Self-care is a health phenomenon that is changing the wellness game for the better. It is centered around the individual, focusing on ways to improve your life and how to make you a happier, healthier version of yourself. Self-care comes in a variety of forms—but at the root of it all, it is just how it sounds: self-care. It means slowing down and taking time for yourself. The physical and mental benefits of eating are plentiful, and food is just one aspect of this wellness routine. However, self-care can also be as simple as taking a few deep breaths before getting out of your car at work—anything to help you recenter and focus on what your body needs.

How Can Food be a Part of Self-Care?

Cynthia Liu

Food is not only nourishment for the body—it can also elicit a plethora of emotions (there's a reason why we all go for that tub of ice cream when we're feeling down). Food as self-care can just be the feeling of comfort you get from eating homemade chicken noodle soup when you have a cold. Or the bittersweet mix of emotions from eating your favorite meal when you’re feeling homesick. Eating has the power to change your mood with just one bite. Food can be relaxing, cathartic, and rejuvenating—and it should definitely be a part of your self-care routine. 

How to Use Food to Up Your Self-Care Game:

Cynthia Liu

Self-care is essential for maintaining a positive, healthy lifestyle as long as it is done in a productive, thoughtful way. It is important to remember that stress eating and “eating your feelings” are not considered self-care and, frankly, not all that healthy. So, here are a few tasty, productive ways to incorporate food into your self-care routine.

1) Try a new recipe - Baking—or cooking—can be incredibly relaxing and stress-relieving. There is minimal thought involved; simply put on your favorite music, follow the recipe, and end up with some scrumptious treats to share with all your friends (or not).

#SpoonTip: Try baking scones before going to bed. Not only is it great self-care—you also get to wake up to a delicious homemade breakfast.

2) Try out a new restaurant with the gang - One of the great things about eating is that it is truly a social experience. Use meal times to forget about the stress of your day and have a good time with friends, all while enjoying some great food. That could mean treating yourself to a fancy sit-down restaurant or just ordering fries from your go-to fast-food restaurant.

3) Practice mindful eating - One of the best and easiest ways to incorporate food into self-care is to simply appreciate what you are putting into your body. As you eat, slow down and think about your food: Where did it come from? How did it get to your plate? What is it doing to nourish and energize your body? Food is essential to life; appreciate it for all that it does for you—and for how amazing it tastes. If you want to learn more about how to actually enjoy your food through mindful eating, check out this article!

Cynthia Liu

There are many ways to “do self-care” and even more ways to add food into the equation. So, next time when you're in the mood to treat yourself, grab your forks (or spoons), maybe a friend or two, and get to relaxing with your ultimate, food-filled, self-care routine.