Happy New Year, ya’all!
Have you set goals? Do you have a word for the year? Do you make “resolutions”? I’d truly like to hear what you do, if you’d care to share.
I’m still praying about my word for the year, but I do know that I need to focus a little more on self-care. I need to remember that I’m worth a little extra effort.
Yes, that does sound selfish. But let’s think about that for a minute. I’m not talking about indulgence. Not talking about hour-long bubble baths, buying yourself anything that strikes your fancy. I’m not talking about saying everything that pops into your head, either. I’m talking about taking care of yourself in order to help yourself be a happier person and to help others with a full heart.
Jesus told us to love our neighbor as ourselves. If I am constantly down on myself, constantly critical of everything I do, no matter how loving and kind I might SOUND to others, there is going to be an undertone of judgement because that’s what’s going on inside me. It seems to me, somewhere in there, He is implying I need love myself, too.
When you fly, they tell you to place your own oxygen mask first and THEN help others around you. If I can’t breath, how can I help someone else?
If the glass is empty, it cannot fill other glasses. If I am depleted and drained, no matter how much I try or want to, I won’t have anything to give to others.
So very many scriptures tell us how much God loves us. The one almost everyone knows, John 3:16, says He loved the world so much that He gave His Son to be the substitute for everyone’s failures. Everyone, by the way, includes you and me. Would YOU let your child suffer and die because someone else messed up??
In other scriptures, we are told God loves us, He sings over us, He dances, He smiles because of us. He fights for us. He protects us. He heals us… YOU and ME! He created each of us and God doesn’t make junk! We are told that we are in Christ Jesus and God the Father sees you and me just like He sees Jesus- perfect, righteous, complete.
When we don’t agree with what God says about us, either He is a liar or we need to change our thinking. I need to change my thinking~
Taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually is important. We are called to serve others and that’s what we want to do. To change the world around and within me, I have serve from a full heart and soul and spirit. When we love and serve others, we too are filled up and it becomes part of our own self-care.
First take time with Father God. Then be aware of how He loves you today.
For each week of this year, I’m going to practice a different form of self-care.
This week is deep breathing.
Starting with a “deep breath” seems easy for me (This is another form of self-care. I’m starting with something I’m already familiar with). I often do that anyway. However, there are times I realize I’m essentially holding my breath, so I want to become aware sooner.
When I’m excited, I’ll take a deep breath and focus that excitement, enjoy that excitement.
When I’m tired, I’ll take a deep breath and rest.
When I’m frustrated, angry, disappointed… I’ll take a deep breath and pause.
There is a large body of research and resource for more information regarding deep breathing. There are special techniques for different types of deep breathing. Check it out. Try different things. Whatever you do, though, do it! Even a sharp, quick deep breath is better than nothing. A deep breath can stop the locomotive of negative feelings before they get out of control.
Every change we make is made up of many small changes, small steps. It’s when the goal is “lose 50 pounds”, or “stop being impatient” that we fail. Instead of saying I’m going to “take better care of myself emotionally”, I’m going to break it down, try different ways to take better care of myself.
Each week, either Monday or Tuesday (taking care of myself by giving myself space), I’ll share one small technique to change the way I think or lessen the pressure I unnecessarily place on myself. I hope you find something helpful for yourself as I share my journey.
Will you join me?
Thank you for reading. I invite your feedback.
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God bless you!