What Cooking Taught me About Self Care

I love to try and eat new foods that have various flavors and textures coming together in one dish. I also love to cook, which is not surprising as I love to eat (surprise, surprise). Cooking has become a new way of taking care of myself not only figuratively as I am able to feed myself, but also mentally and emotionally.

When I was in college, I never cooked for myself. I didn’t have space, the income, or the know-how. Oh, the life of a college student. I spent my time in dining halls or at the little family-owned restaurants within walking distance of my dorm building that had the best breakfast tacos. It wasn’t until I graduated from college that I started to cook my own meals. I learned the benefits and taste that can be achieved by eating whole foods. Bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes, ginger and turmeric root, and so many other whole foods that not only taste wonderful but also provide benefits for my body.

Learning to cook was not only beneficial to my physical well being, but also improved my mental health. When I started to cook my own meals with ingredients of my choosing, making my own creations allowed for me to not only have more control over what I’m consuming but also made me feel really good. Not only did cooking give me more control over what I consumed on a daily basis, but listed below are a few more reasons where cooking and learning how to cook may help assist with your mental health and can become a new self-care practice.

Cooking Can Positively Benefit Your Mental Health

Since learning how to cook I now know what I like. I know what spices and herbs I have like to use with certain vegetables or meats to achieve a certain taste. Before learning to cook my own meals, I more so relied on other’s taste buds to try and figure out what I like versus learning on my own. I feel more independent and more in control which for me is important as I do not feel as though I am relying on others and what they like.

Cooking Provides a New Skill to Learn

Once I graduated college, I wanted to keep learning. However, I wanted to learn new skills. I didn’t want to just keep reading books and absorbing information, I wanted to actually learn to do something that was more than just writing an essay or reading an article. Learning how to cook and create my own recipes allowed for me to do that. I was able to learn and research new food bloggers and the health benefits that certain may have and provide.

There are a lot of self- care benefits of learning how to cook and baking for yourself, I have only listed a few above. If you are still on the fence about cooking or feel as though anything you cook or bake is gross, I urge you to try again as cooking has many benefits besides you just feeding yourself.

Let me know in the comments below what some of your favorite recipes or items to cook or bake.