GeneralInspirationMotheringSelf-care ideas

Day 23- Looking Inside

Hello! I’m glad you are continuing on this journey with me!

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Our path to learning and implementing better self-care habits is vitally important. This is certainly a matter of becoming able to do what we know is best. {Alas, just knowing that self-care is important doesn’t mean that our knowledge automatically gets transferred to our behavior.} So today I’d like to know, do you struggle with this concept?

If you do, it’s probably time to gently ask, why?


Photo by Ive Erhard on Unsplash

Is it because it wasn’t taught by the women of your family? Does it feel like something that takes up too much time? Has it simply not been made into a healthy habit yet? Or could it be because of a history of feeling neglected? Or possibly abandoned or even abused by those who were meant to care?

Please consider your “why(s)” if you struggle to put yourself on the list of people to care for. If any of these reasons strike a chord with you, I’d like to invite you to decide today to end the neglect. It is within your power, and it is right as an adult woman, to nurture yourself. Yes, you also need the nurture of others, but the person with the responsibility is the person who has the power to change the equation–You. Today, you can ask for help if you need it. {What a proactive thing that is!} Today, you can change your mind or make a new decision. Today, you can look within and find out what that girl inside needs.

Learning this has been a life-long quest for me. I am grateful for a mother and a grandmother who have modeled self-care by being active and engaged in taking care of themselves throughout their lives. And thankfully, I have friends who might well have become the masters of self-care. They have taught me as I have watched their self-care habits.

Maybe you are a master of self-care too! If so, I applaud you! But, in the case that you could use a few more ideas, here are some of my observations of what the strong, feminine behavior of self-care looks like in some detail. I hope they will inspire you!

1 Self-caring women are appropriately clothed. By that I mean that I don’t see them struggling or suffering because of the temperature or weather. They are walking around in warm slippers if they are home. They might be wearing a sweater or sweatshirt to be comfortable on a winter day. If they go out in cold weather, they wear the appropriate protective clothing, that is they may have gloves, a coat, maybe a hat or carry an umbrella. For the most part, they are comfortably dressed to suit the occasions of their days. They might wear an apron as they cook; athletic shoes for walking; or a cool sundress on a hot summer day. They also dress themselves with respect for their own bodies, not as a way to garner inappropriate attention. It’s as if when they were preparing for the day, someone was watching out for their care, and that is probably indicative that they are “nurturing” themselves.

2 Self-care masters are usually doing some kind of exercise or supplemental routine. There’s an air of self-responsibility and self-respect about a person who is tuned-in to what their body needs and are doing something about it! Noting that muscles are tight, they might be stretching on a regular basis. Feeling sluggish? They might be cleansing with lemon juice in the morning or drinking more water or going for walks throughout the day.

3 These women don’t seem to be a burden to themselves. Yes, that is a strange sentence but it’s really important! My self-caring friends don’t seem to feel that caring for themselves is a burden, but they do seem to enjoy receiving the comfort, delicious food, rest, good book and warm cup of peppermint tea! They don’t seem to begrudge the time it takes to give themselves what they need.

4 They give from a place of fullness! When you are embraced or served or spoken to by someone who is at peace, who is cared for, who is comfortable, who is well fed, who feels at ease and who is greeting the world as their most beautiful selves, you feel those things too. You don’t feel that you are taking, but receiving! Their giving is gracious and intentional and full of love!

{Note: this is where many have erroneous thinking about self-care! One might worry that if you are taking care of yourself, you might become self-absorbed or selfish, or worse, you might worry that you might be perceived by others as selfish! The first thought is incorrect and the second is prideful. What would God want for you? To be giving and serving in joy and grace, or to be suffering for want and trying to give in order to be seen as charitable?}

5 My friends don’t seem to be strung out by giving. In other words, they aren’t overreaching to take other people’s problems onto themselves, but they offer appropriate support at the same time. In other words, they aren’t practicing co-dependency. They have a correct sense of boundaries, that keeps them standing squarely on their own feet, caring for their own families, while also being aware of the needs of others and validating, or walking beside others, as they work out their own problems; offering great love, aid and encouragement, while not assuming responsibility for things they have no power to change.

6 These ladies have practiced knowing when enough is enough. That may be knowing when to pull back from working long hours, when to say no, when to stop eating, when and how to let go of unneeded emotional baggage and most importantly, when to give heavy burdens to God, and trust in His wisdom.

While none of us are without room for growth and improvement, I pray that if you need it, you will have the opportunity to observe women in your life who are caring for themselves in happy ways. It helps so much to have a visual aid!

And may you see the wisdom in becoming a visual aid to your children, so that following your lead, their adult lives might be filled with self-compassion too.

Happy, happy day to you!

Love,

5 thoughts on “Day 23- Looking Inside

  1. I love this so much! When I read the description of these women I see someone so joyful and loving and able to love those around her. It becomes more clear to me how I want to be and what true self care looks like. Thank you, Jacque! 😘

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