I’ve struggled to get a post out because I haven’t felt on top of my game the past several days, but I want this to be an open space because perhaps it can be an encouragement to some of you.
Blake and I have a big transition coming up, and while it is good, it is challenging for me. I love new things, but I’m also a creature of comfort and familiarity. This weekend was filled with big decisions and future conversations, and my emotions and anxiety were all over the place.
Normally, when I’m feeling off emotionally or physically, I push through and just do what I need to do. However, in the past year I’ve started honoring my need to slow down and take care of myself. Self-care is a buzzword now, but for good reason. Our culture tells us we need to push ourselves farther, constantly be busy, and always say ‘yes’. I felt that pressure for years – and I finally hit a breaking point. I was constantly tired and unhappy, and I didn’t have the time or energy to do life-giving things like spend time with my husband, read books, bake, or go on walks.
Perhaps I won’t get as ‘far’ as others, get as much done, make as much money, or know as many people, but I don’t care. I’d rather be present for the moments and people I have right now.
Practicing self-care and slowing down is not easy. Sometimes I worry I’m missing out, or that I’m not doing ‘enough.’ However, what is the measure of ‘enough’? I believe this comes from knowing and trusting ourselves. I know, that is hard, but you are the only judge of your capacity.
If you are feeling burnt out and exhausted, or like you never have a spare moment in your calendar, then maybe you need to make room for slowing down and practicing self-care. One way I have done this is by taking a Sunday sabbath. After church and lunch, I spend the day doing life-giving things – no work or big plans. Recently I’ve spent that time reading, baking, watching a show, getting coffee with Blake or a friend, or spending time with family. During an emotionally or physically challenging time, perhaps self-care involves taking a break from exercise, taking a nap, or making sure you get a good night’s rest.
What keeps you from slowing down? How do you practice self-care?