Cooking is Self-care

Cooking is Self-care

Publish Date September 14, 2022 6 Minute Read

Cooking is Self-care

Defined as the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health, self-care is an important habit that has recently become a hot topic of conversation. Many articles have been published about the importance of protecting one’s own well-being, and suggestions for practicing self-care include things like meditation, journaling, aromatherapy, spa days and walks in nature. However, cooking can also play a very important role in self-care.

Why Cooking is Self-care

Cooking has gotten a bad rap over the years, and many regard it as a chore or something done out of necessity rather than enjoyment. When you think of cooking dinner, you might think of it as a stressful, time-consuming experience. However, it is possible to change your frame of mind and view cooking as one of the best ways to take care of your body, mind, and soul. With this approach, you may find cooking quite enjoyable and make it a part of your self-care ritual.

When you cook for yourself and your family, you’re giving yourself the gift of nourishment and pleasure. And often, nothing feels or tastes better than eating a delicious meal after a long day. So how do you transition from viewing cooking as a form of stress to a soothing, joyful experience? Start with just one meal per week. Cook the things you like to eat, not necessarily what you believe you should eat. Pick a tried-and-true recipe you love. Listen to music while you’re prepping. Plan ahead so your cooking experience is organized and less time-consuming. Explore different ethnic and cultural foods or play with family recipes.

Cooking is a skill that improves over time, so the more you do it, the better you’ll become. If you don’t feel like an experienced chef, start small with simple recipes. Check out recipes or videos online or find a basic cookbook. Soon you’ll be on your way to becoming an accomplished cook.

Is Baking Self-care?

Like cooking, baking can support your mental health and be an act of self-love. And baking doesn’t have to be about sugary treats alone; baking can include whole grain breads and fiber-filled quick breads, too.

Most importantly, making time for an activity that recharges you is the ultimate form of self-care. Baking can bring feelings of relaxation and creativity and can help manage your stress. It may also remind you of times in your childhood when a parent, grandparent or relative baked and filled the house with inviting aromas, which can bring a sense of comfort and remind you of happy memories. Plus, sharing your baked goods with family and friends can bring you the joy of giving.

Eating is Nourishment for the Body and Mind

Self-care includes stress management, quality sleep, regular activity, social interactions and mindfulness. A balanced, varied diet directly impacts your overall health and well-being. When you consume fresh, nutritious meals, you’re giving yourself a foundation of good health and loving yourself enough to take care of your body and mind with foods that fuel them. One study found that eating fruits and vegetables may promote emotional well-being.

Dieting is restrictive and isn’t a form a self-care, but gentle nutrition can be an important part of taking care of yourself. The foods you eat can affect your energy levels and your ability to fight off disease. Fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, protein and healthy fats give your body all it needs to function properly, and it’s important to include foods from these categories in your diet.

Eating mindfully lets you enjoy the taste, textures and pleasures of food, which are just as important as nutrition. Make your meals special by lighting a candle or listening to soft music. Unplug from the day and fully enjoy a good meal, making sure to pay attention to your hunger and satiety cues. Eating together with someone facilitates bonding and brings people closer.

Whether you’re cooking, baking or just enjoying a nutritious, delicious meal, you’re making yourself a priority. And isn’t that what self-care is all about?

Ready to get cooking? Explore our collection of easy meal ideas and simple recipes to get started.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing health care recommendations. Please see a health care provider.