Remember that you were a slave in Egypt, but the Lord your God brought you out of there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. That’s why the Lord your God commands you to keep the Sabbath day. Deuteronomy 5:15 CEB
I used to believe that getting a manicure counted as self-care but I’ve learned that stretches the term beyond its intended meaning. Mani’s and pedi’s are part of good grooming and I encourage them for all of us – you men included!! But self-care is more than pampering.
Self-care is learning how to take responsibility for ourselves. Pay our bills. Get a therapist if we need one. Show up for work on time. Meditate. Serve others. Rest. Work for our living wage. Live by the values we profess.
One small example.
Some days I walk for exercise (healthy exercise is part of self-care). But one day a week I take a Sabbath walk. I do not listen to an audio book – even one focused on spirituality. I unplug. I don’t compete with myself for speed, endurance, or number of steps. I simply lace up my shoes and go out to meander. I look up. I study the sky. I may or may not have cloud formations to admire. I look at the trees. I study the edge of the path I walk. I may find a rock and pick it up and put it in my pocket. I breathe. I say this, “You are God; I am not.”
Self-care at its core is not about finding ways to please ourselves so much as it is about soul care. What is more essentially self than the Spirit? If things are gonna change, it will require some internal shifting and sifting. Old ways will need to slip away; new ways must be birthed.
Remember that daily thing you are DOING? What kind of self-care practice do you need to add to your routine to support your recovery?