If you’re anything like me, you may struggle to make self-care a priority in your life.
I realised this morning that part of my subconscious mind seems to have the impression that I need to “earn” my times of rest, by doing all my pending chores beforehand. However, by the time I do complete them all (which isn’t always possible anyway), the day is gone and I’m stressed, exhausted and on the verge of burnout.
Because I often suffer from fatigue and frequent colds, I do need to take rest seriously, even though it goes against my perfectionistic desire to “get everything done”.
What do rest and self-care look like for you? I’d love to hear what works for you. Please do share if you’d like to in the comments below.
As for the argument that self-care is “selfish”, I have this to say:
1. I actually see self-care as a sign of humility. It means admitting that we are frail human beings and not robots… We can’t attempt to be superhumans who don’t need self-care without falling into pride, imho.
2. Even Jesus had to escape the clamouring crowds around him to spend time alone with God, in order to recharge his spiritual and emotional batteries. We also know that he took the opportunity to rest and sleep, such as on the boat during the storm, even though it seemed to his disciples that He had chosen an inappropriate time! (Matthew 8:23-27)
3. Taking responsibility for our own need for rest, nutrition and exercise is a vital step on the road to maturity. As we grow up, we can’t expect other people to look after us or take care of us.
4. When we do make our own self-care a priority, by setting appropriate, healthy boundaries and learning to say “no” in a kind but firm way, we will then have the energy to give to others from a refreshed and abundant heart, rather than a stressed or frazzled one.
If you’re reading these words and feel guilty that you’re “not quite there yet”, take heart; neither am I!!! We are all a work in progress.
True humility implies recognising where we need to grow, then praying that God will give us the strength to get there.
It is also important to be aware that any change isn’t easy and we will all find ourselves falling back into bad habits at times. But that doesn’t mean that we’ve “failed” or that we’re “no good”, it just is a gentle reminder that we all need more grace. We can’t get there on our own, and we’re not supposed to.