How often do you hear people say: “I don’t have time for self-care”, “I’m too busy with my job or my family”, “I’m too tired to do that”. These phrases have become widely normalized and accepted frames of thought in our present society. People try to manage everything in their lives the best they can while often feeling energy deprived and short on time. Whether we are employed, in school, volunteering, or so on, we don’t usually make time just for ourselves. Everything else seems to take precedence over our own self-care and if we continue on, it’s only a matter of time until we see a toll on our mental, spiritual, and physical health.
If we are eager to find time for daily mindfulness, or perhaps even spending a few minutes with God, the answer is not to find time but rather to make time for it. This may mean shifting around your schedule, prioritizing certain things, or even waking up a little earlier. If we sit around just waiting for the right time, chances are we’ll be waiting forever.
Many problems and issues we face today are likely stemming from not taking care of our inner self. When we are worn down, it creates the opportunity for stress, fear, unbelief, worry, anger and many other negative emotions and mindsets to appear. When we are not feeling our best spiritually or emotionally, our body finds ways to cope and compensate for it. We crave unhealthy foods, overeat, or eat poorly. We get irritable at the smallest of things and take it out on family members. We lose our faith and fear takes over, potentially leading to hopelessness and depression.
This brings us to the importance of self-care. Self-care is spending some time everyday nurturing your mind, body and spirit. It varies for each individual, as the act of self-care for one person may be different for another. Whichever way you decide to nurture yourself, whether that be taking a bath, going for a massage, spending time in nature, or journalling, make sure you aim for something everyday. For instance, something as simple as spending 15-20 minutes meditating on God’s presence every morning can help set the tone for your day, create a sense of balance, centre the mind, and create feelings of peace and well-being.
It is so important to become the best version of ourselves, and the first step is learning to love ourselves by doing the things that make us feel happy and whole. Perhaps you can learn how to make healthy, delicious meals that will provide your body the feel-good nutrition it desires. Or how about spending 5 minutes a day visualizing your goals and dreams. Maybe find a exercise plan that makes you feel strong and energized.
You might be thinking, all those ideas sound great- but I am way to busy to incorporate them in my life. Well, my belief is that “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. If you really want to make them part of your wholesome lifestyle, you’ll find a way. Just like we always seem to make time for watching Netflix or browsing our phones 😉
See if you can find a few moments out of your day to retreat somewhere by yourself and perhaps read a book, listen to relaxing music, sing, paint, garden, pray- anything that rewards you and makes you feel good.
When you feel good inside by taking the time to nurture yourself, every other area in your life is likely to fall into place. You will be making decisions and choices from a place of balance and clarity. You will be creating your life proactively instead of just reacting from one crisis to another. When this happens, we tend to make healthier food choices resulting in more energy, overall better diet and subsequently better health. When we nurture ourselves, our relationships thrive. We accomplish more doing less. We attract better and more positive situations to our lives. Self-care promotes mindful living, and increases peace, joy, and clarity. It helps us live out our truest values, creating the life of our truest desires and dreams, and helps us feel whole and complete.
So here is your challenge. Come up with a list of excuses for not taking care of yourself. Read it over. And then stop buying into these excuses! Reflect and think about your inner values, and decide how you will manage your time to incorporate your inner values into your everyday life. If you are not sure about your inner values, consider meditating on that question or ask God to help reveal any areas in your life you may be neglecting. Perhaps you will receive some clarity as to what direction you will need to take. Spending some time in silence and solitude may help you maintain balance and sustain control over your life.