Self Care-How hard can it be?

Actually, it's harder than you think. When we think of self-care, we often confuse it with self-indulgence, so I thought I would clarify the difference between them first.


Self Indulgence-to pamper or spoil yourself-goal is immediate gratification-no lasting benefits.

Self Care - fills you up emotionally, physically, and spiritually - investment in yourself-gives attention or consideration to long-term wellness.


To gain more clarity, ask yourself a few questions:

  • When I do this, does it help me reach my goals?

  • Will it bring me closer to who I want to be?

  • Does this activity bring me joy?

The thing is, one person’s self-care might be another person’s self-indulgence. It doesn’t matter so much what it is that we’re doing, as much as the effect that it’s having on us along with the intention behind the act. A self-care act one day can turn into self-indulgence quickly if used too often.


On the other hand, self-indulgence feels really good but doesn’t have any additional benefits beyond feeling good. It gives us momentary pleasure but doesn’t help bring us closer to fulfilling our intentions or becoming the person we want to be.

As long as we practice quality self-care, it will outweigh and outperform our self-indulgences. This means we can have both!


Self-care means that we are checking in with ourselves and assessing what we need in the moment of stress, emptiness, hopelessness, you name it! This can feel uncomfortable, and to be honest, self-care requires effort.


It is so easy to neglect what we need to do to keep our heads in the right place. When we spiral downward to that place of darkness, knowing a drink or any destructive behavior will take us even further down, it doesn't matter at the moment. We are looking for relief, escape, distraction, or whatever else you want to call it.


I can't tell you how often I said to myself, "I deserve this."


A drink.


That drink was never a form of self-care. On the contrary, it quickly moved from indulgence and straight into addiction. All because it was the quick answer to feeling better. The long-term effects were devastating and never filled the emptiness I was feeling. In fact, it made it worse as the guilt and shame of my poor decisions piled up next to it.


Do you remember the story of Mary & Martha, where Jesus came to visit them? Jesus starts to teach, and Mary stops what she is doing and sits at Jesus' feet. Martha sees this and gets all hot and bothered that she is doing all the work herself. How did Jesus respond? "Martha...you are worried and upset about many things, but few are needed - or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better" (Luke 10:42).

Mary has chosen the better path. The path of self-care.

The takeaway from this story is: Stop what you are doing and take some time to sit at Jesus' feet!

I can't help but think of this as kind of a reset. When I am overwhelmed by people (especially at a gathering where the wine flows aplenty), I often crave escape. After all, this is precisely why I drank, right? Do you relate? Try getting comfy and picture yourself sitting at his feet doing something you know He would approve of.

These past few weeks, when I find myself in need of that reset, I have been working hard on picking up a book instead of my phone. I try to read a book that will enrich me in some way. Currently, I am reading Mark Batterson's Win the Day. I love it; I always find a takeaway and am going to continue doing that—a great example of doing something that will enrich my future. I learn something about myself whenever I read.

I also have a stack of self-indulgence I had better get reading.



FYI I always have a good fiction book going at all times, especially when it's beach time! My favorite self-indulgence of all!


What do you do for self-care when you find yourself in need of an out and find yourself searching to fill the void?


Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” He means it; take him up on the offer today.



Peace on your weekend,

Sherry

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