Self-care. We all need it. Yet, few of us really make time for it. Me included. The funny thing is, when we don’t take time for self care, things tend to happen that make us take the time to take care of ourselves. I’ve come to believe, that’s what 2020 is all about. With COVID, renewed awareness of racial disparities & rioting, polarized politics, and the natural disasters, like when our acreage caught the northern edge of the derecho that tore through the Midwest on August 10, 2020, we need self-care more than ever.
Ask, and ye shall receive
I’ve always said, “Be careful what you pray for. God works in mysterious ways and will always provide!”
Yes. He. Does. The week before the storm hit, I remember wishing for a few days off. I needed time to catch up on some things, maybe go for a long walk or bike ride through the woods and evaluate business & personal goals. But most of all, take some time to really connect to God.
While I do love creating & sharing content and connecting with all of you, I’d been working pretty much non-stop since April. Spending several weekends at my computer, missing people, not being able to work with my husband outside on our acreage and feeling stressed out as I raced to meet deadlines.
I thought I was doing a good job of my own self-care, taking time every day to pray, journal, eat well & move my body. But, the stress of the pandemic, not being able to meet clients, friends and family in person (with hugs!), and just non-stop work took it’s toll. The end of July, at my annual check-up, my weight had crept back up to a number I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. Not that the number itself was bad, but rather, it was a sign that my body needed help – and I wasn’t giving it what it needed.
It was time to evaluate my self-care habits and make some adjustments. The derecho was actually the perfect opportunity for me to do some real soul searching and take more time for self care.
Listening to my body
Even though we had 18 trees down, 12 more with major limbs ripped off, the lawn covered with a prickly mess of branches & sticks, and no power (or internet) for 78 1/2 hours, it wasn’t horrible. We had clean, running water, ice to keep our fridge & freezer cold, a gas stove to cook on (and make coffee!), cooler temps & sunshine to clean-up. The house & buildings were largely OK, as were all livestock. And I had plenty to do – think 2 acres of Pick-up Sticks.
So the day after the storm, I dug in. I spent the day picking up & burning branches & sticks, taking time to eat, stay hydrated and trying to keep up with texts from family (while trying to conserve phone battery as I had no way to recharge it). By 2 pm, I was beat. The lawn was only 1/4 cleared and my feet were telling me, “Girl, you need to give us a break!”
So I did. Begrudgingly, I took my body’s advice, lay down on my back on the living room floor, put my feet up on the oversized chair and closed my eyes. That’s where my daughter found me an hour later when she bounced through the front door, excited to help with anything we needed.
I started to get up, apologizing for finding me in such a position when there was so much work to be done. But she held up her hand and stopped me short with a statement I’ve come to embrace and truly embody in the past few weeks.
“Don’t apologize, Mom! 2020 is the year for self-care.”Amanda Grunklee
Right?!? Wise beyond her years and right on the money.
And maybe that’s exactly what we really need right now. 2020 has certainly been the perfect opportunity to do just that. But it’s still our choice. We can either learn how to connect with God & take care of the precious Temple he’s given us or keep pushing ourselves, stuffing our stress and let it wreak havoc on our health and quality of life.
I choose more self-care. I choose to take more time to deliberately pray often, mindfully eat well and intentionally move my body so I can keep the fears, doubt, guilt and other stress at bay as I easily and joyfully move forward into what God’s calling me to do next.
Is it easy? Yes and no. But, I keep going back to the 3 biblical truths I teach.
- God is #1
- Love your neighbor as yourself
- Your body is a Temple of God’s Holy Spirit
When I practice these things, I feel so much better. I’m happy, active & leading the vibrant life I really want & God wants for me, for all of us.
Have I been as active with my business? Writing new content, connecting & sharing like I have been? No. But I have been practicing what I teach – self care. (I’ll share more about what I’ve been up to in future posts).
By doing so, God has blessed me with all kinds of new inspiration, a stronger, healthier body and new opportunities to share the Pray. Eat. Move. message. In addition, my emotional food/beverage cravings, plantar fasciitis and over 15 pounds have vanished! Poof! Gone!
What’s more important than self-care?
It’s amazing what happens when we do take time for self-care, especially praying often, eating well & moving more. But how often do we really take time to take care of ourselves?
Airlines always emphasize the need to put our own oxygen masks on before helping anyone else with theirs. We have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others. Yet, we find so many excuses not to.
Even 1 step in the right direction can propel you forward. 2-3 minutes of journaling what went well & what you want to surrender to God as you start & end your day can have profound effects. Seeing things in black & white can help you move forward in many areas of your life.
Click here to receive my Free Journaling Guide. (Journaling is not as intimidating as you may think!)
2020 is almost 3/4 over. If this is the year for self-care, it’s not too late! Take some time to think about & journal about what kinds of self-care work best for you. How can you ensure you have some time every day for self-care? Do you need to re-examine your priorities? Do you need to let go of things or ideals that are no longer serving you? Do you need to have some conversations? And the 2 biggest questions:
What gets in the way of your self-care? And is it really more important than taking care of the precious Temple God blessed you with?
Let’s start the conversation in the comments below!