Updated: Nov 15
In a society where busyness is the norm, many parents are finding it difficult to juggle every task on the daily to-do list between meetings, school drop-offs/pickups, after-school activities, and sports. Even if you are not a parent, you may thrive off of filling your calendar up and then wonder where the time went for yourself. The term “burnout” has become a buzzword in recent years, signifying lives that feel overwhelmed by chronic mental, physical, and/or emotional exhaustion. We are burning fuel at both ends, allowing stress to take a serious toll on our bodies and mental health.
This has led to a huge push toward the “self-care” movement, the idea that in order to fix our stress and exhaustion, we need to prioritize ourselves in order to serve others better. I think a better way of understanding it is being mindful of your own limits and discovering physical and spiritual needs so that you can manage your stress and reduce anxiety and therefore be a better version of yourself.
Some strategies may include:
Reading a book
Eating a healthy diet
Soaking in a bath
While these strategies are great to pursue as regular habits, it may still end up feeling like yet another to-do task if you aren’t intentional about how to schedule it into your day or choose to do methods that are trendy but aren’t actually nurturing for you personally.
With back-to-school schedules and heavy workloads in full swing, picking a set time in the day that you can stay consistent is key. For many of us, that most likely means getting up earlier in the morning (usually 30 minutes to 1 hour earlier) so that we can set aside that time without distractions. Maybe you're saying to yourself “but I’m not a morning person”. The good news is that with practice and repetition, your body does start to adjust and you will begin to see your days become more productive all around!
And the best part? Once it's done, it's done. You don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day and you can go about your other tasks knowing you did something positive for your mental and physical wellbeing.
Think about the things that you value most but just haven’t gotten around to doing for yourself. What could you start your day with that would make the most impact? Maybe getting out your journal to jot some thoughts down or reading a few scriptures in your Bible is the foundation you need to be in a clear headspace for the day. Perhaps taking a 30-minute walk or workout is more your speed, getting your blood pumping and giving you an energy boost to push through your morning.
It may not be obvious to include eating healthily as part of your self-care routine, but proper nutrition will go a long way in stabilizing your mood and providing enough energy to be your best self for those that count on you each day. Creating a meal plan at the beginning of each week is a great way to stick to healthy options, and goes hand in hand with any exercise plan. When both are prioritized, you will be less likely to hit those dreaded late morning and afternoon slumps, which tend to lead to sugar cravings and unhealthy snacking.
Now think about what you put on your body. Many skin and beauty products are laden with harsh chemicals and toxins that get absorbed by the skin and into your bloodstream, which causes your body to have to go into major detox mode on the daily. When your liver is working on overdrive, you may feel sluggish, fatigued, stressed, or even emotionally out of wack. Choose instead to use organic, natural products without chemicals or toxins.
These are just a few options, but the list is endless and completely personal to you and your needs. Take some time to think about what you have been craving to do for yourself, and write down the top 5 things that you value and want to start incorporating into this next year.
We are called to honor both our bodies and minds by maintaining healthy habits so that we can properly worship God in all facets of our life without letting stress and anxiety take over. I encourage you to choose a time of day when you can stay consistent and pick just one strategy that will make the biggest impact. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to add in too much, too quickly. Start slow, and when it becomes a habit, then you can choose something else to incorporate.
Let us know in the comments what you decide to you so we can encourage and support you throughout your journey!
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and please to God- This is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is. His good, pleasing and perfect will.”