Self-care is a lifelong responsibility for YOU. Definitions vary, but the essence is a responsibility that you set for yourself to take care of your mental, emotional and physical health.
I believe the most important component is rest; it is the cornerstone of self-care. I think of the standard God set for us to rest when he completed creating the world.
Genesis 2:1-3 “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God has finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
Now I know you don’t have the power to create the world – but by God’s grace you and your spouse have created a child or two or more! And after you have taken care of your family, dressed, bathed, breakfasted, found everything they need for their respective days, driven the children to TPK, gone to work or back home… you need a minute! Take a DEEP breath! (Really do it!)
Take a deep cleansing breath, and think and look for all of the things you have to be GRATEFUL for! It might be that when you get home you have a floor in your home that is covered with the crumbs – but they are crumbs that healthy children have left. There is a pile of dirty laundry on your floor – but you have a washing machine that works. Or observe that the sun is shining today and a beautiful cardinal just took flight from the tree in your backyard! I think you get the idea!
But let’s go back to that seventh day of rest. It seems impossible to have an entire day of rest in our modern world, but you can have a change of pace on your Sabbath day. Plan your day more thoughtfully – consider what and or where your family will eat, an activity to do together, a walk at one of our parks, a board game, a movie at home.
Here are a few Power Moments to consider trying every day to refresh and relax; they really do add up!
- Say the Lord’s Prayer out loud!
- Drink water. Sip a glass of water when you wake up; put a glass on your night stand and sip it as you wake up. It wakes up your brain!
- Stretch. Gently stretch before you even get out of bed, do a few crunches, make side to side rotations of your hips, rotate your ankles before you put your feet on the floor and rotate your shoulders.
- Sit alone for a few minutes every day – without your phone – and let your mind wander.
- Move your body! Park your car on the other side of the lot to where you are going; dance while you put groceries away; chase your children around the house, go outside.
Caring for yourself begins with the determination to move forward throughout all the seasons of your life. When you are rested you have the ability to hear God more clearly – and those around you. You are able to cope with the stresses of life during each of these seasons.
Know that “The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9