The Best Thing We Can Do For Self-Care
The Most Important Part Of Self-Care
Since this week is World Mental Health Day, let’s talk about self-care. More specifically, I want to focus on this key question: what’s the number one thing that we need to do to take care of ourselves?
I feel that the answer is quite simple — to know ourselves.
As people who love Jesus and want to follow him, we need to know ourselves and recognize our limits. Why?
Because each of us has different physical, emotional, spiritual, relational and mental needs. My needs aren’t the same as yours.
Knowing ourselves enables us to take care of ourselves in the best way possible for us.
And we need to take time for self-care because the better we look after our own needs, then the more we’re able to pour out to the people around us in healthy ways.
Why We Need To Know Our Limits
Part of this means being able to recognize the signs of overload because what affects us emotionally or mentally also affects us physically. So we need to take care of our mind, soul and body.
What this looks like in our day-to-day lives is creating a healthy rhythm of rest and play. It also means taking time to feed our souls.
You see, we need to give ourselves permission to be human and to care for ourselves. Quite simply, if we don’t care for our own bodies, minds and souls, then nobody else will.
And of course, no one knows us the way that we know ourselves. Now, if you’re still not convinced that you need to make self-care a priority, here are three reasons why we need to know ourselves.
#1 – You Can Only Give Away What You Have
Meaning, we need to care for ourselves so we have energy, time and resources to give to other people. Giving parts of ourselves in relationships is a prerequisite.
We need to be able to share what
we have to say
what we have to give…
so others know who we are.
This is who I am. This is what I like. This is what I hate. This is what I want.
John Maxwell says that we need to be rivers, not reservoirs. However, in order for a river to remain flowing, it needs a source to feed it.
And in order to share these things with people, we first need to be able to identify them. And the better we care for ourselves, the more we’ll be able to be like a river and offer value to the people around us.
#2 – You Know How Much You Can Stretch Yourself
Setting good boundaries in every relationship is a necessary part of taking care of ourselves and developing healthy relationships.
And when we know ourselves,
we can set healthy boundaries and
know who to say yes to,
who to say no to
and when to say yes or no.
Thing is, healthy boundaries are impossible unless we know who we are and what we want. Otherwise, we’re inconsistent and we simply don’t know what we want and what matters to us.
#3 – You Can Fully Live Who You Are And Give Externally
Ann Landers says, “Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”
Now, this is a funny quote but there’s also a nugget of truth in there. We need to know ourselves and not just accept other people’s views of us.
When we take the time to know and care for ourselves,
then we can live an intentional and purposeful life based on our
strengths, talents, limits and desires.
And when we add value to others, we’re doing so out of a solid knowledge of who we are and what we have to offer.
The bottom line is, we need to know ourselves to take care of ourselves well. Because we are a temple of God and the bodies, hearts, minds that we have is what we’ve been given to look after.
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