I recently started reading the Magpie Girl blog – well, yesterday, actually – and I really like it. Rachelle and I disagree on some fundamental things, but I am really encouraged by so much of what she has to say. For example, yesterday Rachelle wrote an *8 Things list of her own self-care essentials. Self-care is a relatively new term for me, and one I am trying to grapple with from the perspective of a godly woman. I am like so many others in that I enjoy and naturally care for my loved ones, but I am not so good at caring for myself.
I am learning that self-care is simply about learning to live a balanced, healthy life. When we neglect ourselves, we eventually begin to have less to give others, which in turn affects our most important relationships. When asked what were the greatest commandments, Jesus answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these” (Matt. 12:29-31).
So, following Rachelle’s lead, here is my list of *8 Things:
- Meditative Activities. For me, this includes time in Scripture, as well as time to work in the garden, time to relax in the bath, time to take a walk with Chris – time to rest from the day’s labors.
- Family Snuggle Time. Before we got Sydney, Chris and I made a practice of snuggling with Annie on our bed almost every day when he came home from work. It’s a bit harder now with two dogs, and I miss it.
- Creative Space. I need my own workspace, as well as my own creative space. I am learning that these spaces shouldn’t overlap as that can be counter-effective, so I am brainstorming a way to achieve both.
- Something Hot. I hate being cold, so I am almost always sipping on a hot drink. It soothes my frazzled nerves and warms my fingertips. Caffeine in a hot drink is an added benefit, but not a requirement.
- Time to Play. When we decided to get a puppy and ultimately brought Annie into our life four years ago, I had no idea I was also inviting a lesson in the value of play. No one loves to play more than Annie, but she mostly loves to play with us. Sydney is more independent and can play all on her own, but Annie’s love of playtime is a constant reminder to me of how good play is for the soul.
- Meaningful Conversation. I suck at this. I am terrible at reaching out to my friends. If I have an area where I know I need improvement, this is it.
- Exercise. Another thing I am terrible about. I cancelled my gym membership because I went four times in four months. We have a Wii Fit, and I have Pilates DVDs, so no excuses. Unfortunately, this self-care item is so often on the to-do/guilty list… I just don’t know where to find time.
- Time to Write. I’ve been blogging now for just over a year, and I have learned that making time to write for me is a huge step in self-care. I don’t get paid for writing, either, which may be part of the allure. But that’s another topic…
So do you have a list of *8 Things? Care to share?