We often think that doing for others is the only way to be a faithful Christian. But the only way we can do for others is to first do for ourselves, so we are strong and steady in helping them. When you board an aircraft, the cabin crew will tell you that in the event of an emergency, it’s your duty to first locate and put on your oxygen mask, before helping your child or parent or friends locate theirs. You cannot help anyone else breathe when you can’t breathe yourself. In these difficult times, it’s a good reminder that we have a responsibility to God and to those who depend on us—to take care of ourselves. How?
- Self-care isn’t bubble baths and manicures. Self-care means giving your mind and your body what they need to function well. So make sure you get enough sleep (8 hours is recommended), that you eat healthy foods, that you find ways to exercise.
- Self-care isn’t something that comes easily: it is a discipline. We confuse self-care with self-indulgence, whereas it is the bedrock of our lives in Christ. We cannot accomplish being okay by sheer willpower, we have to work toward it through proper self-care. We are both body and soul, and we must care for both.
- Know yourself. Self-care will look different from one person to the next. What really matters is knowing yourself and what restores you. What restores and sustains you during stressful times might differ from what helps your friends and family recharge.
You probably already know what your body, your mind, and your soul need to feel healthy and nurtured. Give yourself permission to engage in those practices, and take them on as a daily discipline so you can continue to grow in Christ and bring others to the joy of his presence and of his love.