3 Simple Steps for Self-Care
If you are a Christ-follower, we have the opportunity every single day, to choose God's way for living life. Helping our friends, families, the elderly and even strangers is part of God's plan for our lives. To be the hands and feet of Jesus. To love people, especially our family and extended family. God is so adamant about us taking care of our extended family that His words were kind of surprisingly firm to me when I read 1 Timothy 5:8, "But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." That scripture blew my mind that God is so plainly spoken here. But you can't help anyone, even yourself, if you are pouring from an empty vessel. So, we need to be diligent in self-care so we can walk out God's plan for us in life with peace, contentment, and HOPE. Let's look at 3 simple ways to care for ourselves.
Level the Landscape of Your Mind
Picture yourself on a rollercoaster. The ups, downs, fast turns, and long drops. That is what it sometimes feels like just going from one day to the next. Our thoughts and emotions control us instead of us controlling them. This is where I hope you will assess your current, "Mental Mood," as a gauge to know if you have slid into detrimental thinking. You know the impact that your thoughts can have on you. You can become depressed, angry, frustrated, lonely, disappointed, fearful, worried, sad, and doubtful – just to name a few. From Psychology Today, "More and more, I am convinced you and I create the world in which we live. Pop psychologists glibly suggest, "Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change." While this is true, the problem for most people is HOW to change their negative thinking and the afflictive emotions that are its inevitable consequence.
"A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh..." ~ Proverbs 14:30
So, here's what you do when negative thoughts creep in. 1. Acknowledge the thought and release it to God. Don't hold onto it or dwell on it. 2. If it's the enemy is putting thoughts in your mind...acknowledge the thought, release it and call Satan out to leave you alone in the name of Jesus. It's important that you boldly speak these words out loud. FACT: The enemy cannot read your thoughts, only what you say out loud. So speak scriptures with the power of the Holy Spirit and tell that loser he must flee from your thoughts. 3. Invite God to control your thoughts. Isaiah 26:3 tells us, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."
Nourish to Flourish.
We read in 1 Timothy 4:8, "For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. This scripture tells us exercise is good, but pursuing God is the priority. We all know the basics of Nutrition. Eat clean, get veggies in, regularly hydrate, stay away from fried foods 95% of the time (Every now and then we need a burger or some fried chicken). Allow yourself a couple of cookies or a treat in moderation. You must occasionally indulge in Chocolate or your own favorite treat so life is still fun. Ha! In my situation, I have no appetite during this Cancer. If I didn't have to bother to eat, I wouldn't. I am not a foodie. I have to make myself eat. This is something I am working on. 1 Corinthians 6:20 tells us, "For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
Buffer the Balance of Life
Buffer means to, "protect." So, we need to protect our daily Life's Balance. A lot of days for many of us are, "Go, Go, Go!" Which means we may be neglecting self care. Here's the thing, you are not the Energizer Bunny!. You CANNOT put yourself last.... or your battery will burn out! Put your Spiritual Life front and center as your main goal... to be as close to God as you can. Then begin to look at some of the graphics in this newsletter and pick one or two things to work on. To have 20 - 30 minutes to yourself may seem impossible. Especially if you have kids (Some of you even home schooling.) But this is where you need to make a choice and a change. Have a family meeting and announce that from now on, you will be taking care of yourself better. Let them know you will be taking 20 minutes a day to be by yourself. Read, take a bath, watch music videos on YouTube, do something creative and fun. Let them know, they have to leave Mama alone when it's her 20 minutes (30 minutes are even better). Explain to them, Mama has to have take care of herself time.
Even for us women who have more flexibility in our lives, we still neglect ourselves! We need peace and serenity in our lives even if it's in small pockets at a time. Ask yourself this question every, single day: "What little treat or activity would make me feel happy today?" It could be a Starbucks Frappe, doing a crossword puzzle, journaling, playing with your animals, a cup of delicious tea or coffee, or a cupcake. It could be taking 20 minutes to browse Hobby Lobby (My all-time favorite store). Who am I kidding with 20 minutes? If I'm at Hobby Lobby, it's minimally an hour because I take my time and look at everything and it brings me joy! On a regular day (That is not 2020), we have extreme stress and need relaxation. Think about how much more important it is now, with all of the unprecedented things like COVID, Election Mud slinging, and Hurricanes raining down devastation.
The Lord says, "This season of change will require your flexibility, and dependence on the wisdom and direction that only I can give. Your most valuable asset is relationship with Me and the ability to quiet your soul and listen for My voice. Do not overreact to events that surround you, but rather maintain a sense of calm stability. Faith is a vital component of moving from chaos to peace." Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and
that you may be in good health, as it goes well
with your soul.” ~ 3 John 1:2