The Fall Season: A Time for Self-Care
Fall marks the beginning of the holiday season, which can often bring increased stress and hectic schedules. Shopping, traveling, and extra time in the kitchen can leave us overwhelmed and exhausted. Our kitchens usually become cluttered and chaotic. Amid the overwhelm and chaos, we sometimes forget the profound role our kitchen affects our well-being. It’s more than a room with appliances and utensils. The kitchen is a place where we can cultivate self-care, honor God for his provisions, and strengthen bonds with our loved ones. Prioritizing self-care for digestion during this time becomes crucial, as stress can negatively impact gut health. Come along with me to discover how our kitchen can be THE place to start your Self-Care for Digestive Health Journey.
It’s been a while since my last blog post, My Gift of Knowledge. The last few years have been challenging. As a result, I put my blog on the back burner while I navigated along my journey in uncharted territory. It was a challenge and, by God’s grace; I finished my career as a teacher. I am retired!
One important and fulfilling season of life has ended. I have stepped into the next chapter- a new season filled with change, promise, and enthusiasm. I look forward to embracing new opportunities for purpose and ministry.
For those who know me, you know how passionate I am about holistic health & wellness, herbalism, and natural living. If you are new to my community, welcome! I am glad you are here. You can read more about my journey in this blog post, Cultivating the Heart of a Herbalist: My Journey.
After retiring, I finished the Fundamentals of Holistic Nutrition and Digestive Health Course at Common Wealth Holistic Herbalism. I also revisited the Digestive System Module with Herbal Academy. It has been an incredible journey.
These courses helped me gain knowledge and insight, leading me to reflect on my health journey and the importance of digestive health. What resonated with me the most was the powerful connection between self-care and digestive health. I need this after the last few hectic years. Self-care has been slim to nonexistent.
As I learned more about the link between self-care and digestive health, my perspective on achieving health and wellness changed. From this, I have implemented practices and strategies to support digestive health, and it starts with self-care. AND the kitchen!
The Kitchen: More Than a Room
The kitchen is a perfect space to foster peace and calmness in our homes. It is a space for deepening our relationship with God and reconnecting with our food as nourishment to our bodies. It provides opportunities for fellowship with our loved ones.
I believe the kitchen is the heart of the home. Images on social media show families together, eating, studying, or playing games. These images show the kitchen as a family gathering place for fellowship. I would feel a rush of emotions; a sense of peace and belonging, happiness and calm when seeing these images.
Then it happened! I looked at my kitchen…
My kitchen was a source of overwhelm. It felt like one big chore. I despised the constant search for something to throw together for a meal, mounds of dishes to wash, and a floor to sweep. There was no peace and belonging, happiness or calm, and no fellowship.
Now that I understand the importance of self-care for digestive health, I have a new mindset about my kitchen that I want to share with you.
The Connection Between Self-Care and Digestive Health
Self-care is vital for digestive health. Self-care practices not only benefit the physical aspects of digestion but also the mental and emotional aspects as well. Stress, anxiety, and tension can lead to poor food choices, a lack of mindfulness, and a dysregulated nervous system. This can cause discomfort and digestive problems like indigestion, bloating, heartburn, and more.
Including self-care in our lives promotes healthy digestion and a sense of well-being. (Keep in touch as I will dive deeper into this topic soon!)
Honoring God’s Provisions Through Food and Fellowship
The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:11-12 that God allowed the earth to flourish with grass, trees, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and a variety of other flora. In Genesis 1:29-30, He shared his offerings of plants and meat as nourishment to our temple. God wants me to thrive and flourish with the abundance of plants and meat He provides for me. My temple is a sacred place. It deserves reverence for how, when, and why I eat. That sacred place is my kitchen.
I have images in my mind about the characters in the bible. These images include Jesus and food, centered on gladness, fellowship, and community. There is a sense of peace and belonging, happiness and calm.
I realized I was missing a sense of peace and belonging, happiness and calm in my kitchen. I felt overwhelmed by the planning, shopping, and cooking tasks, which made it hard for me to embrace God’s blessings and give Him praise. How did I get to this place?
