Self-Care - More Than A Face Mask
So often, as women, we get busy taking care of those around us that we forget about taking care of ourselves. Our schedules are full of taking care of our homes, cooking, cleaning, taking care of our family and friends, work, meetings, volunteering, and the list goes on and on. There is no rest for a fulltime woman. So, how do you go about adding self-care to your routine? For me, it is scheduled. Don't judge! It's scheduled.
Sometimes I feel like my self-care routine is, well, routing. So, I have asked several women what self-care means to them, and I have taken to social media to see what is out there. When talking to women, I found that self-care is different for everyone; massages, meditation, face mask, journaling, gardening, cooking, praying, etc. Social media scrolls are all about the products that you MUST HAVE to maintain proper self-care. I got responses like; I have no time for self-care to self-care is a must.
I seriously doubt that I will bring you anything new about self-care. So, my goal is to remind you of how self-care fits differently for every woman; how it is about so much more than products. Don't get me wrong; a good a face mask is heavenly and should be done often. The one thing that every woman and social media agreed on is how important it is to put aside time for self-care. It took me a long time to realize the importance of taking care of myself. It was after reading Mark 12:30 that a lightbulb went off.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. Mark 12:30.
I know what you are thinking, Mark 12:30 has nothing to do with self-care. You are right. I don't know of any place in the Bible that directly talks about self-care. If you do, please share it in the comments. When I read this passage, it suddenly occurred to me that it is impossible for me to love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength if I was not taking care of myself. In my Bible, those words are written in red. From where I come from, that means Jesus, Himself, said this. Think about it, with ALL your heart, soul, mind, and strength. That is complete love, and to give that kind of love, I have first to love myself. To love me means to take care of myself. See, self-care.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to take of myself.
I pause in my day for quiet time. Often this is the first thing in the morning when the family is still tucked into their beds. I love to grab my favorite coffee cup and head to the front porch with my Bible or a devotion. Depending on the day, it can be a short as 15 minutes and a lot longer on the slower days.
I surround myself with people that make me laugh. Laughter is medicine for the soul. Did you know it is impossible, at the same time, to belly laugh (you know that deep down, pee in your pants laugh) and feel sad? Give it a try. Come on, start with a little chuckle, think of the funniest thing you have ever seen or heard. Now really belt it out. Come on; no one is watching. Just start cackling. You will thank me later.
Of course, we all know that self-care has to be on the inside also. It's not new news that it is essential to practice mindful eating, so our bodies are healthy and strong. For many years, yoyo dieting has been a lifestyle for me. For so long, I could eat anything I wanted and never put on an ounce. Well, those days are over. I find now that I have to pay attention to the things that I eat. That does not mean I don't indulge from time to time. I am becoming more mindful of ingredients and how to prepare foods in different ways. I am always open to new food ideas. Please leave me some favorites in the comments.
Take a break from social media. For some, social media is part of their business, and taking a break is not possible. With so many people using social media to spew negativity and drama, scrolling through my feeds can become depressing or even make your blood boil. No worries; in many social media platforms, there are wonderful features called, unfollow, mute, snooze for 30 days, or in extreme circumstances unfriend. You do not have to let others negativity creep into your life. Why give someone control over your thoughts and feelings? Take charge of what is yours. For me, it is a good idea to unplug from social media for at least a day during the week.
Then there is the obvious, get enough sleep, hydrate, exercise, family time, shopping, hobbies, Pedi/mani, facials, massages, etc.
Above all of these, the most essential self-care that I can do is get into the Scriptures. God promised in Matthew 11:20 that all we have to do is come, and He will give us rest. The way that I come is through prayer, reading the Bible, and meditating on His Word. I am also blessed with Christian sisters that are there to encourage and uplift me during tough times.
If you don't have a self-care routine, start one today. Make a list of favorite things to do for yourself. Then start doing them and checking off the list.