3 Reasons Why Cooking Can Be A Form Of Self Care

I’m just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.
— Maya Angelou

I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me more ready to power through the day knowing that a glass of wine and some shrimp and grits are waiting for me when I get home. I have a special/love/hate relationship with food: I am definitely what you would call an emotional eater. I eat when I’m happy, sad, and bored. As you probably already know, that could turn into a terrible habit real quick, but I’ve slowly learned over the years to take food from being a source of comfort and reward and use cooking as one of my favorite forms of self-care and expression.

I love the routine and the rhythm that can come with cooking. Taking things that on their own don’t make much, but when put together bring happiness, togetherness, and some mental downtime that as an entrepreneur and a natural over-thinker, I know I need. Cooking allows me to step away from my work and fall into a hobby that not only excites me but brings me the happiness that I always associated with food as a kid.

I’m making 2018 all about taking care of myself and following through on different hobbies to help occupy and distract my overactive mind. Running a business can have you wearing multiple hats and, a lot of time, all of them at once, so taking an interest in an outside hobby can become therapeutic.

If you’re looking to change the way that you think about cooking (I know some may see it as a chore) and see how it can be beneficial to your self-care routine, then read on.

Reason #1: Learn new skills and build confidence

I can’t be the only one that feels like a complete badass when I try a new recipe, and it comes out amazing. And I’m not talking about the simple recipes that only have a couple of steps; I’m talking about the multi-step, sometimes all day cooking adventures that give you a reason to stay in the kitchen and keep mental notes of what comes next.

As weird as it may sound, the more techniques I learn and the more dishes that I cook, the more confidence I have in the kitchen and my personal and business life. Being new to this entrepreneurship game, my confidence when it comes to my business and my craft can go through some serious ups and downs. So, I implement activities in my self-care routine that helps me, even in the smallest way, build confidence in myself. Whether that be cooking, my skin care, my spirituality, etc. I always try to find ways to help bounce myself back when I go through creative slumps. A good meal can always bring my mood back.

I implement activities in my self-care routine that helps me, even in the smallest way, build confidence in myself.

Reason #2: Taking Risks

Cooking is a small way to take a risk and see immediately how it will turn out. Plus, it forces me to think on my feet when something goes astray. No whole milk for this morning’s French Toast with Bourbon Maple Syrup? Use buttermilk and try adding some extra sugar to deal with the vinegar taste. No sour cream for that cheesecake recipe? Grab that heavy whipping cream and give it a shot.

Once I started taking cooking more seriously and wanting to implement it into my self-care routine, I was starting to get bored with making the things that I grew up on. So I started taking more risks: like smoking sausage for the first time in an oven smoker or making biscuits from scratch, I was completely out of my element. I wanted to take the risk in making those biscuits because A) I wanted to see they would even be edible, B) if they came out great, then I am now a biscuit making queen, and C) I have something that I can bake and share with the ones I love.

Reason #3: Connecting and relationship building when cooking for others

Everyone has their own way of expressing love and care to the people in their lives, and cooking is one of my favorite ways of doing that.

One of the major things that I’ve learned about myself after adding cooking to my self-care routine is that I mainly do it as a way to connect with others. I had no idea that I liked cooking for other people and introducing them (and myself) to new things. There have been countless times when I took a risk and cooked something for the first time for my friends and/or family, and it came out fantastic. Plus, we all know that food brings people together and being around friends, family, and food always brings me to a happy place!

Cooking has also exposed me to a world that I didn’t think I would be so interested in: food blogging and food photography. I love finding cookbooks with rich and beautiful photography to take in and read the stories behind the dishes that I find on Pinterest and Google. Cooking has given me another outlet to find more things to write about and potentially start my own personal blog about it (hopefully!)

I find joy in bringing happiness to others, and knowing that they enjoyed my food makes me want to dive into this whole world even more. Giving me a reason to make time in my schedule for some me time in the kitchen: away from work and in a zone of creativity, excitement, and relaxation.

Cooking is a small way to take a risk and see immediately how it will turn out.

Our generation is putting more effort and talking more about taking care of ourselves and finding the activities that nourish and replenish us mentally, physically, and emotionally, can sometimes be a difficult journey for some to discover. Not everyone knows what their hobbies are, and that’s ok. If you’re looking for a way to step away from your work, immerse yourself in a rhythm and routine, and learn how to make your stomach and your loved ones happy, I say give cooking more and learning new dishes a try.


written by ashleigh keith

Ashleigh is a Houston, TX based web designer who helps entrepreneurs, small business owners and online sellers create websites that connects them with their communities in the best way possible. Visit her website.