The 7 Absolutes of Self-Care
- No Man is an Island. There is no decision that you make that is just yours. The things we do alone trickle out to the world around us. Even people we don’t know can be affected by what we do. If you’re convinced that your choices are just yours, try to think of something you’ve done that has had no way of affecting others. The reality is, your life is not your own. We live to give. At our core, this is how we are designed and what feels most natural to us. Therefore, let us be in constant preparation to be our true selves by caring for ourselves first.
- Know your Why. What motivates you and your choices? Why do you seek friendships? Eat certain things? Watch or listen to things? If you know your why, your life will fall in line with that. What do you want for your family today? What do you want for your kids tomorrow? Think about where you want to go and what you want for the people in your life. Then, invest time in becoming someone that can contribute to that.
- Choose, today, to be who you want to be. It is common to say, I will do it tomorrow. Often, tomorrow becomes a week, month, years, never. Being young isn’t a good enough reason to not think seriously about your life. Don’t wait. Today is the day. The way you care for your whole self today will prepare you to be your best self tomorrow.
- Care for your body and everything else will fall into place. It’s amazing how what you choose to put in your mouth will serve or harm your mind, heart, and soul. This is the ultimate purpose of fasting… God’s will over my will. Living a life of discipline with food will actually lead you to enjoy food more. The vitamins and nutrition that is going into your body will serve you, body and soul. Your mind will be clear, you’ll have more energy, and you will have a life that is able to offer more.
- Put a healthy lifestyle plan into place. An idea is much more likely to come to life if it is made into a plan. Make sure it includes a well-rounded life that’s structured around service of God and others. This begins with your choice to care for yourself in order to bear one another’s burdens. Feed your body and soul with what will prepare you to give yourself to others. Let the chalice be the starting place and ending place of your life. Come to the Lord’s table and be fed, so that you are equipped to be a vessel for the Lord to feed others.
- Be OK with your social life changing. As your habits change, who you spend your time with will as well. You may even have people in your life that are so good for you…but because they want to eat pizza and wings all day, you might find yourself saying no to invitations. This is ok. We are not as strong as we think we are. There are ways to create community with others that don’t affect you or someone else for the worse. In fact, sometimes we think by saying YES to certain invitations, that we’re actually serving people. In reality, what we do together is just as important as being together. Just because you are with people that love you, it doesn’t mean everything you’re doing together is loving.
- Resist the harmful choice. It’s difficult, but not as difficult as regret. It’s never worth it. There are ways to reward yourself that are helpful, and not hurtful. Find ways to create opportunities that refuel you and allow you to step away from your normal routine. Out of the ordinary doesn’t have to affect your health for the worse. It’s very easy to justify a choice that can be incredibly harmful. Instead, enjoy a choice that can be overwhelmingly beneficial. Who and how you are will always matter to those you know and don’t know. Planning to embrace self-care will foster your inner peace and strength, which will naturally translate to people and places you could never plan.