Self-care [meaning: anything one does to nurture or care forthemselves] is a concept that’s recently been gaining increasing attention. It’s also a concept that’s often been ignored within the Christian community. I’m not sure if this is because self-care was viewed as self-centeredness, focusing on outer appearance rather than the heart? Who knows. Whatever reason for it, I live in the camp that believes the Bible encourages self-care, even if it doesn’t use the exact word.
Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of six ways we can all (Christ follower or not) better care for the bodies we’ve been given.
Spend Time With God
Self-care includes maintaining healthy relationships, themost important being our relationship with God. It’s vital that we carve outtime to spend with Him, both in Bible Study and in daily prayer. Why?Because when we experience hardship, having a steadfast relationship with God canhelp ease our stress. Christian friends are also wonderful avenues for help andsupport.
Be Active Every Day
Anything that makes your body more effective for God’s Kingdom is a necessary self-care step. Making time to exercise daily is a wonderful way to become a more effective vessel for God’s use. It helps our mind be clearer and our mood better. If gyms are too expensive, consider a cheaper alternative like bTibalFit, running, or possibly investing in home gym equipment during an Amazon sale. You can also opt for healthy lifestyle changes like walking more and/or taking the stairs.
Don’t Forget to Rest
Although physical activity is important, so is rest. Not to sound cheesy, but God did give us the Sabbath day for a reason. Self-improvement and serving others takes a lot of energy that can easily wear us down. For this reason, we have to take resting seriously. Commit to allowing yourself mental breaks, social media breaks, and plenty of rest!
Keep Your Temple Nourished
Along with rest, we also need to stay hydrated and eat nourishing meals. It’s easy to jump into fad diets we know we can’t sustain long-term, and then we get frustrated when they don’t work. I know it’s not what we want to hear, but if I’m honest, the only time I’ve seen positive lasting changes in my body is when I’ve made healthy meal planning and carrying water bottles with me everywhere a priority.
Serve Those Around You
There’s no better feeling than helping someone else. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that serving others has been shown to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Personally, I believe it awakens the Holy Spirit within us. Try making volunteering and charity work a bigger part of your life, and see the positive affects it has on your mind, body and spirit.
Learn To Set Boundaries
Working to the point of exhaustion may seem selfless at the time, but it actually leaves us less equipped to help others. Try to set boundaries and only agree to do what you know you can handle (I’m incredibly terrible at this). If you’re struggling to reduce non-essential activities from your life, pausing and asking God for wisdom is always a great place to start. I promise He wants to help.
So, despite what some may think, self-care isn’t selfish. It’s ok to better our physical and mental health by looking after ourselves. Maybe use this list to brainstorm a few personal self-care ideas! If you think of any, I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with!
Know that I’m praying for you today and always, friends.
Love in Christ,