When you think of the term “self-care”, what comes to mind?
Getting your nails done?
While all of these are activities that may be a part of your self-care routine, self-care is more than just pampering yourself. In fact, self-care should be a daily practice. Self-care is not something that you do once in a while because you are overly stressed or burned out, true self-care are things that you do all of the time.
Self-care is one of the pillars of managing and healing emotional eating. So, if you struggle with emotional eating – you would definitely benefit from regular self-care. Emotional eating is a temporary fix. If you feel bad, maybe cookies will make you feel better, right? But only for a moment. So instead of turning to food, we need to learn how to comfort ourselves in a healthier way. In comes self-care! By practicing daily activities that make us feel good, we are more likely to turn to these practices to provide us with love and comfort.
But what can we do daily for self-care? Well, essentially any activity we do deliberately to take care of our emotional, mental and physical health is self-care! Popular self-care activities that individuals may practice daily include meditation, yoga, journaling, movement and rest. But another daily practice I’d like you to consider is cooking! I believe that cooking your food is also a form of daily self-care.
For some people, cooking can be therapeutic and a creative outlet that they enjoy. For others, cooking can be a chore, tedious, annoying and even a source of stress! But even if cooking isn’t your cup of tea, it can still be a form of self-care. I used to hate cooking and honestly, sometimes I still don’t always enjoy it. Life gets busy and it’s much easier to grab something fast and convenient. Haven’t you found yourself in the same situation?
But the actual goal of self-care is to maximize our health and well-being. Not only our physical health, but our emotional and mental health too. By putting our energy into creating something that we consume, we are nourishing ourselves physically and emotionally. Cooking and preparing our food is a way to show our bodies that we care. And when we feel loved, well-balanced, and cared for, we are less likely to binge or overeat.
Self-care is my greatest motivation for cooking, preparing and enjoying my food. Whenever I’m not in the mood for taking the time to cook, I remind myself that I am taking care of myself and showing myself some much-needed self-love by cooking and preparing food that will nourish me.
The more I view cooking as a self-care practice, the more I enjoy it!
If you’re still wary of making cooking a part of your self-care (and actually enjoying it), here are some suggestions you could try:
· Go to a Farmer’s Market once a week and pick something new to cook
· Practice gratitude while you prepare your food – acknowledging your health, accessibility to food, ability to taste, etc.
· Treat yourself to a new recipe book or swap recipes with a friend
· Take a cooking class
· Practice mindfulness and pay attention to the sight, smell and taste of each ingredient while preparing your food
Cooking your own food is a great way to show yourself your love, appreciation, and respect. The next time you eat, remember that your food is nourishing you – not only physically, but emotionally too.
So, will you embrace cooking as a form of self-care? Are you ready to show yourself more love?