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Jun 5, 2015

The Importance of Self Care


I've been meaning to write this post for a while. In fact, I put it into my drafts folder well over a month ago (maybe even three months ago, I don't seem to keep track of time all that well these days), and it's just sat there, staring at me every time I open my blog dashboard, begging to be written. My heart has so much to say on the topic of self care, (mostly that I'm no good at it), but I feel a bit like a fraud even trying to conquer such a fleeting concept and hot topic amongst young creatives and women today.

And I guess it's ironic that it's taken me so long to find the time to sit and process and really write this out. Because in a way, this post about the importance of caring for oneself is a form of self care for me, yet it's taken me months to do it.

I'm not 100% sure why the idea of caring for myself is so hard for me; or why it's so hard for so many of us, for that matter.  I think there's a feeling of selfishness associated with taking care of ourselves, or with taking time to do something to get that sought-after "me time".  We carry the banner of being modern superwomen, and we hold it together and make it look so easy, but then when our eyes close at night, we're exhausted in every sense of the word.

We fill our days with work and school and managing our online lives and blogs and shops, and then pile that onto taking care of our marriages and families, and by the end of it all, there's nothing left.  Nothing left in the way of time and nothing left in the way of energy.  There are so many days that I fall into bed at midnight, exhausted from living my energizer-bunny lifestyle since 7:30 that morning, and set my alarm to get up and do it all again the next day.

And yet we get up each day ready to do it all again, drained before the day even begins.

But you know what?  I'm tired.  I'm tired of having so much running through my mind that even my sleep is often plagued with dreams about forgetting things on my to-do list.  I'm tired of watching women stand strong while their souls are weary.

Self care looks differently for each of us.  For some, it's hitting the pavement and going for a run and for others, it's stealing away for a manicure.  Whatever it is for you, it's important, so stop telling yourself that you don't deserve it.  1 Corinthians 3:16 says "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?"  If we truly believe that, then why aren't we taking care of ourselves, friends?

Christ didn't sacrifice everything for us to fill our lives with schedules that leave us broken and tired and weary. While He never promised this life would be easy, or safe, I also don't think He intended for us to treat it like a marathon that we have to run at a sprint pace until we collapse from exhaustion.

There's no shame or guilt in saying "It's too much" and taking some time for you. When all that you're living for (and I hope, sister, that it's Christ first and foremost, but beyond that, I'm talking here about your job, kids, creative outlets, marriage, relationship, school, etc.) begins to drain you and pull you under, then it's time to step back.

Let's be women who boldly declare peace and wellness in our own lives.
Let's be women who realize the value of taking care of ourselves so that we can better take care of the people and things that we love.
Let's be women who shrug off the guilt and aren't afraid to say that taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually is important.
And finally, let's be women who leave behind weary in exchange for worth.

34 comments:

  1. I love this Betsy. As a clinician, I can say MOST people struggle with self care. I think it's part of our "God complex" to think that we can do and be it all without needing anything for ourselves. We are human and we need rest and care!

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  2. I loved this. I am the worst. I think I might find a sitter for an hour and go get my nails done - sounds like a good idea to me! :)

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  3. I agree, Betsy--it IS so hard. But I love that you brought it into perspective with God's word. I am reading through The Wholehearted Wife and the authors dedicate a section to nourishing ourselves so that we can encourage and support others. Kinda like "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks..." If I'm not filling my heart with godly things, rest, and time with Jesus, what the heck is going to come spewing out?! Haha

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  4. It is really hard. CrossFit and even just working out has been something I've realized that I NEED. Some days I can't fit in a workout, but the majority of the time I make time to go to CF. I may have the physical self-care down, but sometimes I struggle with other areas of self-care. Love that you wrote on this topic!

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  5. Lindsey SmallwoodJune 5, 2015 at 10:02 AM

    Love this Betsy. For me in this season of raising little kids, I've found that even though I'm tired, one of the best self care things I can do is leave my husband in charge after bedtime and go meet girlfriends for a drink. I feel energized and healthy and like a person outside of mommyhood when I do. I struggled with guilt about it at first, but I'm realizing that having fun helps me be better for my family. Here's to taking good care.

