Better Care Starts With How You Care for Self
The People We Care For – Part 2
How’d I come up with this concept of self-care as it relates to our human relationships department? What are my self-care needs? This is the question I want to answer for you as I share ten practices I have to make sure is in tip-top condition: body, mind (soul), and spirit.
At the top of our agenda must be how we care for oneself. You need a plan for what you will do with you. No plan for oneself yields little benefits when trying to do something for someone else. How will you take care of the one person responsible for caring of the others in your world? You must consider a few topics when discussing self-care: mental fitness, physical fitness, and spiritual fitness. More on these in just a moment.
“[T]rain yourself to be godly [uncommon]. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness [to be unlike the rest] is much better, promising benefits in this life [now] and in the life to come [later].”” – bible.com/116/1ti.4.7-8.nlt
The Thought or Concept:
Self-care is about being our best for others.
First off, let me explain the reason I’ve found a need to perform personal self-care. While it might sound selfish in nature, it’s not. You can not care for others well if you don’t know how to care for yourself. Like Joel Osteen often says, “be your best everyday.” Self-care is all about you (me) being our best. As a result, we will be our best for others. More importantly, the best for those we love. How motivating can it be knowing you’re the best version of you for your spouse, your children, your parents, your siblings, your friends, and all those you work with? Can you see their faces? They’re counting on you for something, so how can you be the best for what they need of you? You need to be at your best, so you need a plan for your very own self-care.
What does my self-care practices look like so that you can create your own self-care plan?
1.) Establish an annual exercise regiment.
Our exercise routine consists of neighborhood walks, monthly trekking in a state park or nature trail, and a mile run 2-3 times weekly (KAC) or a 30-45 minute run on the treadmill (Pamela). Our physical fitness plan is to maintain our physical abilities as long as possible and to lose weight as needed. You heard it said “no pain, no gain” for me this means “no discipline, no results.”
2.) Enjoy daily meals with family.
We make it our habit to all eat our evening meals together. This way, we try to make sure we eat one nutritious meal and doing so daily will ensure we have hundreds of well prepared meals throughout any given year. We’ve also begun using a meal prep service so that we can plan our meals and prepare them together as a family. We continually look for ways to bring enjoyment to our meal times and to our physical fitness lifestyle. Our life is our business.
3.) Begin each day with a good start.
Without a well planned ritual, you’ll miss out on making a habit of starting your day off like you want it to end. How you begin, determines how it ends. You must set the tone for your day. Otherwise, someone else will set it for you. Some would call this a morning ritual. I call it our morning preparations which include the following activities:
- I send Pamela’s daily scripture image to Tamia from the YouVersion Bible app so that she has a scripture to read and focus on every day. This also means that Pamela’s first activity of the day is to read her Bible via the Bible app.
- As I prepare for our prayer appointment, I send out our daily “#Time2Pray” update via Facebook and Twitter for those who follow and appreciate the benefits of prayer.
- Next I review my YouVersion Bible app notifications and read scriptures for the day. I like to take this time to review my previous published web-posts and unpublished writings on the scripture I’m studying for that specific day using my Evernote digital journal.
4.) Listen to messages that feed my mind and influence my thinking.
I listen to daily inspirational and leadership podcasts during my commutes to and from the office. I call this making the best use of my time and at the same time growing mentally.
5.) Read physical books for mental growth.
I read my Bible (One-Year-Bible) daily and a book I’ve selected as a part of my plan to complete a new book every 45-60 days. When you plan to read, you read more. I can’t say it enough planning is your key to accomplishing the things you desire to accomplish.
6.) Seek counsel of others.
I attend a weekly check-up with my life’s overseer. I also set monthly luncheons to meet with friends. It’s important to intentionally get around people who can help fuel your growth. BTW – The people who can add value to your life are generally busy and it requires planning to get on their calendars and align with yours.
7.) Perform annual family planning and review.
You’ve heard this from me often, but I spend the month of December reviewing the past 12 months and planning for the next 12. This exercise is crucial for us in making the progress we wish to make as a family, our business. It’s during this time we make adjustments to how we do this business called our family.
8) Start the year off with a 21-day fasting and prayer exercise.
Along with my wife and our local church, together we participate in a 21-day prayer exercise twice during the year. This exercise, not to go into too much detail, allows us to reduce life’s normal distractions so that we can concentrate on our spiritual needs. Are you giving any attention to your spiritual needs? What does your spiritual diet consist of? This may explain a lot about who you are (or not) and where you’re headed (or not).
9) Attend weekly church services.
I often say this to our daughter, Christians go to church; that’s just what we do. To improve spiritually, it’s helpful to be around other spiritual people. It’s hard to know what it is to be spiritual if you have no one to teach you or model it for you.
10) Prepare for your day.
I have daily preparation times with prayer. Lastly, Pamela and I pray together using all the material, notes, and family plan items we’ve prepared beforehand to speak with God about for the day. Being prepared helps us to know what direction we’re going to go for the given-day. How are you preparing for this gift called “today?”
Identify what self-care activities you need to do to get your year, more importantly your life, your business, off to the start that will propel you forward for the remainder of the year. Everything you do is impacted by how you care for yourself.
Today is Friday!
Self-care is the most important activity you have when it comes to your human relationships and how you care for your family. If you don’t take care of oneself, it’s almost impossible to be able to care for others. You need abundance in this area. Abundance in your physical fitness. Abundance in your mental fitness. Abundance in your spiritual growth. All of which require an intentional plan of action. It’s not enough to just let life happen; give your life some direction. I hope these ten practices will give you ideas on how to implement your very own self-care practices or give more intentionally to the practices you already have.
Thanks for joining us for part two of “The People We Care For.” Join us next week as we begin sharing how we care for our marriage. This is not one you’ll want to miss.