“You cannot give from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.” – Unknown
This is Part 1 in a series about taking care of yourself.
I was one of those people who did not make self-care a priority. All the talk around town about taking time for oneself was for people who either didn’t have a full plate, had too much time on their hands or had their priorities mixed up.
It was only recently, that I began to see how wrong I was. I always thought that I had to do everything because no one else can do it as well as I can.
For example, even when I asked for help to unload the dishwasher, I would be in the other room vacuuming or doing something else.
I mean who has time to rest when there is so much that needs to get done everyday?
But the reason I did not make self-care a priority, was not because I am a hard worker (which I think I am :)) but it was because of my pride. Gasp!
There, I said it.
Yup, it was my pride that kept me from taking a rest.
It was pride that forced me to dart from one task to another and not stopping until my body forced me to stop from sheer exhaustion. Sounds familiar?
It was pride that made me think that I am the only one in the world who can properly vacuum the living room or fold the laundry.
And proud is something I never want to be because it takes the focus off of God and place it fully on me.
It’s the unconscious belief that God is not capable of being my “provider and helper.”
With that revelation in mind, I have tried so hard to make self-care a priority. I think that in taking care of myself, I am in essence, honoring my creator and giving Him room to work in my life.
God Himself put an emphasis on rest when He rested on the seventh day of creation. So too, must you and I set aside time to rest, to take care and nurture ourselves.
Self-Care Honors God
When I say self care, I am not referring to simply going out to get a mani or pedi or spending a day at a spa. These are all great as well.
But the good news is that self-care can take so many different forms. Spending time with a friend, or a quiet walk on the beach are definitely good for the soul.
And since we are more than just our bodies, self-care should encompass not just our physical selves but our mind and spirit as well.
Here are some ways I practice self care, even with a very full schedule. I hope these inspire you to also set aside time for yourself so that you can continue to be a blessing to your family and your community.
1. Taking care of my spirit by praying frequently: Waking up early to spend some quite time in prayer, brings so much peace and reassurance to my soul. I surrender my day to the Lord and rest in knowing that He is with me and my family. This morning prayer session brings rest to my Spirit and is such an integral part of my overall joy. Here is my powerful prayer routine each morning. Honor God by spending time with Him!
2. Taking care of my mind by engaging in a hobby I love: You’re probably saying “Wait, I thought we were talking about rest and self care here. What’s this about adding another thing to the list?” Actually finding a hobby or something you love is at the top of the list of self-care. I recently started playing around with watercolor paints and I get so lost in that world that for the few minutes I do it, I leave feeling joyful and rejuvenated. I praise God for helping me find something I love doing and the means to do it. It gets me excited and I believe that the best way to get out of a funk and find joy is to do something that gets you truly pumped up. Do you have a hobby or something you enjoy doing? Honor God by using the gifts He has given you!
3. Taking care of my body scheduling time to rest: Yup, I add rest time to my calendar. During the week it’s not always possible but on the weekends I make it a priority to spend at least 15 minutes to sit, breath and just be. It is such a magical 15 minutes and I highly recommend that you try it. Honor God by moving the focus from you to Him!
I challenge to start making time to take care of yourself today. By trying to do everything for everyone you are depriving your family of your best self.
Will you join me in committing to do one thing each day that will help nurture your body, mind and spirit?
You will be amazed by how powerful this exercise can be not just for you but for those you love.
Download this 30-day challenge to get started. It includes 30-days of free activities you can do right now to rejuvenate, inspire and nurture yourself.
Let’s start making self-care a priority in our lives and realize that when we take everything on ourselves we leave little room for God to move in and doing amazing things.
Go be awesome!