You are a good girl. A loving mother, sister, friend, employee, employer, spouse, auntie, cousin…we could go on and on listing the roles that you fulfill to the many people that you impact and influence. And we are repeatedly told in direct and subtle ways that to fulfill these roles to the best of our ability means SERVING…POURING OUT…BEING SELFLESS. We nod in agreement while we secretly wonder HOW we’ll be able to do it all and keep a smile plastered on our faces. The outsides looking good while the insides crumble. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? A short assessment will help you and I to know where we stand on a few things. This list certainly isn’t exhaustive (and I’m not a health care professional) but it will get your mind thinking in the right direction.
How do you feel? Aches and pains? Anything that needs tending to?
When is the last time you saw a doctor? Have you been keeping up regular maintenance…dentist…OBGYN?
How is your exercise routine? Does it even exist?
How many hours of sleep do you require? Are you getting what you need on a regular basis?
What about your eating habits? Do the meals/snacks you eat make you feel good…or gross?
Do you find time regularly to sit with God? Read His word? Pray?
Are you part of a church family?
When you sit quietly, what you do feel in your spirit? Peace? Anxiety? Weariness?
Do you sense your relationship with God deepening…changing…growing?
On a scale of 1 to 10 where is your stress level right now?
When you scan your calendar or “to-do” list, how does it make you feel? Overwhelmed? Stressed? Satisfied?
Are you able to enjoy what you are doing, while you are doing it? Meaning, when you are at work, can you attend to and enjoy your work? When you are at home, can you attend to and enjoy the people and tasks you find there?
How are your most important relationships right now? Do you look forward to being with that person? Are you able to be your true self around those you love the most?
What are you tolerating in your life that you wish you could change?
So, how did you do? Did you find an area or two where you could show yourself a little more kindness and care?
Before you rush through this and decide that you will take care of yourself…whenever…I want you to think of it differently. Instead of self-care, let’s take a cue from Hayley at the Tiny Twig and “mother” ourselves. Think of your kids or your most beloved friend/family member. Imagine that you were discussing those questions with them and they were telling you all the ways they were exhausted, limping along and not really tending to their needs. What would you do? You would encourage and implore them to do what was needed to take care of themselves! If these precious people were your children you would probably MAKE SURE that it happened.
What are your thoughts? Does “mothering” yourself sound better than self-care? Now that you have identified some areas you could work on, what’s holding you back?