I’m curious to hear your thoughts and opinion on this topic. I’ve found it important and crucial to maintaining my well-being and faith life, but I’ve also been scoffed at for even bringing up the subject. This is a topic I talk about a lot with my friends and want to be a major theme when working with young people in ministry. I hope this column can begin a conversation! So without further adieu:
The issue is….’self-care’; taking care of yourself, emotionally, spiritually, physically in order to become the best version of yourself.
I have had some friends that are married scoff at me with this phrase. I’ve also had many people call me ‘selfish’, when I bring up the subject They say, “That’s just selfish, I can’t do that.“ To begin, I want to make a quick distinction between self care and being selfish: there is a BIG difference. With self-care, you fill your energy tank so you can give more to the many different areas in your life. At my age, I am probably naive when it comes to this topic since self-care is put on the back burner when you have so much responsibility such as a family, children or spouse. I want to make a pitch for taking care of yourself, for Jesus’ sake. Literally.
This is the best analogy I have for this (and I know it kind of stinks) Have you ever tried to drink from an empty glass / can / water bottle? What do you realize? It’s empty. So what do you do? Fill it back up with more water, so you can drink from it. That way you are replenished, and have water for the next time you need it. Self-care is similar to your water bottle. Without any effort or time put into your emotional or spiritual health, friendships, allowed time to sleep, or exercising, you break down, in many different ways. I’m sure each of us know someone who is constantly in burnout, whether they are a single parent, have a challenging job, a thousand sports for their children, or all of the above. How do you react to them? Or what do you think?
Then we allow ourselves to break down. Connecting this to faith, if we do not choose to “heal” ourselves emotionally, spiritually or physically, how do we expect to give, to anyone, at any level? This is the difference between thriving and just surviving. God made you to thrive. Taking 10 minutes a day of reading, or a nice nature walk each week, or even just soaking in some silence in a world of chaos for 10 minutes a week can make a big difference.
Jesus wants us to be happy. Self-care is different for every person, based on interest and hobbies, but this is my pitch: Thrive rather than survive. The difference between being a famous saint and being an average person could be self-care, with the intention of giving back. What do you think? I’m curious to get your thoughts on the subject.