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How to Practice Self-Care Without Being Selfish

By Emma Grace Brown

It’s extraordinarily easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Sometimes it can feel impossible to get off the hamster wheel. When you finally have a plan and moments of peace seem to be on the horizon, something is bound to pop up to engulf your time.

Life is perpetually busy and will always stay that way unless you become intentional about relaxation and self-care. We are called to work and be diligent in our work, but we are also called to rest and find moments to commune with God and our communities.

There’s no one-size-fits-all recipe to what self-care should look like for everyone. If there were, then the self-care section at your local bookstore would not be so vast. However, one thing is universally true: self-care doesn’t have to cost a lot of time and money. To get you started, here are some ideas to incorporate into your routine:

Taking Care of Your Body

With the rise of modern conveniences has come the sedentary lifestyle. The average person no longer hunts, gathers, and grows their food just to survive. Most people never have careers in their lifetime that consist of grueling labor. But our bodies require movement. We need it for our internal organs to function properly, to maintain proper weight, to regulate our hormones, and — equally as important — to balance mood.

An active lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to be a gym rat. Whether you’re six, 16, or 65 years old, you can incorporate quick and easy exercises into your routine that can be done indoors or outdoors. Some examples include:

  • Walking — Tracking steps throughout the day and competing with another person is a way to make this fun.
  • Yoga — Look to online videos to guide your way.
  • Step exercises — Bump the music to get the energy going.
  • Bodyweight exercises — Keep your body strong without overdoing it.
  • Wii Games — There are plenty of interactive and amusing options.

Observing the Sabbath

Self-care often gets a bad reputation for being mystical, vein, or even self-absorbed. While it is possible to have too much self-care that results in the neglect of others or duties, that’s not often the case for most people.

The root reason self-care is often talked about is because people often overlook their own needs and what calms them, which can result in physical and mental disasters. God Himself rested on the seventh day of creation. It’s important to intentionally observe the Sabbath, rest, lean into God, reboot, and refocus. The remainder of your days will be refreshed because of it.

What You Consume Matters

Quick and easy foods are typically highly processed and packed with fillers your body doesn’t need. Try simplifying your diet for a while to see how it feels. Focus on eating for fuel and enjoyment instead of eating for the sake of eating.

If you enjoy cooking, use rest days to meal plan and enjoy the art of cooking. A well-planned, simple diet can also be very cost-effective (i.e. less take out). Even if it’s short-lived, a simplified diet can reveal any foods that make you feel sluggish or don’t sit well with you.

We need to treat our bodies well so that we can operate as we are designed to. This is a necessity — not a luxury. And you can achieve a life balance. The more you find balance and make time for each thing that matters, you’ll also find that your productivity in every area of your life will increase. We are blessed to be created in His image, and there is no time like the present to tap into that gift.

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Heather V Shore is a wife, mother and domestic violence survivor. Check out her site for book updates and more!

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