Katherine Schwarzenegger shares the advice mom Maria Shriver gave her when she's 'overwhelmed': 'Be gentle with yourself'

Katherine Schwarzenegger opens up about cooking, self-care and learning to be gentle with herself. (Photo: Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)
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The Unwind is Yahoo Life’s well-being series in which experts, influencers and celebrities share their approaches to wellness and mental health, from self-care rituals to setting healthy boundaries to the mantras that keep them afloat.

Some people find cooking to be therapeutic. Katherine Schwarzenegger is not necessarily one of them.

"I wish it were more therapeutic," laughs the author, who is kicking off the launch of Rubbermaid's Tuesday Night Cooking Club by hosting an Instagram livestream on Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. ET. "It's always a goal of mine to just get more comfortable cooking in the kitchen and making food for our family and to get better at that, and hopefully one day be able to say that it is very therapeutic for me to be able to cook."

Schwarzenegger is big on goals, whether that means deepening her personal relationships conquering her kitchen jitters.

"I think we're all constantly being works in progress, and I'm always really interested in learning how to grow and improve and learn more and do better," she tells Yahoo Life. "I'm somebody that's really excited about the opportunity to grow and to learn more in all different areas, whether it's motherhood or being a friend or being a wife or being a sister or daughter, a mom, a stepmom. There are so many different ways that I want to just learn more and to grow as a person. I feel like when you stop having the desire to want to grow or want to learn ... I feel like that would be so boring. It would be tough to just not want to grow and learn more."

But as a busy parent — she's mom to two little girls and stepmom to husband Chris Pratt's son Jack — the animal advocate knows the pressure to master, and do, everything can be intense at times. Schwarzenegger credits advice from her mom, journalist Maria Shriver, for keeping her steady.

"One of the things my mom constantly tells me is 'be gentle with yourself,'" she shares. "So when you have moments of being overwhelmed or feeling like there is a lot going on or [not knowing] how to multitask or balance so many different things, I always look at my mom. I ask her questions about certain things and I think she always just reminds me [about] giving yourself grace and. Know that you're learning and be gentle with yourself and not so tough on yourself, I think is something she always is constantly reminding me about."

What does self-care look like for her these days?

"Therapy for sure. I think being able to have that time for yourself is really awesome. I would also say moving your body every single day," she says. "I'm an early riser — especially early with a baby — but I always love to be able to do something active in the morning and start my day off in that way. That's something that has always been a priority for me ... just to be able to have that time just totally changes the course of my day and my week."

She acknowledges that carving out time for self-care as a mom can be a loaded proposition.

"We so often think of that as being like a selfish thing that you do as a mom, and being able to kind of change that narrative and look at it as something that's actually you taking time to get the best version of yourself was a great kind of shift in perspective," Schwarzenegger says. "So I definitely look at it as a great way to take care of myself."

Schwarzenegger will be sharing her kitchen sink quiche during her Oct. 11 livestream for Rubbermaid's Tuesday Night Cooking Club in support of DuraLite Bakeware. (Photo: Katherine Schwarzenegger)
Schwarzenegger will be sharing her kitchen sink quiche during her Oct. 11 livestream for Rubbermaid's Tuesday Night Cooking Club in support of DuraLite Bakeware. (Photo: Katherine Schwarzenegger) (Katherine Schwarzenegger)

Family is also paramount to the Rock What You've Got author. While growing up as the daughter of Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger — not to mention now being married to a movie star — means there's public interest in her private life, She wouldn't trade her "support system" for the world.

"Of course there are moments that," she says. "I have the best family and best people around me and I have an incredible husband and I have amazing parents and the best siblings and also the best children. So it makes all of that better just because I would be lost without all of them. Having that support system and those people around you is everything. I feel really lucky to be able to have that."

Central to that support system is her Jurassic World star spouse. While Schwarzenegger prides herself on being a neat freak ("I find it super-therapeutic and soothing to be able to clean and organize," she shares), it's Pratt who handles the bulk of cooking duties.

"My husband's really amazing in the kitchen, so it works out really well in our relationship because he tends to be doing most of the cooking for our family," says Schwarzenegger.

But that may soon change. The inaugural Tuesday Night Cooking Club on Oct. 11 will see the earnest amateur chef preparing her beloved kitchen sink quiche in Rubbermaid's "aesthetically pleasing" DuraLite™ Bakeware, which can be used to bake, broil, serve and freeze.

"My mom did a lot of baking growing up but not a ton of cooking, so I blame her for my lack of comfort in the kitchen," quips Schwarzenegger, who will be swapping recipes with food personality Danni Rose on the livestream. "ButI think with this whole line and with this cooking club, I'm really excited to learn more about cooking and baking."

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