It has been an interesting week in my household, to say the least.
On Monday, we celebrated the passing into Heaven of my husband’s grandmother at her beautiful funeral service. (You can read more about that here.)
For me, Tuesday was taken up with the completion of a writing deadline. Deadlines are nothing new to me, but the changing of a deadline date in midstream was a first. Fortunately, I worked ahead on this one, and I was able to meet the publisher’s request and turn in my pieces several weeks early. But my adrenaline levels were a wee bit higher than normal by day’s end.
On Wednesday, the kids and I worked all day creating a downtown window display for our 4-H club in celebration of 4-H Week here in Illinois. It turned out as we hoped, but I’m not sure anyone would guess it took us ten hours.
Thursday was catch-up day for homeschool work. By the time we finished, I did not have the time or energy to write my regularly scheduled blog post.
On Friday, we completed the week’s testing, cleaned the house, and prepped food for lunch with my in-laws today (bless my hard-working teenagers). It’s meant to be sort of a late birthday celebration meal for me, so the kids helped me fix some of my favorites: homemade tomato soup; balsamic chicken; walnut, pecan, apple, and cheddar salad; and chocolate “nice cream” for dessert, among other things.
So, as I write this on Friday evening, I am bone-tired. Time for some “self-care,” right?
That’s what social media would advise. And I admit, I didn’t take the greatest care of myself this week.
Common sense dictates that appropriate self-care involves a decent amount of sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet. But social media has carried the concept of self-care too far, in my opinion.
Recently, my daughter and I watched a couple of YouTubers who emphasized facials, tanning, teeth-whitening, etc., as essential to self-care. And while I don’t have a problem with any of those things, the over-riding emphasis on appearance seemed all wrong. My daughter picked up on that right away.
Her comment was, “That seems a little narcissistic, doesn’t it?”
Not that I don’t try to look my best and function at my best. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that I enjoy exercising, eating well, and so forth. And while Scripture does tell us to take care of our bodies as the temple in which the Holy Spirit dwells, God repeatedly emphasizes self-care of the inward variety.
So, here’s my version of self-care, as inspired by some of my favorite verses from Scripture.
Don’t just read the Bible, but contemplate and meditate upon the message God has particularly for you.
Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. – Psalm 25:4
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. – Psalm 143:5
Don’t just pray, but reach out to God as your Father, and seek a two-way conversation.
Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness. – Psalm 143:1
Remember to thank him for your blessings. Gratitude is a great way to boost your spirits and align your perspective!
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. – Psalm 107:8-9
Discuss stressors with a wise friend or family member who can offer advice, or just a listening ear.
Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. – Proverbs 27:9
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2
Don’t dread those times when you must work much harder than usual; rather, remember how God honors and rewards all labor, and let that motivate you to push through until your task is completed.
And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. – Ecclesiastes 3:13
Keep your expectations of yourself reasonable during unusually busy or difficult times. My calendar pretty much evaporated this week – and as a perfectionist, that’s tough for me to deal with. But I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled programming next week, God willing.
Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. – Hebrews 12:1b
Throughout such times, try to laugh with your loved ones! It’s as much of a stress-buster as a cardio workout.
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. – Proverbs 17:22a
I hope these ideas will provide you with inspiration on how to take good, godly care of yourself.
What are your thoughts on self-care? How do you take care of yourself to perform at your best? I welcome your insight and appreciate your time.