Every single time I text my hairstylist, Deidra to schedule an appointment I feel an immense sense of happiness. It's almost like I can physically feel the serotonin sending signals straight to my nerve cells. Seriously tho...I don't get much "me time" so when the time comes for me to get my hair done...put some lashes on...I...FEEL...AMAZING!! I say to myself, "Finally! Finally, I get a chance to indulge in some self-care." Cuz truth be told, I also hit the Cheesecake Factory after my hair appointment. I get my favorite flavor, Lemon and if they don't have that one, I choose Snickers. My friend, KD bought me a gift certificate to get a massage. I can't wait to use it. I mean we have so much to do. It seems as though there isn't enough hours in the day. We're wives, husband's, sisters, brothers, and mother's, father's, and friends. Not to mention our professions...we're social workers, doctors, teachers, cashiers, and construction workers. We are busy. We are tired. We need to realize how important self-care is.
Self-care is the act of taking care of your physical and/or mental well-being. It is taking time specifically for yourself to do whatever you want to make yourself happy. You can go to the nail salon and have a glass of wine while you're getting your nails done. You can book an extravagant week long trip to Bora-Bora. My God that trip sounds nice. Right?!?! Self care has grown in popularity and become our go-to when we're struggling. It's when you "treat yourself". But I believe that while self care is important, it only satisfies the flesh..your body...or even your mental state. The truth is that the vacation doesn't last. The week has to end and you have to come home. Shopping doesn't last. You have to checkout and you have to go home. What I'm saying is that the benefits of self-care are temporary but what does last is the benefits of Soul-Care.
Yes I said, "Soul-Care". We talk about self-care all the time but no one ever mentions how incredibly important soul-care is. While self-care is the act of caring for our physical and mental well-being; soul-care is the act of taking care of your spiritual health. Though our physical and mental states get tired and we attempt to replenish them through self-care; we must remember that our soul is where everything dwells. Without the soul, there is no physical or mental well-being. If it grows weary then it begins to impact every other part of our being.
I practice soul-care in a number of ways.
I attend church. I know that church isn't a requirement and that some people believe that we can worship God anywhere but for me..I need to go to church. I just feel a wave of strength and sense of belonging when I'm in the house of the Lord. Psalm 150:1 says "Praise him in his sanctuary." I live by that 100%. I feel like if I can go work a job for 40hrs a week, I can give God 3 hrs on Sunday. And I realize that my week goes smoother after attending church.
I pray God's word. I know that we all pray but I promise it's hits so much different when I pray his word. My sis, Catricia said it best..."When God is reminded of his word thru prayer, he rejoices and the blessings rain down in abundance." God I pray that you bless each and every person that is currently reading this blog. I pray that you will satisfy the weary ones and refresh those who are feeble. God you said that in Jeremiah 31:25. And if you said it, you have to do it. It's your word and you do not lie. Amen.
I've also been reading the Bible more. God's word gives me strength beyond understanding. It gives me the strength that I could never get from my hairstylist or a nail tech. God's word gives me guidance and instructions on how to keep going when I want to give up. Therapy could help me as well when I'm in a depressive state but even the therapist uses some of God's principles whether she knows it or not. 2 Timothy 3:16 says "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
Oh and another thing that I do during my soul-care regiment...BABYYYYY..I...DANCE💃. I sing too but not like I dance. Lol. I literally play worship music while I'm cooking dinner and I dance. 2 Samuel 6:14 says "And David danced before the Lord with all his might." I dance like David danced.
When I pray and study God's word...and put a praise on it..I can feel my soul strengthening. Everytime I attend Bible study, I can feel my soul strengthening. Everytime I walk through the doors of my church, I can feel my soul strengthening. Everytime I help others, I can feel my soul strengthening. I know that both self-care and soul-care help us stay balanced but self-care can also be seen as selfish. For the parent that spends an extended amount of time away fro
m the kids to blow off some steam...it could be viewed as selfish. For the women who gets her hair and nails done weekly..it could be seen as seen as selfish. The Bible cautions us of being selfish and only focusing on ourselves. We are called to focus on others instead of ourselves. Phillipines 2:3 says "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourselves. In other words, it's okay to practice self-care but remember that we should also be helping others.
What makes soul-care significantly different than self-care is that when we care for our souls, in turn we care for the souls of others. I know what I get from being in the presence of God so I constantly invite others to be in his presence as well. The bottom line is that soul-care is the support and restoration of the well-being of us in totality....MIND..BODY..SPIRIT.
So here's the challenge...I challenge you to practice self-care and soul-care. We cannot continue in our lives without taking time to care for ourselves. The next time you treat yourself to a nice dinner and a movie, also take the time to spend time in the presence of God. The truth is that both self-care and soul-care recognize that we are broken and need a way to restore but please remember this: Self-care is a way to care for yourself that is centered on you....Soul-care is a way to care for yourself that is centered around Christ.