God honors our work ethic, but he also calls us to rest. Rest : cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.
Self-Care: the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health. There was a time where I barely saw my husband, family, friends, and missed out on a lot of fellowship. I lost all motivation to take care of myself, and unfortunately that affected the people around me that I loved.
Until one day, I began to experience major physical, mental, and spiritual burn out. I remember my Doctor asking me questions about how many hours I worked and about my lifestyle. I was grateful for my job, but it was always meant to be temporary – it just took me longer to finally take that step and move forward with leaving.
During my time off, I began to relearn the value of rest & self-care. Honestly, I didn’t feel worthy of self-care and I didn’t know how to make time for rest anymore. One day, the Lord reminded me of Matthew 22:39, when Jesus brought up one of the Ten Commandments – “You must love your friend in the same way you love yourself.” This was my drive to finally do all the things that refreshed my body, spirit, and soul. I wanted to love well, but I had to begin with myself.
You see, taking care of ourselves by making time to rest, and investing in self-care is not just for us – it is also for our loved ones and our sphere of influence. I believe we as women all have some similar and different ways we choose to rest and self-care. So I decided to ask women from different seasons of life to share how they rest and how they choose to self-care.
Ashlé Harris I am a wife & mom of 2 littles. I am a Marketing Specialist for a non-profit education organization. My favorite way to rest is with worship music! I spend alone time to just blast worship music, sit in the presence of God, and reflect on His goodness and faithfulness. It’s also refreshing for me to spend time with girlfriends to dream, encourage, and talk about what God is doing in our lives! Taking care of my body is a way I choose to self-care by being mindful of what I put in it and making sure I have time to exercise. This gives me time to invest in myself and my wellbeing; positive hormones, clarity of my thoughts, energy and time to challenge my body and my mind. Jen Taylor I am married & a momma of 2 kiddos! I own a boutique fitness gym for women in Houston, Tx. My favorite way to rest is by relaxing & watching my favorite show, or sitting in a quiet room to process my thoughts & talk to God. A few of my favorite ways to self-care are getting in a good workout, going for a walk, or getting my nails & hair done.
Kelsey Mattheis Rest is hard for me. I am a single mom with a busy job and many responsibilities, so I have to carve out time for rest. I also have autoimmune disease. So for me, rest will be forcing myself to sleep in or have a totally relaxed Saturday where I do nothing. This helps my body to recover and my mind to not get too overwhelmed. Self-care for me is helping my brain not feel the pressure of being guilty that I’m resting. If I’m resting, something isn’t getting done… so I have to spend time in prayer or just remember that it is ok if things go undone so that I can rest and stay healthy. Jaclyn Ramirez
I am a full-time student! Rest in my life looks like “remembering” and “reflecting.” Seems more like mental rest rather than physical, but that’s usually what I need most. Being a full-time student has taught me that I can’t achieve my goals on my own strength. I tend to tackle these classes fully dependent on myself, doing all I can to get good grades. I forget who the one carrying me through it all is. Reflecting on how Jesus has brought me this far refreshes my soul and brings me to a place of peace no matter where I am. Self-care in my life is displayed in numerous ways like working out/going on a walk, cooking a healthy nutrient dense meal, putting on a nice outfit, and doing my makeup. I have to start my day off with moving my body and fueling it with the energy it needs to function properly. I love all things fashion and beauty so slipping on a nice outfit along with a beat face really helps me feel my best! Alexis Shoope
I am married and an Orthopedic Physical Therapist! My favorite way to rest is worshipping God, reading the bible or reading a good book. Self-care to me is getting in a challenging workout, going on a walk through neighborhoods or around water, and eating food that fuels my body well! Mesha Jackson
I am a Restaurant Manager. Something that I do to refresh myself is starting my morning off meditating and talking to God before I do anything else. Praying and reading scripture helps me have a refreshing start each day with a mindset that allows me to let go of yesterday and begin a new day with positivity and a clear mind. Self-care to me looks like staying active – such as working out and eating healthy which is a journey that I have just begun three months ago which I have learned so much from. As I am learning how to take care of my body, I have found myself to have more energy, a better mood, and I’ve been able to retain a lot more information in my brain. Working out it is a form of relaxation for my mind and spirit.
God honors our work ethic, but he also calls us also to rest. My hope for everyone reading this is to not have to wait and experience burnout before choosing to practice the art of rest and self-care. My sister said it well in the last blog, “Rest should be a rhythm we create, not a rescue from our burnout.” I hope you are encouraged by this post today, and inspired to discover your own rhythm of rest and self-care. You’re are worthy of it!