The #artofselfcare has been one of the areas of my life where I have failed massively and paid the price for it over and over again. As I am entering a season of focus on healing and health, it feels like I’m sitting on the edge of a giant black hole ? worried that if I don’t jump in voluntarily, I might just end up being pushed in when I’m not expecting it, falling far and fast, hitting bottom and profoundly feeling every single broken bone. I’d much rather hop in at my leisure and float through this space in peace on my own time and terms as the Lord has gently called this time.
Truth be told, I have never been very proactive about caring for myself. I can remember more than a few seasons when I served so much trying to shine my light for Jesus Christ that I literally burned out. It was awful. I landed at the bottom of that hole feeling every single bloody cut, burgeoning bruise, and out of place ligament.
What about you? I believe there are many of us inside the church (and out of it!) running on deficiency instead of overflowing abundance. But there are things we can do to address our negative trend and turn it to head upstream.
To follow is a checklist of four areas of my life where I am going to be focusing in these next few months. Maybe reading what I’m doing will help you, too.
For the most part, I feel like this is a pretty positive area for me since, as part of the church, I usually am on-task here.
- Regular Church Attendance and Fellowship
- Worship And Singing
- Regular Communion and Short Confession-Repentance-Forgiveness Cycles
- Daily Bible Study and Reading
- Prayer Time (Praying for others. Giving thanks for God’s Love in the morning and his faithfulness in the evening! Psalm 92:1-2)
I tend to be somewhat of a lone wolf who enjoys her solitary times, but there is definitely a balance between when healthy becomes isolation. My traumatized brain doesn’t help when it comes to my #messywalk with Jesus and so I am relearning what it looks like to take care of myself here.
While this is different for everyone, there are multiple trigger points that alert me in this area.
- Connect with Healthy Family Regularly (could be neighborhood, work, church, or blood family)
- Protect and Guard Myself From Damaging or Unhealthy Relationships
- Have Meaningful Friendships (I don’t have many of these outside of my family, honestly!)
- Be Honest About What I Need (This is SO hard because sometimes I don’t even KNOW what I need when I need it.)
- Do Things I Love To Do
- Make Time for “Me Time” (read books, listen to podcasts, and getting facials, nails, &massage when necessary.)
- Ask For Appropriate Physical Touch When You Need It ( I need lots of hugs!)
- Create A Non-Chaotic, Uncluttered Life Space (No visual clutter.This drives me batty.)
- Keep Drama At An Arm’s Length (#nodramallama )
- Heal Deep Wounds and Hurts from the Past (I am going to be starting some Christian therapy and counseling soon so I can be the very best Leigh God created me to be without the past mauling my character!)
This is an easy one for me to ignore. In fact, it’s been the area that I have been most concentrating on recently that has made some of the biggest impacts on my personal well-being.
- Regularly Scheduled Sleep Times
- Eating Well
- Exercising and Workout
- Drinking Water
- When I’m Sick, I Get Help (and don’t wait until I’m past the point of no return.)
- Get The Chemicals You Need (When I need something for my anxiety, I take it!)
There is nothing more soul-killing than working a job that sucks the life out of you daily. Conversely, there is nothing better than going to work with anticipation and excitement, wondering what infinite possibilities await you once you begin. How am I taking care of myself professionally? Here are a few suggestions.
- Appreciate and Love The People You Work With Right Where They Are
- Be Thankful To Have A Job That Pays
- Work With Personal Excellence, Integrity, and Kindness
- Be Above Reproach
- Discover Your Talents and Gifts
- Figure Out What You WANT To Do With These
- Work With Your Boss To Create Your Own Job Description
- Start A Side Hustle Doing What You Love To Do (It might turn into your Main Hustle!)
Jesus didn’t do it all.
In these next three months, I am taking time to take care of me. <—It sounds so selfish when I read that sentence! Why does it feel like a crime to try make this statement? Why does it make me feel so guilty and sound so self-interested?
When I think about the life Jesus led, I don’t see him getting burned out or overwhelmed ever. (Mind you, his public ministry was just three extraordinary years.) But He did say at the Last Supper
I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. (John 17:4)
Jesus didn’t do it all. He did what God, the Father, asked him to do. He had no FOMO, stress of keeping up with the Joneses, nor was he striving with perfectionism complex. He was already perfect just the way he was and he knew it because he knew that’s how God created his human form.
So I feel pretty comfortable letting go of a lot of the demands I have placed on myself. Or ones I think others are placing on me. I will continue to do my jobs with excellence and hopefully more grace, too, once this culling and healing period ends.
Say a prayer for me. I’m going to need it.
You can follow my progress on my social media on IG and FB at “The Church Girl Writes” in the upcoming months. Maybe I’ll even come back and bring you up to date this fall with how this whole season went!
To read more posts like this, click 7 Steps To Set Yourself Free From The Agony of Comparison, Keys To Fighting On The Battlefield, How To Be Nice, You Are Not Alone In Your #MessyWalk, and How To Know If Your Roots Are Healthy.