Proper Self-Care Requires Proper Self-Examination
The core of self-care is not self-indulgence– it’s self-examination. Creating a self-care plan first starts with self-examination. It’s hard to implement an effective self-care treatment plan if you haven’t first identified your root problems.
If you are a person of faith, self-examination should begin with examining our connection with God first, our connection and engagement with ourselves (our minds, will, emotions and bodies) second, and our connection and engagement with others third. Self-care Is a continual process of self-examination combined with very intentional practices where we care for our hearts, our minds, our bodies, and our spirit.
True self-care always leads to humility. When We don’t do the true work of examining ourselves—of becoming aware of what drains us, what causes us to worry, fear and be anxious or hopeless— our souls will be at unrest and we will live out of a false, anxious self.
We must examine our hearts and minds and assess if they are healthy. This looks like asking ourselves–
- What am I holding in my heart?
- What am I constantly thinking about? Am I ruminating or overthinking?
- Are my thoughts of peace, kindness, and goodness or are they thoughts of despair, fear, doubt, hatred, catastrophe, and anxiety?
- Is my heart full of love, joy, peace, grace, and compassion toward myself and others or is it full of criticism, anger, contempt, judgment, condemnation, unforgiveness, rage and bitterness?
- Does my body feel refreshed or drained? Energized or depleted?
- Am I Fully engaged with people and the world around me or am I disengaged and distracted?
- Is my schedule crowded with daily activities causing me to be busy or is my schedule underwhelmed?
- Am I self-numbing or self-medicating myself from some pain, hurt or trauma I’d rather ignore by staying busy?
If we want to truly take care of ourselves, we must ask ourselves hard questions such as: What am I doing that I need to stop doing in order to examine myself honestly? What is my current state of well-being? What routine self-examination practices can I start in order to keep a pulse on my state of being?
God is more concerned about our state of being with Him than our state of doing for Him. Look at Mary and Martha. Jesus said Mary chose the greater thing— to be still, listen and learn. Listen and be present in the moment. Allow God to refresh your spirit and renew your mind. Learn from His example on how to live.
Matthew 11:28-30 tells us the secret for living free and light is found in being with Jesus.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Creating a Self-Care Plan
So, if you’re looking to create a self-care plan, start with examining your spirit and relationship with God First, the state of your thoughts, emotions, will, and body second, and the state of your relational interactions and daily life activities last. Then, determine what action you need to take each day, each week, each month and each year to restore your spiritual, physical, mental, emotional and social states to a place of calm, rest, peace and well-being. Remember,
“Self-care is not just a attitude or mindset– it’s a consistent spiritual practice by which we take personal responsibility for leading our body, spirit, soul (mind, will & emotions), actions and relationships to be renewed, refreshed and strengthened with God’s strategies and rhythms for living freely, lovingly, compassionately and lightly.”~ Radhika
Additional Self-Care Resources
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