthy hobby for your off hours. 

Stay organized and on top of your mise-en-place. Plan your work.

Develop the ability to recognize and acknowledge your mistakes instantly, then work to correct them, instantly. 

Service hours are inherently stressful. The more you organize and plan, the more efficient you will become and the less the unexpected will throw you off. 

You can cry on the inside but remain calm on the outside. Act as if you are in control of yourself and others will feel less stressed which in turn provides you with less stress. 

At the end of the day, remember what you learned and forget the rest. Tomorrow is a new day. 

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for that, that really helps.
That's an interesting thought... Remain emotionally detached, it easy to get so caught up with your work your emotions get pulled along as well.

Lol does espresso count as a drug?? Haha

post #4 of 9

Well [chefwriter] I guess that let's out Valium, violence and blowing out all the pilots and standing at the kitchen

door with your thumb on the flint wheel of a Bic, huh? :o


Seriously commercial kitchen stress (or even "event" stress) is something you cannot explain to people

who have not experienced it personally. Its not life and death, but it sure as hell can feel like it.

And I don't have an easy answer either, I just know that when one person loses it and starts, say throwing

Saute pans around the room, it makes it FAR harder for everyone else to keep their cool.

Also, especially with a close knit group like you mentioned, detachment isnt a natural state of being, and it's

important to spend away-from-work time together and wind down, drinks, pizza and beer, whatever.

post #5 of 9
As you progress and have more experiences you'll find the calm will find its' way.

The stress is indeed hard and not everyone can handle it or deal with it on a nightly basis.
Advice is not going to help unless it's heeded.
Everything that chefwriter said was spot on.
Eating right, getting enough rest for the body and brain to repair itself. Getting off work at 2:00 am and hitting the bar might be one way of dealing with stress, but is it really the smartest? Just sayin.
post #6 of 9

Remember that this too (whatever it is) shall pass.


It is food, not life or death.


Time accelerates in your mind. Take deep breaths and return to center.


A good chef should be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but paddling like hell down below.



Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #7 of 9

Like Meez said it isnt life and death , and i usually remember service will always end....EVENTUALLY


The problem with my kitchen as that we are friends inside and outside of work , so we usually try to specify to never take what happens in the kitchen seriously ( since line cooks during a rush can act like a-holes).


Now the stress of doing in event is far worse , because something can and will always go wrong , either inside or outside of the kitchen , i usually try to remain calm all through out service , and stay focused. If we are in the sh** , then thats when i stop talking and start doing the harlem shuffle. 


Remember its just a kitchen , your dealing with flames , tools , equipment , eletricity , co-workers , food etc.... anything can happen , your job is to cook , produce , clean up and go home , the rocks in the middle of the road you either drive over or around them , they get in your way but dont stop you. 


Also a few good screams in the bathroom or the cooler usually help. Or even swearing out loud , as long as it isnt directed towards co-workers. 

This is why i find having a hobby or something to do outside of work a good way to destress. 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.



Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.


post #8 of 9

I'd say 9 of out 10 chefs vent their stresses externally (yelling at people, getting loud, slamming a pot or pan, walk-in meltdowns etc. etc.) but the minority like myself tend to internalize which is way worse for your health. All this leads to is anxiety, stress and worry outside of work about work, constant aggravation and never venting just builds up. Recipe for a heart attack or stroke. This depends on your personality type as much as anything, introverts vs. extroverts I'd suppose.


Either way you behave one method that works for me (relatively) is just thinking about the big picture when sh*t starts hitting the fan. Think about why you do this, where you want to be and how you're gonna get there. Think of the goal you want to reach and how this day is just another step to reaching that goal.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Great feedback guys, thanks. It's crazy how helpful it can be when you find out you're not alone. wink.gif

Yeah, I find the bathroom a good place to cool off. Needed to do that today haha

Thanks for the help guys,

Edited by Jaidyn - 11/11/13 at 1:39am
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