Being intentional about self-care is an important aspect in being a “healthy you”. Matthew 22:39 declares that the second greatest commandment is that we love our neighbors as we love ourselves. (See Matthew 22: 37 to find out what the first greatest commandment is) Loving ourselves entails caring for ourselves. Self care can offset stress and build up a reservoir for the stressors that will come. Self care can also increase your capacity to make healthier choices in your day to day lives. Here are some things you can incorporate to promote a “healthier you”:
1. Implement Spiritual Discipline
- Read the Bible.
- Talk to, pray, pour your heart out to the Lord.
- Fellowship with other believers.
- Attend church.
2. Set Boundaries, Set Limits, and Learn to Say No
- Don’t feel guility. You are not being selfish. You are just exercising self-care.
- Do you know where you end and others begin? Have you lost sight of who God made you to be due to “putting on” others’ problems, behaviors, or opinions?
- While you want to help and instruct, know it is not your responsibility to change, fix, or solve people’s problems.
- Be able to separate others from yourself. Exercise healthy boundaries but not walls.
- You are not God. It is God that changes hearts and minds at will – not you. And it is up to God to bring about the increase in others’ lives – not you.
3. Find Out What Is Fun To You
- What do you love doing that brings you joy, and makes you smile? DO IT!
- Travel, take vacations, go to the movies or a play, read a book, begin a hobby…
- Be INTENTIONAL with scheduling time to participate in enjoyable activities.
4. The Dreaded “E” Word – Exercise
- It will take an INTENTIONAL effort to schedule this into your weekly routines.
- The benefits of exercise include…
- Helps your mood, memory, and learning.
- Reduces the harmful effects of stress.
- Lifts depression.
- Builds self-esteem and improves body image.
- Provides a euphoric feeling.
- Keeps the brain fit.
5. Healthy Eating
- Be INTENTIONAL about the foods you buy at the grocery store. What you purchase will be what you eat.
- Be mindful about the comfort foods you are drawn to when fatigued or stressed.
- Incorporate a discipline of healthy snacking – ie: carrot sticks, granola bars, fruit…
- Drink plenty of water.
6. Cultivate Relationships and a Support Network
- Socialize with people you love and enjoy being with ie: family and friends.
- Pinpoint an individua(s) in your life who you can intimately talk with about your feelings and life.
- Develop and cultivate relationship with others who are not in your normal spere of relationship, but sparks an interest.
7. Rest (Physical and Spiritual)
- Rest and sleep gives your body a chance to rejuvenate and replenish.
- Lack of sleep affects your memory, mind, mood, and metabolism.
- The bible talks about a place of rest. Exodus 23:12, 31:15, 34:21, and 35:2 speaks about the Sabbath physical rest.
- Psalm 37:7, Isaiah 28:12, and 30:15, speaks about resting in the Lord.
- Hebrews Chapter 4 speaks about entering into God’s rest.