Why Cooking Can be the Ultimate Self Care

October 19th, 2021

By Kara Reynolds

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Self-care comes in many forms, and although cooking might not seem like the first thing that you think of when talking about self care, cooking for yourself and making yourself food that you love can absolutely be a part of your self care routine. Whether you already love to cook or you are brand new and learning your way around the kitchen, you can make cooking the ultimate act of self care whenever you feel ready to do so. Here are a few reasons why cooking is the ultimate self care act.

1.  Nourishing Your Body

One of the primary reasons, and one of the most obvious ones, that cooking can be the ultimate self care act is because it allows you to fully nourish your body with foods that fill you up and provide nutrition. At the end of the day, everybody needs to eat. Cooking for yourself simply sets that apart as an additional, intentional act to feed your body and spirit. Whether you lean more towards junk food or healthy eats, the act of nourishing your body is not about specific calorie counts. Instead, it’s about making sure that you feel full and energized.

2.  Making Comfort Food

As mentioned above, whether you make junk food or healthy food doesn’t matter as much as you might think when it comes to providing yourself with the care that you need. In fact, it can vary from person to person or from day to day. That being said, some people find a great deal of comfort and care and making their old favorite comfort food dishes. If this sounds like a great evening in to you, make it a part of your regular self care routine.

3.  Trying New Things

Jumping outside of your comfort zone is one of the primary ways that you can practice self-care with new and exciting ventures, and cooking allows you to do that in your own home by trying all new recipes whenever you feel the need to seek out something different. This can also be a great way to teach yourself how to cook if you are relatively unfamiliar, as staying on recipe can be a good technique for those who haven’t learned to play around yet.

4.  Taking Time for You

One of the many benefits of cooking is that it usually isn’t a process that can be rushed. Therefore, taking the time to cook often involves taking time specifically for you to relax and engage with a process that will pay off sooner rather than later. Even though cooking can be difficult, especially when you happen to be very busy, taking that time for yourself is a great way to build in the self care you need.

5.  Practicing Mindfulness

The first thing you think of when you hear the word “mindfulness” might not be cooking and eating food, but there is an entire technique of mindfulness that goes along with eating and cooking. If you enjoy practicing mindfulness already, this might come as second nature to you, but anybody can practice mindful cooking and mindful eating. Really, practicing mindfulness while you cook is all about paying close attention to the sounds, smells and tastes that go along with the process of preparing a meal. This can continue into the time that you eat your meal too.

6.  Planning for Your Week

If you happen to be a busy person, cooking and meal prepping can be a fantastic way to plan out your week and prepare ahead of time for all of the activities going on in your life. If you like to cook in bulk and meal prep, you can use it as a personal self care time that you can enjoy throughout the rest of your week.

7.  Saving Money

Even though self-care can seem a little bit frivolous at times, especially with the reputation that it’s gotten recently around bubble baths and treating yourself, the root of caring for yourself will always be about actually taking care of your needs as a person. That being said, one of the primary benefits of cooking for yourself is the fact that it can save you money. Of course, it’s totally okay to go out to eat or order takeout every once in a while, but without a little bit of restraint, it can take a toll on your finances. By learning to cook for yourself, you can look after your financial wellbeing a little bit more and maybe leave room to treat yourself in new areas of your life.

Cooking and Self Care

There are so many ways to practice self care, and one of them is cooking and making food for yourself. Regardless of what your cooking journey looks like or what your favorite foods happen to be, you can be mindful and intentional while you make the best choices for you and your health. Are there any recipes you’re excited to try?

About the author:

Kara Reynolds is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Momish Magazine.  Mom, stepmom, and wife – Kara wants to normalize big blended families. She enjoys pilates, peanut butter, and pinot grigio – but not at the same time.

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