This is an excerpt is from my article published on Medium.com. Click here to read the full article.
Self-care is on-trend in a big way and many ways. Candles and facemasks. Spa days and beach cabanas. Netflix and Uber Eats. Meditation and Yoga. Shopping and Sunday brunch.
Pick your potion.
The message is everywhere, from wall art, with sayings like “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you,” to wellness wine branding and subscription boxes filled with candles and fuzzy socks. Marketers want you to know it’s all right to give your body some pampering and your mind some rest.
And who doesn’t want to take time for themselves?
I like a little meditation and yoga during the week and a good book under a beach umbrella on the weekends. But my most important self-care happens in the kitchen, with a chopping knife and a mountain of produce.
I like knowing the majority of what I fuel my body with comes from whole food, organic and unprocessed, and prepared by my own hands. Often, I wear a t-shirt while I cook, reminding me to “Do more of what makes you happy.”
Cooking makes me happy.
Consider this point: When you massage essential oils into your skin or sit with an avocado mask on your face, you treat your skin from the outside layer, which is already dead. But when you consume fresh, whole foods, you create healthy new skin cells from the inside out.
I’m not saying you should cancel your spa appointments, give up your meditation, or throw away your scented candles (unless they are toxin-producing paraffin, in which case you should trash them.) Self-care involves a multi-faceted approach, including stress management, quality sleep, regular activity, social interaction, and mindfulness.
Just don’t forget about the inside-out approach.
If we change our focus from eating to look good on the outside to eating to nourish our insides, guess what? Our outsides change too. We lose weight, our skin clears up, and aging slows down.
I often hear people, women mainly, say they are done cooking, “I cooked for my family for years, and I’m finished.” Others lack experience, or they don’t want to spend time in the kitchen. I tell those people to try it again, with a different mindset. It’s not a chore, a job, or punishment.
It’s self-care, and it’s self-love.