Does the idea of “self care” make you feel guilty?
I don’t mean “self care” as in pampering yourself, buying new shoes, getting your nails done, etc. as it is often attributed to.
I mean taking care of yourself and making sure your needs for sleep, rest, nourishment, and movement are met.
Sometimes I still struggle with feeling guilty when I take time to rest, prioritize sleep, say “no” to things that over crowd my schedule, take breaks, make space for my soul, stop to write, etc.
I used to think serving others meant hustling 24/7, keeping everyone happy, and expending all my resources in the process. I am grateful God allowed me to experience burn out as a wake up call. Depleting all my resources for others didn’t help me best serve others. It kept me exhausted, grumpy, and lacking the mental and physical energy to be there for my fellow humans.
I love the garden analogy—when we don’t tend our own garden, we run out of fruit to give to others. Wow. How can tending to our own basic needs be selfish when our intention is to best serve others?
When I take the time to rest, keep a schedule that does not exhaust me, make space for my soul, write out my feelings, eat nourishing foods, maintain a yoga practice to feel good physically/mentally, and take breaks, I can actually BETTER serve others. I can make space for them. I have energy to sit with them, or to help them with whatever they are going through. Remembering this helps me when the feelings of guilt creep in, those thoughts that used to fuel my hustle.
I invite you to turn down those voices in your head telling you to expend all your resources and ignore your basic needs in order to serve others. Your energy will run out and you will have nothing left to give. Take time to be quiet and still with your Father, just as Jesus did. We are invited into a different way of life.
Shared with permission from Dana Schaub, CYA Founding Trainer. To find out more about heart, mind and soul care you are invited to visit Dana’s blog at https://wholeselfcare.net/strength-to-serve/