By Lauren Earls
Self-care has been quite the buzzword lately…even before the pandemic. But, if you are anything like me, it takes the whole world shutting down to realize the importance of taking care of ourselves. I would definitely say that I am not “less busy” during this time, but I am definitely home way more than I used to be. Whether you are “stuck” at home during this time or you are out there keeping things going for us all – we could all use a little self-care.
Here are some simple ways to take care of yourself:
1) Read your Bible: I know…I know…cliché, right? Especially coming from a Pastor’s wife! But REALLY READ your Bible. Find yourself in the stories. Become a participant in God’s Word. I recently read Eugene Peterson’s book entitled “Eat This Book” and it is totally changing the way I read scripture. We are all a part of God’s story…so go find yourself in His written Word! You have to read it in order to find yourself!
“If we have not entered this text as participants we aren’t going to understand what is going on. This text cannot be understood by watching it from the bleachers—or even expensive box seats. We are in on it.” – E. Peterson, Eat This Book
2) Remember that New Year’s Resolution you made…or thought about making…that you forgot about a few months ago? Yeah, that one! Well, now is a great time to start working on that again. My goal was to read one non-fiction book a month. I have finished about 1 ½ so far this year…and it is April. OOPS! If you didn’t make a resolution, why not do it now? I have a suggestion: if you don’t exercise and eat healthy that is a great place to start. I find that not only do I physically feel better when I take care of my body, but my mental state of mind is WAY better. Plus, it is the only body God gave us and He wants us operating at full capacity, especially at times like this. So start slow, but at least get started. Whether you start by taking a walk in your neighborhood every day, or you take advantage of all the free workouts being offered online during this time, you won’t regret starting a new healthy lifestyle.
3) Try something new! Whether you are working every day or at home, there is nothing better to help get your mind off things than trying something new…or maybe something you have not done in a while. My “something” new I am wanting to try is making my own pasta. Ok, yes, I may be watching a little too much Food Network, but I totally think I can do it! And no, I do not do the majority of the cooking in our house, but that doesn’t mean I can’t…it just means I don’t. It’s one of my husband’s self-care things he does for himself…and I am not complaining. Also, if you want to try something new and laugh at yourself a lot you should try salsa dancing lessons that can be found on youtube…that is a story for a different time…but trust me, it was hilarious and a great memory!
4) Plan a date: Whether it is with your significant other in the back yard or it is a virtual girl’s (or guy’s) night out, hanging out with your people is always good for the soul! You could even do a virtual double date! The possibilities are endless! Get some dinner or some snacks and cozy up on the couch and connect with those you love most! If you are married let the kids watch TV (or wait until they are in bed) and plan a special dinner or have a picnic in the yard. We are so blessed to be able to stay connected during these times. I actually think people are more connected as we are forced to reflect on what is most important to us.
5) Serve Others: I know, I know. We can’t meet or even be within 6 feet of each other, BUT we can still serve. Send a card. Call a neighbor. Only buy one pack of toilet paper IF you find it. Pray. Love on your family. Speak your spouse’s love language. Put your cart away at the store. Be respectful of government and other leaders…even if you don’t agree with them. We (the people) are the church. You don’t have to be in a building or even with each other to serve one another. We may all be alone physically right now, but we are still all in this together! Instead of seeing this time as an inconvenience look at it as an opportunity.
The “word for the year” at Faith Community is alignment. God is giving us a great opportunity to align ourselves with Him and His Word. The best way to care for yourself is to seek God and the peace, joy, and wisdom He has for you. Nothing can replace Him in your life.