Taking care of others seems to take top priority in my life these days. With a home to tend to, a husband and kids who have needs, and parents that are beginning to need some help, I find a lot of my days are filled with doing things for others.
Can you relate?
I love taking care of my home and family, and I would never deny them my help. However, sometimes it’s easy to ignore my own needs and take care of myself.
The concept of self-care has become popular in recent years. As a Christian, embracing self-care seems rather…selfish. After all, aren’t we admonished to look out for the interests of others over our own? (Philippians 2:4)
While that is true, we are also instructed to take care of our bodies and glorify God with them. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
If you’ve ever flown on an airplane before, then most likely you’ve heard the flight attendant share safety instructions. One of those instructions is if the oxygen masks are needed, you are to put a mask on yourself and then help someone put on theirs. The point being, if you don’t take care of yourself first then you won’t be able to help someone else.
I think that applies to life in general as well. If we don’t take care of ourselves first, then we won’t be able to take care of others.
Let’s take a look at some ways we can make self-care a priority.
Make Time for Self-Care
When you are busy taking care of other people it’s easy to think there is no time for ourselves. However, taking five minutes here and there can reap real benefits.
Look at your schedule and see where you can set aside 15-30 minutes each day or at least a few days a week. Once you begin taking time for yourself, it will become a habit and you will automatically start including it in your schedule.
Discover Activities that Energize You
After taking care of others for so long, you may find it difficult to remember what activities you used to enjoy doing. Think about things you’d like to do but have put off doing because you are too busy taking care of others.
This may be reading a book, taking a bubble bath, exercising regularly, studying the Bible, or even visiting with a friend. Anything that energizes you will make a difference.
Give Yourself Permission to Take Care of Yourself
When there are so many needs around us, it’s hard to justify taking the time to take care of ourselves. Often feelings of guilt arise because we think we should be doing something else.
Learn to give yourself permission to do what’s necessary to take care of yourself.
Last week I had an opportunity to go to a card making class. While I love making cards, I knew I was already going to be away from home two other evenings that week. Those two evenings, though, were for events related to taking care of someone else.
I decided I would go to the card class, and I’m so glad I did! Those two hours being creative and laughing with other women was just what I needed to energize me to do the things I needed to do for others.
The next time you have an opportunity to do something for yourself, take it if possible. You will be so glad you did!
How do you take care of yourself?