Self-care is NOT selfish!
If your “cup is empty” how can you “pour” into others?
What is self-care?
Engaging in self-care is doing the things that take care of your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
Sometimes our circumstances and feelings becomes overwhelming, and we need to practice self-care.
Self-care is engaging in activities that promote well-being, and reduces stress.
Self-care reminds you and others that your needs are a priority.
Self-care is not just about relaxing (although you can certainly do that at times), but it is more about finding ways to take care of your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
Self-care is about bringing balance into your life in every area so that you can be the best version of you.
Why is self-care important and the benefits to regular self-care?
Self-care can be used as a distraction from your current emotions until you are better able to cope. When your level of distress is too high, you very likely may not be able to handle a situation and may need ways to bring your emotional state down.
Engaging in regular self-care has been clinically proven to reduce or to eliminate anxiety, depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and angry, increase happiness, and improve energy.
Long-term benefits of self-care include: better management of diseases and chronic illnesses, prevention of diseases in the future, healthier relationships, and reduction of burnout.
Self-care increases your self-worth. The more you take care of yourself, the better you will feel about who you are.
When you regularly engage in self-care practices you
not only reduces your level of stress, but enhance your physical health and emotional well-being.
Barriers to self-care:
Low self-esteem: those that are overly critical or have a low self-worth often find it difficult to engage in taking care of themselves. This could be rooted in adverse childhood experiences and can be further addressed in 1:1 coaching or counseling.
Feeling guilty: putting others first is common for a lot of people, especially women, Christians, and caretakers.
Time constraints: Life gets busy, and everything else becomes a priority on our schedules other than self-care.
A lack of understanding: Many people don’t really understand what self-care is, and are not aware of the overall benefits to regular self-care. Self-care is not overindulgence in food, alcohol, tv, or shopping.
A lack of planning: you have to put self-care on your schedule or it very likely will get consumed with others needs and desires for you.
Christians and self-care:
Jesus took time to get away from the crowds and get alone to be with the Father.
You cannot serve others effectively for the Kingdom of God if you are tired, grumpy, angry, or resentful.
You will be able to get refreshed and renewed as you take care of your needs, so you can in turn take care of others needs.
It is okay and healthy for Christians to engage in self-care so that they in-turn can love and serve others the way Christ would.
How often to practice self-care?
Aim for 30 minutes a day.
However, if your circumstances are more challenging you may need to add more time, such as when you are doing grief work, or have a chronic illness.
What are some examples of self-care?
***there are no particular activities that are better than others, you will have to find what works best for you.
Listed below are a few examples to get you started:
Cook or bake
Get a massage
Take a bubble bath (epson salt and essential oils)
Go for a walk
Take a picnic
Ride a bike
Just be in nature
Listen to music
Watch a comedy or a good movie
Play a game
Take a nap
Light a candle and listen to worship music
Go out to eat
Spend time alone with God
Be still and listen to soaking music
Take aways about self-care:
By taking some time out to recharge regularly you may relieve the pressures of everyday life and reset yourself to getting back to a healthy point.
Burning the “candle at both ends” comes with significant consequences that can include burnout, depression, anxiety, and resentment.
Self-care is vital for building resilience towards stressors in life that you cannot eliminate.