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  6. Ashley Bree PerezJune 5, 2015 at 10:31 AM

    Yes, Betsy it can be difficult. I love your prospective and thoughts.

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  7. Betsy oh this totally speaks to me this morning. I've being going, going, going for about two weeks now. I cannot wait for the weekend and some true rest!

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  8. This is one of the reasons that I'm not returning to teach next year.

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  9. Yes to this! I struggle with feeling like it's ok for me to just sit down and do nothing sometimes! I always feel the drive to "be productive"! My husband's always telling me sit down and rest!

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  10. Heard a fantastic quote during a workshop on Compassion Fatigue and Burnout: "If you're being faithful to your calling, you're doing nothing about almost everything." Food for thought, dear friend.

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  11. Thank you for sharing this. I really struggle with this, especially feeling a need to even put fun, creative tasks into a checklist...organized fun. My husband is constantly reminding me that it's 100% okay to do nothing for a day and declare it just a day of rest, no checklists or errands. We all need that.

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  12. I hadn't ever thought of it that way before! Self-care is also a lesson in humility, too, then!

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  13. So true, Cassie! I bet you give that advice a lot!

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  14. Absolutely, Rebecca! Well said!

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  15. We do! I'm bad about taking those days too but they're important!

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  16. Hmmm....interesting quote, Lace! Care to provide a little more context? (I'm reading that as "If you're following your calling, you won't be able to take care of yourself", but I don't want to read that wrong!)

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  17. I'm with you, Julia! I have that same problem!

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  18. I'm sure that will be a great opportunity for you to take some time for yourself...but even when you're not working, it's so easy to fill your time with other things (especially that adorable baby of yours!), so be sure to schedule in that "me time" that you deserve!

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  19. Praying for some rest for you, sweet friend!

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  20. Hoping you find space in your schedule to take that alone time!

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  21. That sounds glorious, Lindsey! So glad you recognize the importance of doing that and make time in your schedule to do it!

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  22. To be honest, I have NOT been good about going to the gym lately, and I feel SO much better when I make that time! I need to get back into my groove this week!

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  23. Ooh...I might need to read that! That is such a good reminder....if I'm not getting in the Word and surrounding myself with Godly encouragement and people, then what am I filing my heart with? I needed that today, Julie!

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  24. Oooh...sounds like a GREAT plan!

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  25. Thanks!! Thanks for being such a consistent reader! <3

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  26. This is so true and such an important thing for everyone to hear. There is no point in trying to do everything if we can't take care of ourselves first. I have been really and truly struggling with some anxiety and depression issues related to my recent move and job and just a couple weeks ago I decided I needed to stand up for myself and just quit! I'm now spending the rest of the summer blogging full time and it's amazing to see how great now that I am putting my health first!

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  27. Ah, I can see how it would be read that way! Not the meaning I was intending. I think the speaker was talking about limits, about making wise choices (and most of the choices being "no"!), in order to say an enthusiastic YES to what God-given things are right in front of us! For someone with my tendency to take a bite out of almost everything (both literally and figuratively), ;) this is a good reminder to prioritize well and to see the faithfulness in doing so! Great post, Bets!

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  28. Thank you. It's been a wonderfully restful weekend so far! Praying yours is restful too!

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  29. So true Chelsie! I will be keeping you in prayer, friend! I'm so glad you're taking the step to put your health first when you need to!

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  30. Ahhh...that makes SO much sense, and I like that interpretation so much more! Haha....Have you read The Best Yes? It's such a good book and talks all about how we need to say "no" to much in order to make room to say "yes" to the best things God is putting in front of us. There are tons of good things to say yes to, but we need to weed through those to find whats best! And I am so like you...when you're a people pleaser who is convinced she can do it all, it's hard to say no to anything!

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  31. Let's!

    Very inspiring and encouraging again.

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