EPIC Blog: The Importance of Self-Care - 4KIDS
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EPIC Blog: The Importance of Self-Care

January 14th, 2021 l Author: Betsy Godoy-Rosado, LCSW

When I think about self-care, the first illustration that comes to mind is when you’re on a plane, and during the safety demonstration the flight attendants explain that in case of an emergency, you should put your own breathing mask on first before you try to help others. For you parents, I am sure this is a hard concept to understand, as normally you would want to prioritize your child’s needs before your own. However, when put in a critical flight situation where you are quickly losing oxygen and panicking, it will be difficult to do anything for your kids if you are not first taken care of.

If you are a Christian, this may also be a challenging notion to swallow. The idea of putting yourself before others may seem selfish considering the following verses in the Bible:

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” (Philippians 2:3)

Yet when we look at the next verse from the same passage, we are reminded of another concept that the Apostle Paul (writer of Philippians) addresses as well:

“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)

In this passage of scripture, the idea of loving others is in fact dependent upon loving oneself, which we often overlook. When we push ourselves aside in the name of service to others, negative symptoms will quickly show up in every aspect of our lives, whether that’s emotionally, physically, intellectually and/or in our character. Personally, I think the New Year is the perfect time to make changes in this area of your life, which may help you avoid burnout.

Not sure where to begin? Here are a few things to consider as you begin to brainstorm what self-care looks like for you:

  • Self-care can encompass many different kinds of activities, and will look different for each person.
    • For you, self-care can mean spending time with friends or family, exercising, picking up a new/old hobby, eating healthy, meditating on scripture, attending church, going to therapy, or simply adding in moments to “pause” throughout your day.
  • Most often, the biggest barrier to self-care is the time commitment.
    • The best way to get around this is to “schedule” time for self-care into your life the same way you would add a doctor’s appointment or a work-related deadline into your calendar. You can even place a note on your mirror or car dashboard to remind yourself of your weekly self-care activity.
  • It’s important to be realistic with your self-care goals.
    • Avoid drastically jumping from having no self-care time in your life to penciling in an hour a day of rest and relaxation. Instead, start with one minute a day and allow that to gradually progress to five minutes, and then fifteen minutes, or until you reach your desired goal. Be sure to also schedule your self-care at a time that is reasonable for you, such as after your children go to bed or during your lunch break.
  • Don’t feel guilty for taking time for yourself.
    • There are many examples in the New Testament of Jesus being intentional about getting alone with the Father, like when He went into the wilderness to fast and pray for forty days. In the book of Genesis, God even took a day of rest after He created the heavens and the Earth, and commanded His people to do the same. If He didn’t feel guilty about taking time to rest, neither should we!

You will quickly find that the best, most productive and loving version of yourself is one that has a self-care routine in your life. How will you care for yourself today?