Dinner for one
When I was a kid, I heard about people going to movies alone. And I remember thinking that was kind of strange. Isn’t the point of going out to the movies about doing it together with someone? But then, at some point, I started seeing it differently. In fact, it’s a really cool thing. When I’ve done it, it’s ended up being pretty great in ways I couldn’t have anticipated.
It plays into the larger question of whether we can find a way to honor our own company. Can we push — or gently nudge — aside the obstacles that stand in the way of us taking care of our own needs, when it’s just us? My experience is, while it’s often hard, and there may be a lot of feelings we run into, it’s worth trying to make special time for ourselves, to invest in getting to know the person we’re with the most.
The joy of cooking for one
Of course, not surprisingly, this relates to food (I am a dietician after all!). After a long day, it can be hard to think of making a meal and it can be harder still to do it when you’re cooking for one. It’s something I hear quite a bit in working with my clients. “Lauren, if it weren’t just me, I’d make a real dinner.” Yes, we humans have evolved mealtime from just a time to get nutrition, to a ritual. And the ritual takes on special meaning when we do it with someone else.
Cooking for one person, yourself, may seem like it doesn’t have that same “specialness.” It can seem like a lot of effort to put in, especially when the effort is just for you.
I say you’re worth your time and you’re worth your effort. Making time for yourself can seem so strange, so different, especially when the notion of self-care can be viewed as decadent or selfish. It’s neither decadent nor selfish. It’s a profound act of self-care that serves both the physical and emotional aspects. Giving yourself this gift can become a practice that extends into other parts of your life. It can be fancy or very simple. Maybe turn on some good music or a podcast. You can make a fabulous gourmet dinner, or there are easy meals for one person that don’t take a lot of time to put together or to clean up.
Using prepared foods like pre-washed veggies, convenience items such as canned soups and beans and frozen grains/veggies/protein can help you build a nice meal that’s satisfying and enjoyable … and quick! A baked potato with some toppings, like cheese and broccoli and a dollop of sour cream can be a delicious dinner. A quick search online can give you some great cooking for one recipes. Here’s a link that has options that looked particularly yummy to me.
Thinking of meals as a way to not only physiologically nourish yourself, but also as a way to nourish your soul and give yourself time and space to reflect and rest — it’s a life-long practice that will bring moments of self-discovery, self-acceptance and even self-love.