The Bible says we are to deny ourselves and take up our cross (Matt 16:24). I’ve met many women who take this to mean that you need to be there for everyone every time they need you for something.
If you’re like these women, here’s are two contradictory truths you may not have considered:
- If you’re the type who is always there to help, there will always be a waiting list for those wanting your help.
- You are limited in our time and energy. So if you are always helping others, you won’t have time to help yourself.
I know what you’re probably thinking: But isn’t it selfish to take time for myself?
I would like to dispel that myth and abolish that lie here today. If you are the type who believes that forgoing your own health (mental, physical or emotional) for the sake of others is Christ-like, you are misguided.
If you believe that running around doing everything while your physical body is not being cared for, you are misguided.
If you believe that you were placed on this planet to drive your kids everywhere while you can’t seem to find time to wash your hair, you are misguided.
Do you think you are able to better represent Christ when you are overweight, stressed, and resentful or when you are well rested, healthy, and happy?
The answer seems obvious, yet so many Christian women are conforming to the world’s expectations of what it means to be self-sacrificing.
Here are 5 ways to regularly include self-care in your routine without feeling guilty.
- Stop looking at self-care as selfish. When you change your perspective about self-care, you begin to see that it’s not selfish. It’s vital.
- Stop looking at denying your needs as a good thing. Self-sacrifice should not be worn like a badge of honor. You’re not a martyr.
- Set boundaries. It’s impossible to say yes to everything. Learn how to say no and stick to it. Believe me, by doing so, you will empower others to figure things out for themselves. However, if you want others to rely on you, it’s time to reach out for help. You’re not only keeping yourself stuck, you’re holding them back as well.
- Don’t let guilt drive you. If you feel guilty over something you’ve done, apologize and let it go. If you are surrounded by others who use guilt to motivate you, you are nothing more than a puppet in their hands. Cut the strings.
- Be compassionate to yourself. You have compassion for everyone else, why not you? If you struggle with feeling like others are more important and more worthy than you are, it’s time to get some help. You’re worth it. God has too many amazing plans waiting for you.
Did you know that most self-sacrificing people are surrounded by selfish people? Coincidence? I don’t think so. Self-sacrificing people like to be needed. But truth be told, sacrificing people who forgo their own self care aren’t as selfless as they appear. They often carry the selfish motive of being needed and appreciated.
Don’t believe me? Watch how you feel the next time someone doesn’t appreciate you for your self-sacrifice.
God wants you to be in tip-top shape. How can you run your race if you are worn out?
If you have ever wondered what God wants you to do with your life and are ready to answer the cry for purpose with the determination to discover, check out my new book Make it Matter – A Roadmap to Living a Life of Purpose. In it you will discover your purpose, develop your gifts and design a plan to take you from concept to completion.