As moms, we are considered nurturing, caring, and in many cases sacrificial. These noble traits help us to navigate motherhood with an air of ease! But so often, we do not extend the same nurturing, caring, sacrifice to ourselves. We believe that we have to give consistently and it is selfish for us to slow down a moment to catch a break.
When you don’t understand the importance of taking care of yourself, you can easily walk straight into a place of exhaustion and burnout that makes it impossible to serve your family or the Lord well. This is not God’s intention for our lives! My hope is this post will help you to overcome the mindset of sacrificial exhaustion and embrace a lifestyle of caring for yourself well and loving yourself better.
I am so excited to have Ashley from Undoubted Grace sharing her wisdom on a topic many of us shy away from. I know you will be as inspired as I am with this post as well as have the courage to make taking care of yourself a priority.
What does it mean to take care of yourself?
The idea of loving yourself and taking care of yourself can be a hard concept for many Christians because there is this underlying thought that self-care is a selfish and self-serving thought process. If the idea of loving yourself immediately puts you in the mindset of constantly neglecting your personal responsibilities or being subject to your human desires then, yes, the self-love movement is very self-serving.
But this is not what I mean when I talk about the importance of taking care of yourself and embracing self-love.
Taking care of yourself and loving yourself in essence means that you are stewarding the blessing of self (a sound mind, a healthy functioning body, and a whole saved spirit). It is honoring the temple that is housing the holy spirit, and it is pressing into the source of our strength, our peace, and our rest.
What happens when you start taking care of yourself?
Choosing to take care of ourselves and focus on stewarding the blessings that God has given us is a powerful form of self-care. Self-care is anything that you do that intentionally puts focus on improving the state of your health spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and practically. The benefits are grand, and it affects not only your own life, but also the lives of those around you!
Importance of taking care of yourself
When you start loving yourself and taking care of yourself, you will find that you begin to feel a sense of a weight lifting off your shoulders. One of the ploys of the enemy is to get us to believe that we are unlovable and unloved, and that starts with how we feel about ourselves. He wants to get us to believe false ideas about our identity. Loving yourself and trusting God’s truth about our identity is the beginning of loving ourselves more.
Additionally, you will enjoy physical benefits of caring for yourself which include; more energy (and who couldn’t use a little more energy), lower stress levels, as well as improved focus and productivity. When you take time to rest, to exercise, to eat more mindfully and to make Sabbath more intentional, it becomes much easier to complete the day-to-day tasks that you must do!
Is Self-care selfish?
One of the biggest lies about self-care and perhaps the most significant misconception is that self-care is selfish! Self-care is a holistic approach to improving your health. It is intentional, focused, and specific. It includes prayer for guidance as well as actionable steps that we take to steward our health and love ourselves well.
With any hard topic, it is so especially important to make it subject to the word of God! We must seek the true meaning of the subject and God’s intention. We know that this world will distort even the purest of ideas, and pervert it to its own fancy. So, let’s look at a few verses about loving yourself that prove self-care (stewarding your health well) isn’t selfish.
Be sure to check out Mothers of the Bible Series for inspirational lessons from Matriarchs long ago!
Bible verses about loving yourself
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39 NIV
This bible verse is one of the most telling verses about self-care, self-love, and loving yourself. Many people see it as Jesus saying we should love in the following order, God, others, and then ourselves. But the wording is key here. Verse 39 says love your neighbor “AS” yourself. That is to love them in the way you love yourself.
When you consider this, the extent to which we show love to others is determined by how much we are capable of loving ourselves. It isn’t one or the other, it is a both, equally situation.
So Whether You Eat Or Drink Or Whatever You Do, Do It All For The Glory Of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV
This verse speaks to the motive of self-care and taking care of yourself. When we are intentional about loving ourselves and caring for our minds, bodies and souls well, and we do it with the mindset of bringing glory to God, that removes any selfishness that we may feel about self-care.
