My self-care habit is taking time to exercise my faith.
What I do
To me, self-care is reminding myself of my purpose, my mission, and my value. There are various religious beliefs in our society that connect us to something bigger than ourselves. No, this is not my attempt at a conversion sermon. I am just sharing what works for me in a general sense. Every morning, I wake up and simply express my gratitude–my gratitude for the things that if they were taken tomorrow, I would notice and be humbled. I start out each gratitude expression with “Thank you for waking me up this morning”.
It reminds me every moment I am alive, there’s still more of me to give and receive to make my life and the lives of others more beautiful. I don’t think self-care has to be some dramatic “shut out the world” thing. It often requires the attentiveness to reality of our lives and our situations. From this reality check, we gain a healthy perspective.
After this healthy dose of reality, I turn on a sermon from one of my favorite pastors outside of my own: , , , or . I literally feel amazing as a result. It’s something about being refreshed on what my faith can do, the power of my courage to believe, and the undeniable impact I can have on those around me simply from being a light in an often dark place. It refreshes my soul and inspires me to keep moving forward, and keep living courageously.
Listening to sermons is something I can do while getting ready for work. But if I have time, I will also read some of a book on my shelf and work through it day-to-day until I’ve finished it. Most of the books I own are self-care, faith-based, personal development, and/or professional development.
The best are the days when I am able to do all of the above habits; reflect, listen, and read. Can you say invincible feeling??
How it works for me
I think that the “start” of the day doesn’t get enough credit: “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish“. I don’t feel this (or similar quotes) applies to self-care. When it comes to my self-care practices, I truly feel this has helped to positively shape my day and my life at-large, in the way I respond to personal and professional challenges and successes. Simply wrapping up my day with these practices would make me feel more reactive than proactive and preventive. Why build it and THEN read the instructions? Choose your own adventure, as a favorite person of mine says. But this adventure has truly made my life journey one of peace, gratitude, love, and hope.
Want to test my go-to tricks to self-care?
Rethink the concept of self-care. If we think of self-care as just being a break or escape from our reality, I believe we miss the point. It’s being able to take and face our reality with a healthy perspective and being able to live the “stressful experiences” with greater confidence and courage. Don’t get me wrong, watching the Office on Netflix is one of the best things that’s happened to me. (I believe laughter is an important aspect of wellness.) However, my aforementioned strategies are truly long-lasting. They impact how I interact with situations throughout the day and my overall well-being.
Take on one aspect of my overall strategy and add more as time allows, in your own way. Take note of your perspective shifts and your overall confidence in who you are and what you’re capable of.
We each receive a beautiful life full of ups, downs, successes, challenges, wins, defeats, ease, difficulty, and everything in between. Self-care, to me, is finding the inspiration to keep moving forward and keep living courageously in spite of it all.
This post is part of our #SelfCareSA series, which explores unique self-care habits of #SApros. Whether it’s faith, crosswords, or video games, you’re bound to be inspired to carve out some “you-time.” For more info, please see Sabina’s intro post. Be sure to check out other posts in this series too!
> BONUS <
Podcast With Matt Cummings on Spirituality, Service, and Assessment