Too Busy for Self-Care: The Turning Point
I let a busy season of life interfere with caring for myself in a way that honored God. I felt disconnected from the food that He had provided for me as nourishment for my temple. Most meals comprised a few things thrown together with no thought of nutritional value. Fast food was on the menu some nights because the refrigerator, freezer, or pantry were empty. I scoffed many meals down behind the wheel of my van while my daughter and I traveled to games after school. Choosing foods out of convenience and eating in a busy and stressed state had negatively impacted my health, especially my digestive health.
I viewed planning, prepping, and making meals as a chore. The kitchen was a pain point for me. Because of this, fellowship, community, or giving thanks at my dinner table or in my kitchen was non-existent.
The nutrition course made me realize the significance of having a sacred space in my kitchen for self-care and digestive health.
If my story resonates with you, I invite you to join me on a journey of reclaiming our kitchens and cultivating self-care for healthy digestion. Here are some strategies.
Creating a Sacred Space for Digestive Health
Creating a sacred kitchen space can promote a sense of peace and calm, support our digestive health, and provide a time for fellowship with God and family. Here is a list of some practices to jumpstart your Self-Care for Digestive Health wellness journey.
Organizing and Planning for a Peaceful Space in the Kitchen
Declutter and Organize: Clearing clutter and organizing your kitchen can make cooking more enjoyable and create a peaceful atmosphere.
Plan and Prepare: Using meal planners and creating shopping lists can ensure thoughtful nutritious meal choices. Prepping foods ahead of time can promote peace and calm in the kitchen.
Mindfulness and Worship in the Kitchen
Mindfulness: Being present when cleaning and cooking can promote a sense of purpose, belonging, and gratitude. Pray for the people you love while you are cooking food for their temple. Focus on the steps it takes to prepare a meal, recognizing the connection to Earth and the plants God provided for us.
Worship: Worshiping while cooking and cleaning can include having inspirational quotes as wall art and playing worship music. This can deepen your connection with God and your purpose in nourishing your temple.
Gratitude: Expressing gratitude and giving thanks for God’s provisions deepens our connection to God and our purpose.
Meditation, and reflection: Using the kitchen table as a sacred space for meditation, reflection, and prayer fosters our relationship with God.
Fellowship and Community in the Kitchen
Involve the Family: Including the family in meal planning and preparation can create a sense of community and belonging.
Fellowship time: Recognizing mealtime as a chance to connect with loved ones can foster a sense of community.
Digestive Support through Herbs
Incorporate digestive-supportive herbs: Incorporating digestive-supporting herbs (bitters) may support digestion. Incorporating nourishing nervine herbs may promote a sense of peace and calm for improved digestion.
The goal here is to create a sacred space within our kitchen to promote peace, calmness, spiritual connection, and fellowship. Customize these practices to align with your personal view.
Shift in Mindset: From Pain Point to Peace and Calm
My shift in mindset and renewed sense of purpose has changed how I view my kitchen. The kitchen was overwhelming. Now it has become a place for fostering and nurturing peace, calmness, spiritual connection, and family fellowship. A peaceful space for eating nourishing meals is crucial for digestive health. Being in a state of peace and calm while eating nourishing meals is crucial for digestive health. Our digestive system works at its best when we nourish our bodies during peace and calm moments. I will share more about this in future posts.
This is self-care.
Join the Journey: Create a Sacred Space in Your Kitchen
I invite you to embrace this mind shift and join me on my journey. Let’s discover the powerful connection between self-care, digestive health, and the sacred space of our kitchens.
Time for Reflection
What feelings do you have when you are in your kitchen? It’s a peaceful and reflective place. Or more of a chaotic chore?
Can you share a personal experience where stress or a busy schedule affected your food choices and digestion?
Which subheading or practice from the blog post resonates with you the most? Can you incorporate it into your life?
But Wait: There’s More!
Stay tuned for the next part in this series, Self-Care for Digestive Health: Becoming Un-busy.
Are you ready to learn about the key to improved digestive health? In the next part of this series, we will discuss how becoming less busy and practicing self-care can transform your well-being. This involves managing stress, eating mindfully, exercising regularly, and choosing nutritious foods. These are great ways to start your journey towards better digestive health. Remember, taking care of yourself is essential.