Week 3 - SELF-CARE
In this lesson we will learn how to consistently implement self-care in our lives. As we discover who we are in Christ, we also discover how he helps us take care of ourselves mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
The literal dictionary definition says, “self-care is the practice of taking an ACTIVE role in PROTECTING one’s own well-being”
- Notice that self-care isn’t something that happens naturally in our lives, it is something we must be ACTIVE in doing! Doing so PROTECTS ourselves from deterioration, much like getting regular oil changes and car washes protect your car.
Self-care is the opposite of business. It’s not just something else to add to your “to-do” list. In fact, if it feels like a burden, it isn’t self-care at all.
However, as stated above, it IS something you have to be PROACTIVE and INTENTIONAL about doing. It can be a delicate balance but start small. It will eventually become a healthy habit you find yourself doing naturally.
WHY DO WE TALK ABOUT SELF-CARE FIRST?
If you ever have ever travelled by plane, you have probably heard the flight attendant say that in case of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from above your seat. If that happens, they advise you to put YOUR mask on first BEFORE helping your kids, spouse, or neighbor. Why do you think they say this? It’s because if YOU aren’t ok, you are of NO HELP to anyone else.
The same principle applies in life. If YOU aren’t ok, you can’t effectively help others; and in some cases, you may end up doing more DAMAGE than good.
Self-care can be hard, especially for moms. Parents, especially moms, are always tending to someone else’s needs. However, if we NEGLECT ourselves on a regular basis, we become less and less able to adequately meet the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of our kids.
WHY IS SELF-CARE IMPORTANT?
Self-care ends up helping our kids just as much as it helps us.
Simply put, you can’t GIVE what you don’t HAVE. You need to have energy to give energy. You need to FEEL peace to PROVIDE a peaceful atmosphere. You need to heal before you can help you children heal.
Self-care ISN’T selfish, it isn’t a luxury, it is absolutely NECESSARY. If we are not INTENTIONAL about finding time for self-care, our bodies, minds, and spirits will begin to deteriorate until we are FORCED to pause and re-set, often due to sickness, depression, and/or anxiety.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT SELF-CARE?
Although it is easy to mark self-care as selfish or unimportant, self-care is a BIBLICAL principle. God knew how important self-care was but also how HARD it would be. So, He took several opportunities to address it in the Bible. Look at the following examples found in scripture:
The FIRST example of self-care we see in the Bible is literally in the opening chapters of Genesis. After God created the world, He took an ENTIRE day to rest and reflect on His masterpiece. If God, an all powerful, immortal, and holy being took time to REST, how much more important is it for US? (Genesis 2:2)
In the very next book of the Bible, God actually puts the very practice He modeled for us into LAW. In Exodus, God COMMANDS that the people of Israel are to work 6 days but are to rest, to do NO work, on the seventh day in order to be REFRESHED. (Exodus 23:12)
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT SELF-CARE?
Elijah was a great prophet and had experienced God do MANY miracles through him. However, when a queen threatened to kill him, Elijah became so AFRAID and so ANXIOUS that he had a nervous breakdown.
In fact, he was sleeping so soundly that an angel of the Lord had to WAKE him up. When he woke up, God gave him FOOD for his hungry belly. Then, God put him right back to SLEEP. God knew how much our bodies effect our MINDS and our SPIRITS. Elijah was so tired and ”hangry” that he couldn’t think clearly. Once Elijah woke up AGAIN, God told him to re-engage in his PURPOSE. Elijah was able to get BACK UPand go forward, stronger than before, because he had taken care of HIMSELF. (1 Kings 19:5-18)
Remember, your body is the TEMPLE of the Holy Spirit! God’s spirit lives in YOU and you have a RESPONSIBILITY to care for your body, your mind, and your spirit so that you can live up to your FULL potential and walk in God’s PURPOSE for your life. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
SELF-CARE FOR THE BODY
Use a new lotion or essential oil
Go to bed 1 hour earlier than you normally do
Give yourself a detox facial or bath
Do your nails, try a new hairstyle, try a new makeup look
Drink 50 oz of water every day for 3 days
JOURNAL PROMPT: pick a day this week to do at least 1 self-care thing for your body and journal how you feel both before and after.
SELF-CARE FOR THE MIND
Fall asleep listening to a sermon or an audio recording of the Bible every night
Only listen to Christian music for 1 week
Give up “secular” tv for a period of time
Limit your exposure to toxic people/places/things
JOURNAL PROMPT: read Philippians 4:8 and write 1 example of each “GOOD THING” listed. For example, True – Word of God, Right – showing grace to others, Lovely - daffodils, etc.
SELF-CARE FOR THE SOUL
STUDY the Bible
Set a new devotional goal (example: read 1 chapter of the Bible 3x a week)
Hang scriptures around your house
Write out your prayers so you can remember how God is/has work(ed) in your life through prayer
Pray BOLD yet UNCOMPLICATED prayers (you don’t need fancy language but you need to be direct, specific, and bold!)
JOURNAL PROMPT: write out a BOLD but SIMPLE prayer to God, asking Him to help you learn to make your spiritual self-care a PRIORITY
TAKE TIME TO WATCH THIS SHORT VIDEO ON SELF-CARE FOR THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN!
Highlands Connect Workbook
Follow along with the download printable PDF or purchase full color spiral version.