Are you experiencing burnout? When you’re experiencing burnout, sometimes the last thing you want to do is cook.

What should be an enjoyable task becomes laborious.

In those instances, turning on a burner can seem like too much. But you still have to eat.

Here are seven meal ideas for when you’re experiencing burnout.

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If cooking sounds exhausting and you’d rather eat takeout, read this

1. Snack plate

A snack plate is a great meal to make when you’re experiencing burnout. Gather your favorite snacks like cheese, leftover meat, fruit, something crunchy like crackers, something sweet like a couple squares of chocolate and any dips you want, and make a meal-sized portion of an eclectic plate. You don’t have to turn on an oven, and if you want Cheez-Its or pretzels for dinner, you can have them alongside something fresh like vegetables and fruit as well as a bit of protein (leftover chicken will do).

2. Cheese plate

After a particularly busy week, a cheese plate piled high with cheese, fruit, nuts, and baguette slices, crackers or pita bites can hit the spot. A combination like brie, gouda, grapes, crackers and walnuts can be fun, or apple, cheddar, goat cheese, baguette slices and some chocolate covered almonds can be tasty. Pair it with a fun drink like flavored seltzer or some juice for a relaxing dinner that you can eat while reading a book or listening to some soothing classical music.

3. Grilled cheese

A grilled cheese is a simple meal you can make in times of stress or burnout. And it doesn’t take much to take it to the next level. Add a vegetable like sliced tomato or spinach for some additional nutrients or if you want a satisfying crunch, include apple slices for a burst of freshness and crunch.

4. Baked potato

Baked potatoes taste great with crispy skin, but sometimes waiting for around an hour for a potato to cook is not ideal. Microwave a potato and add some toppings like green onions, sour cream, butter, cheese, bacon and broccoli. You could consider eating it alongside a side salad (for a quick side salad, take some leafy greens and add some shredded carrots, onions and cucumbers along with your favorite dressing).

5. Quesadilla

All you need for a quesadilla is a tortilla and some cheese. You can include some black beans or pinto beans inside the quesadilla for some additional protein and serve it alongside some salsa and sour cream. If you have any frozen peppers and onions, you can stir-fry those up and add them to the quesadilla if you would like to add a vegetable into the mix.

6a. Baked feta pasta

Baked feta pasta went viral on TikTok and for good reason — it’s creamy, full of tomatoes and is an easy meal. Cook some pasta like you normally would and strain it. While the pasta is cooking, take a block of feta, put it in a baking dish, add some grape tomatoes to the dish and drizzle it with olive oil. Bake the feta and tomatoes at 400 degrees for around 30 minutes. Then, crush the tomatoes and mix them into cheese. Add the pasta with a couple tablespoons of the starchy pasta water.

6b. Boursin tomato and broccoli pasta

It’s basically the same process as the baked feta pasta. Take boursin cheese and some broccoli and grape tomatoes, then put them in a baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for around 30 minutes. After the cheese, broccoli and grape tomatoes are baked, mix them together. Add the pasta to the mix along with a couple tablespoons of reserved pasta water.

7. Breakfast casserole

A breakfast casserole can be a delightful way to have a protein-filled dinner. Mix up some eggs, chopped potato, chopped ham, peppers and onions, and cheese — to make this easier, use frozen potatoes, frozen peppers and onions along with deli ham and shredded cheese. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for around 45 minutes.

Here are three tips to help you use cooking as a way to relax.

1. Listen to classical music

Listening to classical music can be a way to help you relax while you are cooking. Put on some relaxing classical music and use the time to really listen to the music and pay attention to your environment.

2. Dance around

Movement can be helpful for stress reduction. Put on some peppy music and dance around in your kitchen while cooking.

3. Make cooking a no-phone zone

We use our phones a lot these days. Stashing your phone and making the kitchen a no-phone zone can help you focus on the task at hand and disconnect from the forces that might be contributing to your burnout.

What exactly is burnout?

The definition of burnout, per the APA Dictionary of Psychology, is “physical, emotional or mental exhaustion, accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance and negative attitudes towards oneself and others,” according to the Cleveland Clinic.