This Weekend Fun is all about Self Care, the practice of taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m going to add spiritually, too.
Most of us like to say we’re fine even though we’re not. It takes courage to admit when we’re not doing well and ask for help. A consistent practice of Self Care helps us avoid burn out and living in stress. Self Care helps us live in freedom.
While Self Care is something you have to do, to practice Self Care, do something you want to do.
When I give gifts, I try to think of the recipient. That’s why I don’t like giving clothes to kids. When my godson had his first birthday party, his mom told me my gift was the only thing he played with. I gave him a toy drum, while most people gave him clothes. Practical and helpful, but isn’t too interesting for a one-year-old.
When practicing Self Care, don’t think in terms of practical and helpful. Think fun and interesting. Think pure enjoyment and relaxation.
Cleaning the kitchen might be cathartic to you, but it has an element of stress. The mop moving back and forth on the tiles might be relaxing, but you’re also looking at the build-up of dirt and mess. You can’t help but wonder why your husband can’t seem to muster enough energy to put the dishes in the dishwasher, or why your children can’t seem to walk the few feet to place their cups in the sink. Why can’t anyone take a few minutes to sweep the floor everyday? Why does everyone wait for you to do it all?
Get the picture?
Reading Seven Practices of Effective Ministry may be a way to take care of yourself spiritually, as well as take care of your ministry. Two birds with one stone, right? But there’s an obligation to the book. It can read like research, which means work. Instead read something purely for your spiritual life and nobody else’s.
By the way, I’m currently reading Seven Practices of Effective Ministry by Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, and Lane Jones. It’s a great book, but if I want to practice Self Care, I would pick up fiction. You don’t have to read fiction, but read for pure enjoyment with no research or work obligations. Don’t hit two birds with one stone. Don’t multi-task or combine your Self Care with your To-Do List.
Three big ideas in practicing Self Care are to engage your imagination, your body, and “nothing.” By nothing, I mean practice the art of doing nothing. Of being “lazy.” Of simply being. Doing nothing but enjoy and appreciate the life God has given you.
Engage your imagination by reading a book, watching a movie or TV show, attending a play or musical in the theater or the park (ie: Shakespeare in the park), playing an actual board game (ie: Clue, Monopoly) or a video game (ie: on a game console or Facebook or your phone).
Engage your body by dancing or exercising for fun, getting a mani-pedi or other spa treatment, playing a backyard game with your friends, your kids, or even by yourself (ie: hopscotch), going on a stroll or a bike ride, taking a bubble bath with a scented candle or two, and eating comfort food.
Engage “nothing” by taking a nap, doodling (letting your mind and hand wander), or sitting. Sit on a bay window with a cup of coffee or tea. Sit on a bench in a park. Sit on a picnic blanket under a tree. Sit by a body of water. I’m not a big fan of the beach, but I immediately relax when I sit by the shore or on the boardwalk overlooking the shore.