Take care of you?
What does that mean? How is that possible?
As moms, wives, women, we take care of everyone and everything.
We are master taker-carers.
Like PhDs in taking care of others.
We manage budgets and run errands and keep track of things at home and do laundry and cook and clean and nurse and teach and drive and on and on and on…
Our husband helps. We have supportive families. We might even get daily thank yous.
But, as much as people try, they have a hard time knowing what we need to refresh, rejuvenate, regroup and recharge.
You have the job of taking care of you.
And I know as well as you, that wanting to take care of you is easier said than done.
Taking care of ourselves is something we ALL KNOW WE SHOULD DO.
But doing it?
On most days… nearly impossible.
Responsibilities are constant and letting go is difficult.
There is always something to do, somewhere to go, a paper to sign, a website to research… the shopping list, the laundry pile, the errands never end.
But the effect of neglecting ourselves is too costly to ignore.
The effects are real, dangerous, staggering.
Neglecting yourself causes health problems, high stress, hormonal struggles, exhaustion and feelings of depression. The list is long.
Not to mention the effect on your marriage, your family, your children, your friends…
Don’t go there. Don’t neglect you.
You are valuable.
You are needed.
You are important.
You are YOU and so worth the time and effort to take care of you.
“Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
So, if we all know we should yet we all find it hard to do…
What do we do to take care of ourselves without the guilt, the fear, the hassle?
How do we make ourselves take the time to do what refreshes and recharges us?
I think asking those questions is the first step.
- Have you thought about taking care of you lately?
- What causes the guilt that keeps us from taking care of ourselves?
- What else keeps us from taking the time we need to care for ourselves?
- What refreshes us and recharges us so we can be the healthy women we should be?
- What is the best thing that helps you care for you?
- Have you talked to God about you lately?
- What areas are you busy in that He has not called you to do?
- How does He want to help you take care of yourself for your family?
Once you have the answers to those questions…
1. Put it on the calendar. Coffee with a friend? Coffee with a book? A bath? A manicure? Time to write and journal? Just plain quiet? Schedule it.
2. Let go. Whatever your husband or your mom or the babysitter does with the kids and your house and your life while you step out to take some alone time will be fine. They will be fine. They may not do it like you, you might have to backtrack and redo some things… but everyone will be alive and they will have had fun experiencing some exciting hours under someone else’s care. Don’t stress about the how and what while you are away. Enjoy being away.
3. Look up. What is going on around you that you could join? A Bible study? A moms group? A church event for women? Find it and go.
4. Communicate. Our husbands and families want to help. They want to step in and give you a break. They just might not know how. Be clear. Be direct. Speak up for yourself and share what you need. The whole family going out to dinner might give you a break from cooking but it might not be what you need to regroup from the day. Share what you need.
5. This isn’t just about you. Oh, it seems that way. It will feel that way. But honestly? The sayings, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” and “Happy wife, Happy Life” are TRUE. Taking care of you will bless and help your family. Taking care of you will keep you healthy for many years of serving your family. Taking care of you will reduce moments of depression and keep you from feeling overwhelmed and remind you that you are still a valuable woman with a God-given purpose to accomplish in your family’s lives.
Taking care of you will benefit everyone and give you the tools you need to continue taking care of everything around you.
For your marriage, for your kids, for your friends. for your family… take care of YOU.
Something that might help you with the courage to start, here are some ways to speak encouraging words to yourself. A list of scripture verses that will inspire, encourage and uplift… start there.
Then, as God ministers to you… begin taking care of you.
Do you have answers to those questions?
What are some tips you have for taking care of you?
Is taking care of you something that you have neglected lately?