Why Self-Care Isn’t Optional
“Take care of yourself!”
How many times have you heard that phrase? How many times have you said it yourself?
Probably more than you can count.
But now, more than ever, self-care must be a priority.
I know what you’re thinking: I’m busy taking care of everyone else. I’m busy working from home. I’m so bored from staying isolated and indoors I want to scream (hello, extroverts). And if that weren’t enough, your emotions likely teeter from one extreme to another—all before noon!
You may feel peaceful one moment, panicked the next. Relaxed, then restless. Serene, then stressed. Faithful, then fearful.
How do I know? Because your reality is also mine.
God made us body, soul and spirit, and although it’s always important to care for all three, in seasons of intense change self-care is vital. Here’s why:
Change equals stress. Intense change equals intense stress.
No one handles stress well who doesn’t take care of themselves well.No one handles stress well who doesn’t take care of themselves well. Click To Tweet
The apostle Paul prayed an insightful prayer for his friends in Thessalonica: “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
God is the God of peace (anyone need a little peace right now?). Paul prays that God’s peace, which makes us holy and whole, would cover our spirit (our mental and social self), our soul (our spiritual self) and our body (our physical self). In other words, Paul prays we would experience the wholeness of peace in our whole person.
But we need to cooperate with God.
By doing what we can to care for our body, soul and spirit.
The human being is gloriously interconnected. Our body affects our spirit and our soul, our spirit affects our soul and body, our soul affects our body and spirit. When we address one we impact the others.
But when we ignore one we impact the others, too.
Case in point: The last time you felt sleep deprived how patient were you? The solution to impatience isn’t to pray for more patience; the solution is take a nap!
So, what does this all mean? What can we do?
Each day, even in some small way, do something good, healthy and life-giving for your body, your spirit, and your soul.
Here are a few ideas I’ve used myself and borrowed from my friends. All can be done with social distancing in mind.
Care for Your Body:
- Take a walk
- Play outside with your child
- Set up a make-shift pickleball net in your driveway and play with your spouse or roommate
- Workout along with a YouTube video
- Take a nap (or go to bed at a decent hour)
- Wash your hands often (hopefully, you’re already doing this one!)
- Go on a bike ride
- Maintain healthy food choices (harder when you’re stuck inside, but still important)
- Treat yourself to an at home facial mask
- Drink lots of water!!!
- Dance like no one’s looking (Because let’s be honest…they aren’t)
Care for Your Spirit:
- Have a virtual lunch date/coffee date/dinner date with friend using FaceTime
- Eat dinner together with your family or roommates, and actually talk (may want to keep this one going!)
- Stay away from social media that brings you down
- Recapture something you loved to do as a child; play the piano, paint, draw, craft, do a puzzle, read a book, play a game
- Learn something new
- Finally clean out the closet or organize the 10 million pictures you have laying around somewhere
- Before you make a grocery run, call or text a neighbor to see if she needs anything, too (my neighbor did this for me)
- STOP WATCHING THE NEWS ALL DAY
- Call your parents. Or sister. Or daughter. Or friend.
- Get dressed and put on make-up, if you normally do (Too many sweat pant/ponytail days can go from making us feel cozy to making us feel crazy.)
Care for Your Soul:
- Read your Bible. The book of Philippians is a great read for times like these, as is Psalms.
- Use a journal to write down your prayers and express your feelings and needs to God
- Before bed, write down three good things about your day. Tell God, “thank you”.
- Play worship music. For bonus points for your soul, sing along!
- Go to church online. (If your church doesn’t offer online services, you can check out my mine at https://www.crosslinechurch.com/livestream-catalog/) Watch live at 9am PST, or afterwards, anytime.
- Stay connected to a Bible study group, small group, or MOPS group online. Again, if your groups aren’t meeting, mine is! Join me as I teach live on the book of Philippians, Thursdays from 10am-10:30am PST. To watch, just go to https://www.crosslinechurch.com/heartline/media/
- Ask God how He wants to you use to bless others during this crisis. Whatever He tells you to do, do it, no matter how big or small.
- Pray for our country, our leaders, our scientists, our medical workers, our world.
- Get a children’s Bible and read it yourself (you’ll learn a ton!)
- Walk around your house, condo or apartment and look at your surroundings with fresh eyes. Thank God for the 1000 little blessings He’s lavished on you.
- Look for opportunities to share the hope you have in Christ.
We are not just a body, not just a soul, not just a spirit.
We are people. People who need lots of grace!
We’re finite human beings made of a body, soul and spirit which we must care for, especially in seasons of stress, change and uncertainty.
If you have some unique ideas for caring for body, soul and spirit I’m certain other readers would love your suggestions! Just leave a comment below (if you receive this via email, click here to leave a comment).
And may I just say it one more time? Take care of yourself!
You are worth it and you are loved!
Stay tuned for some exciting news coming soon! And did you know you can connect with Donna on Instagram @donnaajones? She’d love to meet you there!
More than a Bible teacher, Donna is a self-described Bible explainer. A colorful storyteller who combines Biblical truth with real-life anecdotes, her messages not only help listeners understand God’s Word, but most important, grasp how to live it out in real life.