5 min read
In the midst of Covid-19 most of us are frazzled. Mothers and fathers are working overtime, juggling children, school, job and household chores. They worry about their parents, their health, and how they’re going to pay their bills.
School teachers, administrators and government officials are scrambling, trying to find solutions to unprecedented problems. Television bombards us with gun violence and politicians never seem to get along! On top of that, wildfires, floods, and tornadoes get more catastrophic every year!
This stress takes a toll on our physical and mental health, our families and our communities. So how do we combat it? Where do we find time to renew and refresh our weary souls?
As Christians we are taught to love and serve others. But how do we serve others if we are stressed? How do we serve our communities if we are overcome with worry and fear?
The answer is we don’t. We cannot serve anyone unless we take care of ourselves first! And that is called Self-Care.
In the twelve-step community, such as al-anon, spouses and family members of addicts are taught, when traveling in an airplane, you have to put on your oxygen mask before putting one on your child. In other words, you can’t save anyone unless you take care of yourself first.
So how does this fit with Christian doctrine which tells us to be sacrificial and selfless like Jesus?
There are many Bible passages that demonstrate the need for Jesus to “Self-Care.”
His priorities for solitude and silence were evident all throughout the Gospels. The constant demands of His ministry made it imperative to care for His soul. In silence and self-care, Jesus took time to spend with God.
Jesus continually took time to withdraw from the crowds and daily demands of His ministry to be with God and pray. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went up to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35) Jesus spent the whole of His life preaching to crowds, healing the sick and performing miracles. It’s no wonder He needed time to rest from this demanding role.
In the Old Testament, we see Esther, and her need for self-care before coming to the King. Each woman who was chosen to come before the king was ordered to enjoy six months of cosmetic treatments and six months with oil and myrrh (Ester 2:12) Wow! Not the kind of spa-day I’ve ever experienced (but I am willing!).
The point is, self-care is imperative if we are to mitigate high levels of stress in our lives.
Our children deserve to live in calm, stress-free environments. Our minds, bodies, and spirits deserve good health. God wants us to spend time caring for ourselves as we care for others. When we set aside time for solitude to be with our Creator, go for a walk, take a spa-day, or find a calming activity, we honor God.
And when we honor God, we honor ourselves and honor others.
By spending just 20 minutes a day in quiet solitude, our lives will change ten-fold. Here is a list of my self-care options.Go for a walk (15 min)
*Swim (20 min)
*Hot bath (30 min)
*Spend time in a beautiful garden (all day!)
*Read a pleasurable book (Into the Garden!)
*Meditate and pray (15 min)
*Dance (while nobody’s watching)
*Sing my favorite hymns (in a hot shower)
*Read psalms or Matthew (my favorites)
*Go for a country drive and talk to God! (1 hour)
As humans, our souls thirst for something beyond what the material world can provide, quiet time in solitude with God and with ourselves. Self-Care is the balm that leads to a more peace-centered life. There is no better time to start than now!
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