Self-Care… REALLY Jasmine?… YES REALLY.
You may be saying, “right now???” and I totally get it. But trust me in the uncertainties and times like these, I believe these few tips and reminders from God might be useful for both you and your family.
Whenever I speak to anyone including my own experience when the word “self-care” appears the usual and assuming factor that comes with it, is that it’s essentially being selfish instead of caring for those around you, or worrying about the life around you. It’s seen as a struggle because you are putting your needs before those around you. Or for all of you, it’s the point of having to say “no” for the first time in a while which can be challenging.
But HOLD UP, REALITY CHECK.
Since the world has taken a 180 degree turn, how many of you would say life and its changes have become overwhelming, stressful, unorganized, and yes even a major sense of lack of control and anxiety. You may be at a point where your whole family and its normal system seems off, emotions are everywhere, time and routine has changed, you’re questioning if you’ve washed your hands enough or even ate one thing healthy today. Along with that your kiddos and the mess they keep trailing, or the questions they keep asking, your job and its changes, or homeschooling and trying to make sure there’s enough planned, or a meal made, etc. And between all of this now try and have a social life ONLINE. So between you and I, “we can all relate that this new present life is DANG HARD”.
None of this is easy, and God didn’t promise an easy life, but right now in the midst of chaos making time for self-care or even a self-care MOMENT, is a GIFT for you and for those around you. And for the kiddos in your life, it’s also for them. It’s a chance to instill rituals they will need and appreciate when they grow to be a student, or young adult and later a parent. But right now, I believe it will help them in the midst of change, and help them deal with emotions and feelings, which in return will help the whole family. No shame in this game, everyone deserves a RECHARGE.
If you’re struggling with this idea think of it this way. Your life has a battery, and it cannot run to do anything or tend to anyone if it is dead. So you need to recharge that battery in order to experience a better self and who God called you to be, to experience a better attitude and see the changes around you as blessings. Another REALITY CHECK no one is perfect but having these self-care moments will give you and your family the refilling and refresh needed. So next time tiredness, frustration, and anxiety rise, at least you’ll have the energy to deal with it, or you will notice less of it because of the care you are taking, individually. Self-care gives you and your kids moments to refill, reset, and prepare for the things to come.
You may be wondering, what God thinks of all of this. You know what I think, “God knew that we would have busy lives, that we have families that move quicker than we blink, and that we’d feel overwhelmed at times”. In fact God in the beginning of the Bible after creating the world took time to REST. As human beings created and capable for all that we can do, sometimes this is the last thing we think of but God commanded it. God in one story was in the middle of a storm, and he literally paused and rested. Rest shouldn’t be shamed or something that happens at 1am in the morning, but rather a moment for you to BREATHE and JUST BE.
That can be sleep, that can be sitting somewhere for ten minutes with no one around you sipping your caffeinated drink, maybe two (no judgement here), maybe it’s reading a chapter of your Bible, or another book you’ve been longing to read. You know rest as humans doesn’t come naturally, especially if you’re an extrovert… go, go, go kind of person. God knew that when He commanded His people to take a moment to rest. So I want to challenge you today, this week take time to revive yourself and bring yourself back to who you really are in Christ!
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
These are only two small sections that refer to rest in the Bible but there are so many others, so this week think of it as a time to pause. As a family pausing is an ideal time to regroup, reconnect, and recharge. You don’t necessarily have to do it together but find your space, and encourage your kids to do so, as well. Explain the meaning of caring for yourself and the body God has blessed you with. Appreciate the importance of your body and all it can do, and give it the emotional, spiritual, and physical care and break needed.
Have compassion for yourself, offer yourself the care. YOU DESERVE IT.
So with all this in mind, you may be saying “k, how do we do this”? Well, I’ve encompassed some ideas for you personally as parents, and even some ways for the kids. But if none of these are of interest ask yourself “What activities make you feel good and recharged? What did you love doing before you had kids? What would you like to do more of?” And for the kids, help them discover and remind them of things you’ve seen them enjoying, allowing those things to be their moment of self-care.
PARENTS: Go for a walk or exercise, read, sit on the balcony or deck alone breathe in the fresh air, soak in the tub, find somewhere quiet (even if it’s the closet or washroom, and tell the kids this is your moment of care), listen to a podcast, go for a drive, listen to music or watch a favourite movie, do something in nature (hike, gardening), FaceTime a friend with a cup of coffee or snack. Do something creative (craft, drawing, painting), cook something new, or bake a favourite dish of yours, read scriptures, be a part of a guided prayer group, meet online for services, step away from social media for a moment, go to bed early, write a list of gratitude.
KIDDOS: Bath Time (relax with some bubbles and a favourite toy), go on a walk and find things in nature, exercise, listen to music, have a dance party, colour a picture, make a cozy spot for the kids to rest and hang out in, make something together that’s a family favourite, watch a movie together, read a book, make a craft, paint your nails, journal, pray and read your Bible, blow bubbles, make hot chocolate and curl up in a blanket, write what you’re thankful for, create a gift for someone you love.
If something isn’t working ask yourself, “Would a different time of day work better? Or even a different day? Get support, maybe it’s swapping something with someone so you can schedule your moment of self-care better. Use things like KidZone Facebook Live (Tuesdays 2pm & Thursdays 10am) as a time for the kids and a moment for you.
Lastly, it’s okay to ask for help, there’s no shame in it. Some days are harder than others and we are here for you. May it be counselling, looking for a family to connect with, resources, prayer, etc. Families experience challenges and pain, and we get the mess so please don’t hesitate to reach out if needed.