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Self-Care Menu

So, now that we’re aware that we not only can partake in self-care but have a responsibility to take care of ourselves, how do we do it?

Have you ever had a day where you know you’d be better downing tools and taking a breather but you just don’t even have the presence of mind to navigate how to do that? I hear you! 

For that very reason I have put together a menu of self-care options. You can use it for those hectic days that even trying to think of what may help is just too big a task.

When I begin to feel overwhelmed, exhausted, agitated or even just a little perturbed I know I need fuel to replenish my resources: faith and self-care are my fuel. I turn to both, and in that particular order. 

God first, always. Sometimes it is a short interior mental prayer, sometimes I write my prayer. Sometimes it is reading a favourite daily devotional. Then, I turn my attention to what it is I am in need of; what act of self-care I would benefit from. By praying beforehand, I keep God present with me. Then my self-care becomes a prayer too.

The options are very broad and will depend on your specific circumstances. When I had a newborn, self-care was reading a book while breastfeeding. If your children are too young to safely entertain themselves for a sufficient period of time perhaps self-care needs to be the priority as soon as the smallies go for a nap, meaning chores get pushed a little later that day. Or maybe you can keep a toy they love or game they engage in specifically for when you need quiet time, assuring that their attention is held long enough to give you a break. Perhaps older children can watch a nature documentary while you sit in another room doing a puzzle or planning a project. You may need to get creative just to fit some self-care in. I would add that there is no need to be afraid to tell your children that you need quiet time or time alone…everybody does! You will be modelling that behaviour to them for when they need to step away.

The menu I’ve compiled is not exhaustive by any means. Consider it a thought-starter and include your own specific acts of self-care with those I have suggested. Take what you like and leave what you don’t. See what works for you. Try a few things out. Perhaps you can add your favourites to a note in your phone so that you have easy access to helpful ideas on those hectic days. To download the PDF file click here or for the PNG version, click here.

Bear in mind, though, that self-care should be something that helps you feel good while you’re doing it and afterwards. Folding the laundry to get ahead of the chores is not self-care…unless you really enjoy doing it!

I used to wait until I was overwhelmed before turning to self-care. I felt like I ‘earned’ it then. You do not need to wait until you are at breaking point to stop what you are doing and care for yourself. You are not the last item on the list. You do not need to get all the jobs done before you take care of yourself. Self-care is the fuel we need to do all we do. Put the fuel in before the gauge warns you that it is low. Keep the tank full as much as you can by peppering in several moments of self-care throughout your day. Some take literally only seconds and can impact our day very positively. When you sense your energy or resources dwindling, refuel. Turn to faith and self-care. Then you will be better able to give to others. And with a happy heart!

Once we overcome the misunderstanding that taking care of ourselves is selfish and begin to understand that we have a God-given responsibility to take care of ourselves, then we can combine faith and self-care to fuel our day. We can please God more on a daily basis by inviting Him in, not only to be present to our daily actions and routines, but to guide them. You are not last on the list. God. You. Others. We must strive not to leave any of the three neglected.

Take care of you and Let Truth Bloom.

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