Someone was reminding me today of the importance of self-care. What do you do to take care of yourself on a daily basis (physically/ spiritually /mentally/ emotionally)? How do you refresh yourself on an ongoing basis? What do you do when you are struggling?
I know I don't take/make the time every day to take care of myself as I should, but generally speaking I find that if I get outside for even a short walk that I am better off on every level. Something about getting fresh air, and enjoying God's creation that lifts my spirits and clears my head. If I get the luxury of going for a walk by myself, I like to use that time to talk with God and have Him work on my heart. I also am in the process of spring cleaning, so if I can get through one small thing such as a drawer or cupboard, then I feel better; a sense of accomplishment that I am working towards a goal.
On a weekly basis (generally) I need to create something. I enjoy sewing and crafting and making cards, so I take time to indulge in my art and always come away refreshed and excited to be with my family again. I don't always go out and work on my projects; usually I stay at home in my craft space (which is really an area I have carved out in my laundry room), but the very act of creating something lovely is invigorating for me. God is a creative God and I believe that He has created us, as people, to be creative as well, though it will look different for every person.
Another necessity for me as a woman is cultivating friendships. I need to spend time talking and being with the friends that I most deeply connect. We help each other put things in perspective, challenge and encourage one another, and pray together in our struggles. I find this very life giving and is crucial if I am going to be life giving to my family.
For me it really helps to get up well before the kids and take time to read the Bible, enjoy a cup of tea, check my e-mails, etc. I go for walk a couple of mornings a week with a friend. My husband and I try to schedule in "mommy time" every couple of weeks. It is usually just a few hours to go do something. I often wind up just reading magazines at the library, or at a park during the nice weather. I try to make other "everyday" things an event. For example, if I’m getting groceries without the kids I pick up a latte on route.
What do I do to refresh? Filling up on the Word of God. Making sure to have time in the morning to sit before the Lord to be reminded of who I'm serving and what my true purpose is. Simple, simple I realize, but if I let me time with God slip away I am so much more frazzled and crazy.
Physically I take care of myself by walking/jogging on my treadmill twice/week and on the weekend going on a power walk with my husband (no kids). Lately we have been hiking a local mountain trail. I also try to cut out sugar and have gone several months at a time without it. Some say I am a Vegan want-to-be, but my children want meat once and awhile, so we do. I also juice as much as I can. Any effort I make really gives me energy. My sister is my #1 support in all this. We try to have health retreat weekends throughout the year. My husband is also great and tries to hang in there with me.
Spiritually I have my quiet time and we have family Bible Study in the morning before my husband goes to work. We also pray together as a family and as a couple and keep a prayer journal. My husband and I attend a weekly Bible Study and receive wonderful support and prayer through this group. I always feel so encouraged after these meetings. My sister is also a prayer partner of mine. We share our struggles with each other, regularly.
Mentally and emotionally, I would never make it through the day without my husband's phone calls from work. Even if it is just to say "Hi". He also comes home for lunch and we get in a few words then, which is great if the evening is going to be busy. My sister, of course is a huge support for me. She also homeschools her 3 children. As our children are getting older, it is also nice that we can share our concerns and pray about them together. Because of homeschooling, there really are no big secrets.
From the May 2010 NLHS newsletter
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