As Christians everything we do is tied to God’s character. We have to model wellness. Caring for ourselves means showing up healthy, joyful, and whole. In doing this we are showing the world what can be accomplished with God. Stewarding our health gives us the space to speak about the goodness of God!
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 NIV
Personal care isn’t just something nice to do. It is a command as well as a gift. When we rest and we take the time to focus on our physical needs and health, we are better able to serve those who God has entrusted to our care. We can not pour from an empty cup. We can not serve our best when we are plagued with exhaustion or mental fatigue.
Self-care starts with knowing God and resting in him. It starts with being intentional about quiet time to seek his direction, and sometimes that direction is to sit down for a while and simply soak it all in.
These bible verses about self-care and taking care of yourself are important reminders that it is okay to slow down and regroup.
10 Simple Ways to Love yourself more and take better care of yourself
Now that you understand all about the importance of taking care of yourself, you may be wondering exactly HOW you should go about doing that. I get it! We are busy moms with a TON of things on our plates, and sometimes the idea of having to prepare your family so that you can rest seems like more work than it’s worth! But, I have fantastic news! Loving yourself more and practicing self-care does not have to require a huge budget or tons of time! In fact, taking better care of yourself is as simple as drinking a glass of water! Here are 10 super easy things that you can do today to start loving yourself more.
Hydrate – Many of us feel tired because we are tired, but sometimes it’s due to dehydration. Make a commitment to drink just one more glass of water than normal each day until you reach about 8 glasses a day.
Use Affirmations – The bible tells us death and life are in the power of the tongue, and many of us use our words negatively towards ourselves unconsciously. Try speaking God’s truth over yourself in the form of affirmations to combat this cycle of negative self-talk.Get more sleep – The average American gets between 5-6 hours of sleep a night. No wonder we feel so exhausted. Consider a relaxing nighttime routine to help you wind down.
Unplug – This could be from social media or just from electronics. Take some time and get outdoors or exercise. This will not only help you relax but also break the cycle of consuming information and ideas that could be building unhealthy or unreasonable standards.
Declutter – Being in a space that is uncluttered reduces stress and also helps you to focus more clearly. It’s often said that the state of your space could be a representation of the state of your internal space. So get rid of the clutter and let go of the baggage.
Set healthy boundaries – It is okay to say no to activities, events, and other things that encroach on your time and sanity. Remember, rest is important and a command. Do not allow obligation to encroach upon your needs for rest.
Eat mindfully – So many of us have tried multiple diets. We start strong with many of them and do really well initially and then plateau, falling back into old habits. Eating mindfully is a way to eat and to consider making more choices that speak towards loving yourself, than those that speak towards enabling yourself.
Midday Prayer – The simple act of a 2–3-minute prayer in the middle of the day is a great way to reset emotions and attitudes that you may be feeling. It’s also an amazing way to reconnect to our source of strength and rest.
Make time for things you enjoy – So much of life is spent striving, taking care of the to do list, neglecting things we want to do because there are things that we must do. Those things we must do will always be there and you are worth the time it takes to do things that you enjoy!
Journal – This is another simple thing you can do to take care of yourself that can easily be adapted to fit into any part of your day! It could be a part of your morning routine, your prayer routine, your night routine, or even your commute if you do an audio journal!
Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish, it’s necessary!
I hope that this post has encouraged you to know that loving yourself is not a selfish act. It is a way to honor God and the blessing of mind, body, and soul he has given you. It is a way to take care of the temple that houses God’s holy spirit, and it is absolutely his desire for you!
Hey! I’m Ashley from Undoubted Grace, a Jesus loving, smile creating, middle of the grocery store dance party having wife and mama of two! I love sharing Jesus practically and seeing women walk boldly in God’s purpose! My greatest passion now is providing the resources that busy women need to gracefully transition through various seasons of life and emerge victoriously by helping them know Jesus more all while teaching ways to be a better steward of the blessings of life. I’d love for you to follow me on Facebook and Instagram!
Be sure to check out these other posts for moms!