Last week, we began a series on relationships. Of course, your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have; yes, before any other. How are you talking to yourself, are you confident in your decisions, are you making healthy choices physically and mentally? You can’t sincerely give what you don’t have. We talked about the difference between self-acceptance and self-love and why striving to achieve both are vital to a refreshing life of freedom and fulfillment.
Your next thought might be, “Where do I draw the line?” When should you stop giving to everyone else? When does self-care become selfish? These are excellent questions to which I do not have the answers! You do.
The purpose of self-care is to care for YOU, then care for others better. For example, giving money is a significant act of charity in our culture. There is nothing wrong with it unless you don’t have any money to cover your basic needs. There is a domino effect when you don’t pay your debts. Not only do you suffer, but you cannot be a blessing to anyone else either.
Self-care is different for everyone. Every person is uniquely designed with different personalities, preferences, and gifts. You need to define two things for yourself to prevent burnout. What brings you peace, and what are your priorities?
You may be gifted with a personality that loves blessing others in a personal, hands-on approach. Or perhaps you are designed to bless others with the right connections. I have friends that love to give hugs and positivity, but even they need to go home and disconnect from the world for a day or two. We all have that one friend that goes MIA for a few days or weeks. Sometimes we can go overboard giving, giving, and giving that we neglect to fill our giving cup up and tend to run on empty.
It’s about making time for what you love! I had a friend who was sick with compounded health issues. There were many foods, seasonings, and sauces she couldn’t eat together. Plenty of people loved and cared for her, but understanding how to cook for her health was incredibly complicated. Members of our church acted in their strengths, giving her calls, sending her letters, coming to spend time with her, and trying to make her life as fun as we could.
I was grateful God blessed me with my gifts to help her. My joy is not only cooking but the challenge of creating healthy dishes that taste amazing! I had a lot going on in my life, but cooking her meals for the week brought me peace and solace. For some, cooking one food might bore them to death! Helping her was still a form of self-care for me. I made her a high priority because, without those meals, she would be left with processed foods, making her condition worse.
That is the second thing that defines self-care. Priorities. You can’t achieve balance if you don’t know what you’re balancing and how they’re supposed to line up. Writing down your responsibilities in their order of importance is invaluable. When life happens at the speed of lightning, and you’re shuffling through your daily decisions, you’ll know when to say no. These two questions should guide your decisions:
Will this fall in line with your priorities?
Will you feel depleted?
The spaces between taking care of yourself, over-indulging, or running yourself ragged are different for everyone. Practically speaking, life happens, and the lines may get a little blurred here and there. But remembering to protect your peace and respect your priorities provides a guiding line for you to stay balanced more than not.
Before we part, I will leave you with this challenge. HCSB is all about starting with you, the woman, to create a ripple effect in our communities and beyond. I want you to encourage someone to make a list of the things that bring them joy and another of their priorities with you, whether it’s your spouse, your child, or a friend. Invite them to find balance and peace with you. Please share with me how it goes. Next week, I’ll be checking in to see where you are. It is my priority to see you walk in the freedom you deserve, learning the foundations of healthy relationships with yourself first, then others.
You are uniquely remarkable,
Check out our Intimacy Begins In the Kitchen Couple’s Cooking Class. Single or just dying for some girl time? This year we introduced our Galentine’s IBIK Cooking Class. You don’t want to miss out on our event of the year!