You are a creation of God (Psalm 139, the Bible). Like a 3-star Michelin creation, you are given a dollop of value, a dash of the meaning of life, a drip of respect and a drizzle of dignity. You are a delightful masterpiece. Your job is to take care of yourself throughout the seasons of your life.
Circumstances and people can add to your value, they can also devalue you. It’s great to feel respected and dignified for the contributions you have made, but if you let accomplishments and people define you, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. While others are important in our lives to boost our zest for life, there is a great need to have self-care. Jack Kornfield is right when he writes, “If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”
A healthy picture of someone who practises self-care is one who is an all-rounder. Perhaps to flow with the pun is to illustrate such a person with a circle.
The circle is divided into 5 significant ways we approach life – emotionally, mentally, physically, relationally and spiritually. Each aspect is important and related to one another. It is an interesting interaction of our body, mind and soul with the internal and external environment that we arrive at a balance.
In any given day, the human body can cope with 50 stresses. Weaving through the morning and evening traffic can be a huge stress factor; the demands at work can take up huge amounts of energy; home duties can tire us out easily.
Cortisol which is a stress hormone is specially designed to deal with these challenges of life. It is a great action hormone giving us the buzz in our daily activities. But when it is overused, it can cause burnout and anxiety. When this arises, the body needs to undergo repair.
Self care pumps energy and motivation into the body system causing you to be ready for life again. Dopamine, a pleasure hormone, gives you the desire and motivation to enjoy your life, your work, your family.
When you eat, pray, love, think and feel with self-care in mind, you are taking positive steps forward in promoting optimal care physically, spiritually, relationally, mentally and emotionally. In the month of May, I will blog on each of these aspects.
Takeaways on self-care:
S tart appreciating yourself. You have value, meaning, respect and dignity.
E xamine your drainers and boosters. If ‘others’ drain you or boost you in most things you do, it’s time to have self-care. People can be fickle and inconsistent. Energy that comes merely from other people is not sustainable.
L ive a balanced life – be healthy emotionally, mentally, physically, relationally and spiritually.
F uel yourself daily with self-care activities. “An empty lantern provides no light. Self- care is the fuel that allows it to shine vibrantly, lighting the way for others.” (Anonymous)
C hemicals in the form of hormones are God’s gifts to help us regulate and achieve a healthy balance when confronted with the stresses of life.
A ctively engage yourself in eating wholesome meals, praying regularly, loving unconditionally, thinking and feeling well.
R eplenish your energy daily and
E njoy life fully!