I have been hearing this word bandied about. Self-care. It means to take care of yourself. There is more to it than that. In order to care for yourself, you have to understand and recognize when you need it. Sometimes, self-care is a luxury. We as humans, as women, as moms, we go until we can't go any more and then we break. Why? How? I understand that I have trust issues. I understand that I think I can better than God. God calls us to trust in Him and He will give us rest. So, is self-care allowed? I say yes.
I'm finding that there are two types of self-care. There is the physical self-care that we allow ourselves to fix ourselves up. Then there is mental self-care. Sometimes one leads to the other. A bath is physical self-care but it allows us to relax which then feeds our mental self-care. Within the mental aspect is the thoughts and feelings portion of our lives that get really get us crazy.
I understand that my feelings and my thoughts can run counter intuitively to what the will of God is. Some people would refer to it as the flesh. I don't think we should ignore the flesh because I think not acknowledging it can lead to a bigger break down the line. I think of the Count in Chocolat who lost it over...well... chocolate. I think we should consider what it is that we feel and what we think and then run to God with the appropriate petitions. I'll give you an example. So, these days it is easy for me to feel envious. Here I am, tired and rundown. And here comes Miss Thing!!! We all have at least one Miss Thing in our lives. Miss Thing is bragging about how her husband did the SWEETEST THING. He filled her tank, had the tires rotated and the oil changed in the car and then picked up the kids so that she could get her nails done (I'm making this up because I imagine being Miss Thing but you know Miss Thing exists). Well, you KNOW that I am beyond hating on her right now as I look at my uneven, dried up, messed up nails. The cuticles take up half my nail bed and on the sides, hang nails. It's not like I tell myself, "Don't feel envious. Don't feel envious. Don't feel envious." Until I get home to pray. I process what I am feeling. "Elle, I know you feel bad and you may even feel envious because you would love to not be the one to fill up your own tank and do all of those things to your car but lets be honest, you don't even like going to the manicurist." Then I go home and talk to God about how I feel. After that, I take out my cuticle remover and I get to work on my talons. It's not a formula or a science. I don't make conditions about what and when I need self-care like you would a pair of shoes. "When I get a hole in the sole, then I'll get a new pair."
I understand that when I am hormonal, I feel more fatigue. I am prone to feeling more sadness. I can be impulsive and I can eat more. When I have more time on my hands, I can get overwhelmed with what to do first. These are all honest and genuine admissions. There are months when I find that it has gotten worse since the death of my husband. Let me be clear. This is the worst death I have survived. I don't recommend it not one bit.
So, what do I do? I know green leafy vegetables make me feel better so I eat green leafy vegetables. I like to read books that make me happy so I read books that make me happy. I like to paint my hair and my nails. I try to get in a walk at night because I feel better about myself in the morning. I buy lotions on clearance from Bath and Body Works because I like their products and have been using them for years (BTW, the clearance sale is coming up!!!). I write blogs, I read my Bible, I read devotionals, and I write my prayers.
Some of you may need to reach out and meet up with friends. Whether you are on the need side or the giving side, I recommend being honest. "Hey, I had a rough week and I would love to meet up and have some coffee with you." "I only have an hour on Saturday morning but I would love to meet up with you." Or "Girl, you know I have these crazy kids, you want to come over to my house and help me go through last year's clothing?" The answer is yes!!! We can help each other out. So, take care of yourselves and reach out when you need help or just need someone to sit with so that you know you aren't alone. Finally, pray. Just pray it all to God. He hears us. God bless.