WHEN SELF-CARE IS NEGLECTED
It had been a difficult week. The schedule was different. I lost sleep. My sciatic pain was acting up. I thought I might have been a little dehydrated. So, I began drinking more water and rested, but my body was exhausted. I almost went to Urgent Care, because I wasn’t sure what was wrong.
Because it was getting late, I decided to see if a good night’s sleep would help. In the morning, I felt a little better, but not yet well. Then I realized I had not made self-care a priority. I’d let so many things creep in without thinking, and I’d neglected myself. Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s an essential part of life.
As I rested, I remembered that Chronic Joy has wonderful Self-Care resources. I thought I’d read Self-Care for Your Body, then I looked at Self-Care for Your Emotions and Mind. Both of those printables are excellent, but what I really needed was Self-Care for Your Soul.
The first words I read were from Jeremiah 17:7-8:
Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
As I read those words, I remembered that God is my strength, and my soul needs just as much care as my body. Self-care includes the whole self – body, soul, mind, and spirit. When one is neglected, all are affected.
PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING
The Lord was ready to hear about my day-to-day activities, raw emotions, and heavy burdens.
“Of course!” I thought. “Praying is the first thing I should have done!”
When I forget to pray, I focus on my problems instead of on the Lord, but when I share everything with Him, He draws me closer.
LISTEN TO GOD. SIT IN HIS PRESENCE.
I don’t sit in God’s Presence often enough. So, I turned over the printable and read through the attributes of God. Praying through them, I thanked God for being the Alpha and Omega (the beginning and the end) and I thanked him for His faithfulness, mercy, and grace.
By the time I finished, my heaviest burdens had been lifted. My muscles relaxed; my pain lessened. I’d been in a downward spiral, making my pain worse by focusing on it, adding more stress and emotional unbalance. Yet, as I turned my face toward God, spending time with Him in prayer, I began to feel better. My pain wasn’t gone, but I was in a much better place after practicing self-care.
Dear Father, we thank you for Your love. Teach us to care for every part of us – body, mind, soul, and spirit – because we are Yours. As we intentionally practice self-care, draw us closer to You, and give us hearts of compassion to share what we’ve learned with others. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- Think of a time when you were overwhelmed and exhausted. Where did you turn first – to prayer or others?
- What is your biggest stumbling block in practicing self-care?
- Self-Care for Your Soul lists six ways to practice soul-care. Choose one to practice this week, giving yourself a gentle way to step into self-care.
Practicing self-care isn’t selfish, it’s essential for all of us, especially when we are feeling overwhelmed. I invite you to check out Self-Care for Your Soul. It was a great resource for me – perhaps it will be just what you need today.
Chronic Joy® Content Coordinator and Prayer Team
Gayl is a writer, poet, amateur photographer, artist, nature lover, crocheter, and seeker of truth and beauty. She and her husband, Steve, have 7 kids and 14 grandkids, some have chronic illness and one son is with Jesus. Gayl was a church pianist for years and homeschooled her children. She has published poems at Spillwords Press and an article in Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. Her desire in life is to glorify God and encourage others. Check out her blog: Words, Photos, and Art.
Self-Care for your Soul
Spend a little time getting to know God better — who He is, what He’s like, how He feels about us, and how He acts toward His creation. Pray through these verses, asking God where to grow from here.