I want to talk about self-care.
Not to be insensitive of what’s happening in the world lately, but you may somehow find something useful, relevant or practical in this personal reflection. Especially at this time.
Also, turning 24 this year (Ows talaga), you start to realise the things that truly matter, particularly the ones you have control over, ones you can manage.
Another disclaimer: I’m not a Bible expert but I just happen to be someone who uses it regularly, believes the validity if it, and tries hard to make sense of it. I will be quoting a lot from it.
First of all, self-care is NOT about “putting yourself first before others” or “loving yourself first so you can love others”. Utang na loob. I don’t subscribe to all of that. You cannot even find these in the Scriptures. That’s just self-centredness at the end of the day, and can lead to a higher level of selfishness and narcissism, which is dangerous. Sorry, not sorry.
Self-care is simply looking after your mind, body and spirit the way you’re supposed to. It’s about enabling yourself to function healthily and properly the way it’s supposed to.
The Bible does not directly address this or outline the how’s of it, but it is assumed that we learn to take care of our overall health and well-being (Visit Ephesians 5:28-29). To put it simply, a person cannot function properly when his system is down or in poor condition; when he does not get the rest and nourishment that he needs. Even Jesus cared about this (Read Matthew 15:32). He tended to the physical and spiritual needs of the people in His care.
I believe it matters to God that we’re taking care of our physical body and our inner man because it’s His temple; it’s sacred and it’s that valuable (Read 1 Corinthians 3:16-17). This demonstrates gratitude and worship to Him, sa totoo lang.
So how do we accomplish self-care?
◾️Eat right (Again, not to be insensitive to those who could barely make ends meet. But if you are capable to put food on your table, or eat at least twice a day, carefully choose what you put in your body. Go for healthy. Yes, Rie. Cut down on sugar, jusko)
◾️Sleep right (I’m guilty of this myself. But basically a scientist once said, “the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life.” Tapos ang usapan. If you have a comfortable bed to sleep on, use it. 7-9 hours sabi ng health experts)
◾️Exercise regularly (Yes, this is unfortunately true. It’s so essential, kahit anong sabihin mo. You need to make time. You need to allow your body to learn how to gain strength and endure. It’s not solely about losing weight, but gaining physical strength. 2-3 times a week at least)
◾️Spend time with God (Yes, fill yourself with God. He is the ultimate source of strength, refreshment and peace. Humans will NEVER find fulfilment without God. This is biblical and in all sense true. With God, we end up in an even better place to be able to give and bless others. Hindi “love yourself first.” That will only lead you to more dissatisfaction. Even Jesus had His regular “alone time” or prayer time (Read Mark 1:35). Get over yourself and pray—seek God. Read the Word and make sense of it. If you want understanding, ask the Author. Malamang alam Niya ‘yan, Siya ang nagpasulat niyan eh (Read James 1:5).
◾️Renew your thinking (Regularly, actively, consciously, persistently. Biblical din ‘yan (Read Romans 12:2). Things will not always go as planned, but we can always change the way we think in many ways, and set our minds on whatever’s good and right—the list is in Philippians 4:8. If you’re still alive and breathing, you are not done yet. Move on na sa past. Look forward and hope for the best. Trust God wholeheartedly (Proverbs 3:5-6).
These steps seem simple and easy—c’mon, it’s not rocket science. But it takes commitment and regularity to achieve and fully benefit from. This is an ongoing thing, a lifestyle. A conscious choice. And the concept of self-care may look different for all of us.
We have to learn and/or be reminded how to better take care of what God has given us, so we can serve Him well and continually, and be His vessel, His hands and feet in this very needy world. This is to glorify Him, not ourselves.
This is only one area of living magnified, and not the only thing that matters. I hope you picked up something.