So maybe self-care isn’t as “trendy” as it may seem. Maybe it is a biblically rooted command that we should be taking seriously.
There is probably a good chance that you are reading this amid a chaotic holiday season. Christmas is right around and the corner, and in the blink of an eye, the year will come to a close. If you gave it any thought, you would probably realize that your body is getting tired and your mind is swimming. Isn’t that what always seems to happen this time of year?
The beginning of the year is a great time to reevaluate what practices you want to keep in your everyday life. In this day an age, the term “self-care” seems to be all we hear about. It is the trend that has seemed to storm in this last year with a whirlwind of essential oils and facemasks (not that those things aren’t wonderful in and of themselves). But do we really take the time to check in and see how our bodies and minds are doing? First Corinthians 6:19-20 reminds us of the importance of taking care of our bodies:
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
Scripture also talks about how important it is to rest—even the creator of the universe rested. It’s so important that even one of the Ten Commandments given to Moses is to rest. Exodus 20:8-10 says, “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God.” Our culture has really lost its sense of rest, but we need it now more than ever.
So maybe self-care isn’t as “trendy” as it may seem. Maybe it is a biblically rooted command that we should be taking seriously. Here are five ways you can move taking care of yourself up the priority totem pole.
So much of stress and worry comes from keeping things bottled up inside. Journaling is a great way to get everything out in front of you so you can see what is actually swimming around in your mind. Also, working with your hands can be a great physical way to get nervous energy out of your body. There are so many ways you can journal these days, but one of our favorites is to Bible journal. What a great way to express exactly where you are in life alongside gleaming truths from the Scriptures. Many Journaling Bibles include illustrations and space to let your creative side take the wheel. Journaling doesn’t always have to be black and white—it can be done in color, too.
Prayer and Meditation
While the term “meditation” may sometimes have uncomfortable connotations, it is really just the practice of quieting your mind and focusing on one thing. Most of our quiet times should be spent meditating on Scripture and spending time in prayer. It is so easy to just read through our devotional, close the book, and go on with our day. This year, try pairing that with moments of silence, meditating on what you have read and spending time in prayer. Take this as a moment to pause and slow down before going about the rest of your daily routine.
Pamper Your Body
We’ve already been reminded that our bodies are incredibly important to the Lord, so treat them as the gift that they are! Take a long bath or shower to loosen your muscles and relieve stress. Or go for long walks, which are proven to be just as good for your mind as they are for your body. Or dance like no one is watching in the living room. While you are doing so, be amazed at what your body is capable of. Every body is comprised of little miracles that culminate in one of the grandest of miracles.
Commit to Your Hobbies
The busyness of life can easily take over every moment of life, but it doesn’t have to. Reclaim the margin that you can have in life to do the forgotten loves of your life, like embroidering, or songwriting, or cooking for more than just a weekday dinner. Taking the time to do what you love will give you more energy and excitement to complete your responsibilities. When you feel the pull back to your “obligations,” remember what Ecclesiastes 3:1 says: “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”
Now more than ever we are accessible to anyone and everyone. Within a matter of minutes, you could receive a long list of requests from spouses, small group members, kids, friends, and so on. In a moment, the number of commitments in a given week can skyrocket. While this may be really challenging for many of us, especially those of us who are wired to be helpers and givers, it’s crucial that we learn the art of saying “no.” To maintain balance in life, the word “no” should be used just as often as the word “yes.”
Make it a resolution to take care of yourself this new year.