Are You Taking Care of Your Self?
Starting a new year, we often reflect upon the past 12 months and determine to make changes and set new goals in our lives. Often our New Year resolutions include goals related to self-care, such as our eating habits or lack of exercise. It can be difficult to make and sustain desired changes in the area of self-care in part due to some of our underlying beliefs or thinking.
Do you think it is selfish and feel guilty when you care for yourself? Or do you simply feel other things are more important and you are too busy to take the time for self-care? Many people busy with the demands of their work, parenting and/or actively serving in ministry to others struggle with self-care.
What are some of the possible consequences be when we do not practice appropriate self-care? Over time if we work and give of ourselves without heeding our God-given limitations, we may experience burnout, depression, physical health issues, and negative impact to our relationships.
A Biblical reason for self-care is we honor God through recognizing that God created us with certain limitations. We are responsible to develop and nurture the mind, body and spirit God has given us. Self-care does include caring for the incredible body God has created. “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are your works…” (Psalm 139:14). Our worship of God is not meant to be compartmentalized to our prayer or praise songs on Sundays, but to include all aspects of our lives, including how we treat our bodies. As Roman 12:1 says, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice — the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” We honor God our Creator with the care of our bodies.
As you enter the New Year, prayerfully consider what changes God might be inviting you to in the area of self-care. Do you need more time for sleep in order to feel truly rested? Do you need to develop healthier, more nutritional eating habits? How is your level of exercise/physical activity? Is God calling you to times of slowing down to pursue something that is life-giving for you such as a walk in nature, listening to your favorite relaxing music, or a leisurely cup of coffee with a special friend?
What is the first step you will take to improve the care of the body God has given to you? In doing this, you are acknowledging that all of life is to be set apart to God.
Developing new, healthy habits can be challenging especially on your own. Please contact Genesis Counseling Center if we can help you have a “new beginning” in 2015.
Blessings as we journey into a New Year,
Cynthia Tidwell, LCSW, Staff Therapist