For us, cooking is much more than just a means to an end—it’s a creative outlet, a mindfulness practice, an opportunity to build community and connect with those around us. Most of all, it’s a way to nourish our minds and bodies, and learning to view cooking as an act of self-care has completely transformed how we work in the kitchen. Read on to discover some of the ways cooking can be used for self-care.
Before you even enter the kitchen, it’s important to choose a recipe that genuinely excites you. Cooking is much more fun when we’re creating something that we can look forward to eating, and research has shown that our bodies actually absorb more nutrients from food that we enjoy. Look through recipes until you find one that gets your mouth watering, and use your senses to choose ingredients that appeal to you as you shop.
Set the Scene
Once you’re ready to start cooking, create an atmosphere that feels calm and comfortable. Put on your favorite music, light a few candles, and pour yourself a drink to sip on as you cook. Focus on one task at a time, letting go of expectations and taking in the scents and sounds of your ingredients as your dish comes together.
Like any self-care practice, the best way to make cooking feel emotionally nourishing is to set aside a dedicated time likely to be free of interruptions. Treat it as you would any other appointment—be on time, and avoid distractions such as checking your phone until you’ve finished. Eventually, this mentality will become automatic, and cooking as an act of self-care will feel like a ritual.