I went through many years where I didn’t think it was okay to take care of myself. I had been taught to suck it up and go, go, go. That what made me a “better” person was how and what I was doing. So, in turn that meant I did more and more and more.
It has taken me numerous years in counseling to realize that it is not truth at all. Not only does “what” I do not make up who I am, but taking care of myself is not selfish.
Look at it this way. If you had a heart attack or broke your leg you would be forced to take it easy for awhile and take care of yourself, so you get better. It is the same with your everyday health and life. If you don’t rest, or eat right, and take time away from your “work” you won’t do your work right.
So, taking care of yourself helps you be a better worker and able to be there for others more and in a better frame of mind.
Having dealt with trauma you need to spend a little more time taking care of yourself. Because if you don’t deal with your trauma and allot time for your body to heal from it, your body will eventually tell you “STOP”.
I found this out early in my 30’s as I tried to ignore all I went through. I had a constant upset stomach, my body ached, and my head hurt. I even threw up a few times and had other not so lovely stomach problems. No tests showed anything because it was related to my mental well-being.
As I have begun to process my trauma and I am at a point to begin working again, I have realized I need some days where I do fun and relaxing things. I need days where I don’t always focus on my trauma or the next lesson I need to plan.
I have also learned that I need consistent sleep. That means I set a bedtime alarm and I go to bed then every night, even on weekends. I set a wakeup alarm and I get up at that time every day as well. This has allowed my mind and body to heal more and to be rested and able to give to those I encounter throughout my days.
As I write this on a Saturday morning the end of July, I was reminded again this week to take time to rest and relax. I wanted to work at the Food Pantry Back to School Fair this morning, but I don’t have the energy this week. So, I took the time off, and it also allows others to serve and get that blessing serving today at the fair.
It has given me time to take it easy this morning and to get this writing done that I have been putting off. I am then going to do some true relaxing later.
As I wrap this post up, I want to remind you that “doing” has nothing to do with who you are; only who you are in Christ matters. If you know Him, you are God’s child. That is the only identity that makes up who you are in life.
I also give you permission to take care of yourself. As strange as it sounds, sometimes we need someone to tell us it’s okay to take some time to rest. Even Jesus did this as He went off to pray in solitude. So, take Jesus’ example and take care of yourself so you can refuel your energy and do what God created you to do.
As you think and pray about this here are a few more tips to take care of yourself:
Start your mornings with God and in His word – asking for His strength and guidance.
Go to bed and get up at the same time even on the weekends.
Watch your sugar intake and eat intentionally. Try not to overeat or eat for comfort where you regret it later.
Be grateful and remember all you have to be grateful for in life.
Rest. Relax. Laugh. Have some fun. Enjoy life.
Take care of yourself my friends!
© 2021 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.