It feels like everyone is talking so much about “Self Care” these days (one of the biggest buzzwords in the self development world right now) and experts are sharing what should and shouldn’t be done… I’m all about a day at the spa, sitting down with a good book, a long bath, a nice day at the beach or any other healthy way to recharge. While these things are great, there is so much more to it.
As an emotional wellness expert, I wanted to take a moment to clarify a few myths.
Self Care is Self Centered.
Actually for the faith filled individual it is God-Centered.
I remember years ago saying that I needed my “alone time” which was part of my self care routine. But it wasn’t so much me being alone with me. It was my quality quiet time with God and no distractions. Self care isn’t just about my care, it’s about nurturing my relationship with God and focusing in on the foundation of my life. So it’s about reflecting the core of who I am.. a child of God- and spending quality time listening to the Holy Spirit within me. Taking time to connect with my source of everything, this actually strips away all of who I am and hones in on who Christ is within me. It’s not caring for myself, but nurturing the interaction with the Spirit who I want to determine my every move, my motives, my actions and responses.
Jesus lived out this example for us in Luke 5:16 (NIV)
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
Self Care is rainbows, puppies, unicorns and all the feel goods!
While many people believe that self care is a “if it feels good do it” kinda thing, it’s not always.
When you’re truly diving into self care, you’re dialing into who God wants you to be and what He wants you to do.
Forgiveness is a beautiful part of self care. When you’re forgiving something that hurt you to the core, it’s a huge challenge. One must let go of their “right” and releasing the anger/bitterness feels as it if it is excusing the original offense. This isn’t letting the other person off the hook (although at first it feels that way to the flesh), it’s letting yourself find relief from carrying a burden that was not yours to carry to begin with.
Bottom line, self care involves denying your flesh and empowering your spirit. It doesn’t feel great denying your flesh, the payoff to the spirit is great. It’s kinda like working out– you don’t physically feel like it but one feels so much better after pushing themselves to go (assuming there are no injuries of course?).
Self Care is One Size Fits all.
We are all unique people with different temperaments and personalities. Our temperaments help determine the best way for us to connect with our creator. For some it’s going to the beach, for others it’s connecting in corporate worship, while there are those who will literally sit in a quiet room meditating on the Word.
Self care is as different to each of us as our fingerprints.
It is up to you to determine the best way to connect with God on a personal level. Also, each of us are in different parts of our journeys. So for some, forgiveness may be a part of self care, it might be budgeting so one can tithe, it might be fasting… the bottom line, self care is something that is done to remove any/all hinderances from your personal relationship with God.
Self Care Costs a lot of money.
While modern day considers a girls’ day out at the spa with a massage, mani/pedi, and the works with a fine gourmet meal, the ultimate form of self care. It’s not. I mean, I wouldn’t mind that day at all (I’m all for hanging with my girls like this) but it’s not the end all be all.
Self care is about living a life you don’t have to vacation from. It’s being able to be content with where you are, what you are doing and being grateful for everything you have.
Self care can be as simple as:
Sitting outside and appreciating God’s creation.
A good book that feeds your spirit.
A Positive conversation.
A cup of coffee and journaling.
Sitting in the quiet and stillness.
Listening to some worship music.
Self Care is Optional.
The more we nourish our hearts, our souls and our minds with the love and likeness of Christ, the more we reflect him with others.
We were commanded to love (John 13:34).
If we are not allowing space and creating time to receive His love, then we’ll never be able to be a vessel to pour His love into others.
So while to the world at large, self care is all about one’s self. To the believer it’s about nourishing the Holy Spirit within them, enabling it to flow from every area of life.