What is self-care? By Esther Kuku

What is self-care? Quite simply put, it’s anything that works for you. It’s recognising that you matter, and that you can learn to say No and not feel guilty. It’s stopping to think and meditate on all the things about you that are fabulous. To acknowledge that you’re a great wife, mother, sister or friend; to celebrate your successes, and embrace your mistakes as stepping stones towards a better you.

As women, we do so much for others and simply do not put ourselves first often enough. It’s time to prioritise your wellbeing.

Self-care is more than a zeitgeist phrase; it’s a biblical principle. Matthew 22:39 says to ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’ So, if you don’t love yourself, that verse of Scripture suddenly becomes a whole lot more complex than the simple verse many of us became familiar with at Sunday school.

Essentially, if you don’t place value on yourself and invest in yourself, how do you do this for others?

It’s time to prioritise YOU as a strategic move towards self-care, but also in being able to have a positive impact on others. So how do we do it?

First of all, nothing derails a good day like a rough night’s sleep, so get to bed early. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function, and to maintain your physical health. Sleeping is as important as eating and exercise.

Schedule time for yourself into your diary. Plan walks during your lunch hour, and don’t eat at your desk. Plan a night-in for just you; switch off the mobile phone; run a bath, and relax with your favourite book. If it’s actually scheduled in your diary, it’s more likely to happen.

Let go of negativity. We tend to attract more of what we have, so guess what? If you’re really negative, you’ll attract negativity. For example, I’m learning not to discuss disappointments with others. So something just didn’t work out, move on. Speak to a trustworthy confidant, pray about it, and then just let it go. Let’s protect our minds from going over stuff that’s unhelpful. Then we will automatically free up mental capacity to focus on our goals and aspirations.

Pray daily. Early in the morning, while others are sleeping, tends to work best for me. That is… until my five year old decides she wants to join in!  And, don’t beat yourself up, if you oversleep. Pray in the car, pray in the shower…. Just pray, and spend time in the Word daily!  Prayer is communicating with God. It’s impossible to know someone if you don’t spend time with them. So to understand the heart of God you need to pray, and when we connect in this way regularly, you start to hear His heart for your life.

Prayer changes us. The more time we spend with God, the more we are transformed into His likeness. Our habits and lifestyle change, and self-care is a godly habit we need. So, in your prayer time, ask God to help you commit to spending more time caring for YOU. Develop a lifestyle of self-care, because you are special and important and, sometimes, everything else and everyone else can wait.

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