Therapists list mental health reasons you need a cookout

At any holiday picnic, barbecued treats are a joy. 

Clinical doctors think barbecue advantages reach beyond the stomach. 

From Burnout to Balance author Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, thinks cookouts are helpful for mental health. 

Here are ways attending (or hosting) a barbecue might boost your health, according to Bannan & Lisa D. Ellis, MS, RDN, CDN, LCSW, CEDS-S. 

"Cookouts generate sense of community & connection," adds Ellis. 

Open fires bring people together. Cookouts redefine "sharing is caring."

Bannan believes potlucks allow people to contribute nostalgic or personal recipes & cuisines. 

She clarifies "Boosts purpose & bonding. " Some barbecues generate a scenario that's different from the norm. 

Ellis feels this could reconnect us with nature. "Connecting with nature helps relieve anxiety," she says. 

"The relaxed atmosphere of cookouts—one can eat on a hand-held bun & table manners are more flexible—provides a vacation from daily norms & expectations." 

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