When was the last time you cared for yourself? Yesterday? A week ago? A month ago? A year ago? Never?
While I pray with my whole heart that you answered “yesterday.” But, my gut and experience tells me you answered, “a month ago, a year ago, or maybe even never.”
Why is it that we spend more time caring for others and other things than we do our own heart and soul? Heck, even the laundry gets more attention than our heart.
When Quilt Overpowers Self-Care
I have spoken with many women about this and I often hear sentiments such as: “I don’t deserve it” or “I feel guilty for taking time away from my family.”
Can you resonate with these thoughts? I know I can.
When I was in the height of my stressed-out, unbalanced life, I joined a women’s running group. I joined this group because my heart needed community. I desperately needed to surround myself with other women who felt the way I did and who could encourage, support, and build me up.
This community did exactly this! But, I rarely went.
You see this group met on a Saturday morning, the exact day of the week my entire family was home. My husband was home from his job that required extensive travel each week. I was home from my full-time faculty job and together we finally got to spend time with our young children.
The guilt of leaving yet again was too much to bear so I didn’t go.
Ramifications of Self-Care Neglect
While it is true that by not going to my running group allowed me more time to spend with my family, the time I spent with them was not quality as I was not fully present, fully engaged, and fully healthy.
While I was physically present, my soul and mind were miles away.
Irritability, short-tempered, and exhaustion was what my family got when I didn’t push past the guilt feelings and go to my running program.
These feelings were the result of neglecting my soul.
What Are Your Signs Of Self-Care Neglect?
Our souls talk to each of us differently. Maybe your soul neglect is exhausted and lacking energy. Or maybe it comes out with depression and anxiety.
What your soul says to you through your feelings and thoughts is important, but not nearly as important as being aware that it is, in fact, trying to tell you something.
When you are aware of your own self-care neglect, you can take action.
But, what if you are not sure what soul neglect even looks like?
Spending time reflecting on these questions might give you a glimpse of what it looks like to fill your soul. If you feel anything counter to this, then you know your soul is being neglected.
- When do you feel good about yourself?
- How do you feel when you do something that brings you joy?
- What does an ideal day look like?
The answers to these questions reflect the key to self-care. They also represent the key to soul neglect. For instance, when I actually went to my running group, my body felt energized and my heartfelt content. These feelings spilled over to my family. I was a mom and wife who had a smile on her face, who was more patient, and kind. My actions and thoughts reflected my soul.
Dear friend, you’ve heard me say this before. Self-care is not selfish. It is not self-indulgent. It truly is survival.
How are you going to spend your days – surviving or thriving? God wants you to thrive.
“Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:4)
Praying you through,
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