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3 Tips for Making Your Next Meal a Self Care Routine

How do we elevate our meals from a task to a practice? Turn your next meal into a self care routine with our top 3 tips.

Skipping Meals is Not A Flex

Are you skipping lunch to make it to your next meeting? Missing breakfast to hit that 5am spin class? In 2019, Biolife found that 2 in 3 millennials skip lunch to get ahead in the workplace. The study found that the story was different for respondents who had recently been promoted, and that 60% of recently promoted millennials gladly took a lunch break.

Dr. Marcos Minicucci, of São Paulo State University in Brazil reported in 2019 that “People who work late may be particularly susceptible to having a late supper and then not being hungry in the morning.” In his research with the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, Minicucci et al found that people who worked late and opted for late dinners with no breakfast in the morning had worse health outcomes after a heart attack. Workers in that group are ” four to five times more likely to die, have another heart attack or suffer chest pain within 30 days after leaving the hospital.”

Prioritize Your Meals

It’s not a flex to miss meals. In 2021, we’re living in unprecedented times for workers to set boundaries with employers. While we need to put in the work to achieve our dreams, our employers are in a position to prove that they can give us what we’re worth. That includes a healthy work-life balance.

Step out to explore a new restaurant or coffee shop near you. Like to bring your own meals? Set a bedtime routine and meal prep for the day ahead of you. Find a location near your workplace that brings you peace and make it a daily practice to enter the space unbothered and savor your next workplace lunch.

Engage Your Senses

Mindfulness can provide a wealth of benefits of all areas of our lives, including our meals! The term mindful eating was first coined in 1990, in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s best-selling book, Full Castrophe Living. Mindful eating allows us to eat with intention and purpose, focusing on the actual practice of consuming food for wellness and enjoyment.

Stay Present

When you eat your meal, find a space that provides you with minimal distractions. Take in the aroma of the dish, and think about the ingredients that were so carefully selected to bring out those scents. Your body undergoes several reactions when you take your first bite, indicating to your brain and stomach that you are about to receive nutrients. Your brain is releasing endorphins to celebrate the care that you are giving yourself.

Pay attention to how your body feels. Are you getting full? Do you need hydration? Do you feel more or less alert?

Try A New Recipe

31% of Americans say they love to cook at home because it’s more cost effective while 13% say it’s their passion. Cooking at home can also be a critical part of our self care. All human beings need to eat. We require sustenance to continue our survival. Along the way, we’ve learned that the methodical practice of trying a new recipe might help our minds.

Take It One Step At A Time

In stressful situations, it’s easy to want a quick resolution. When we aren’t able to find a fast solution to life’s problems, it can help to try a task with easy steps and low stakes. Making a meal is the perfect self care act in these moments.

The next time you find yourself in a situation where the only solution is time and patience, step away and try a new recipe. Pay attention to each step mindfully, focusing on the sensations. Breathe in, how do your ingredients smell? What can you hear as you cook? What does it feel like to stir or knead?

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