“I’ll go to the doctor for a check-up later,” I kept telling myself. I had weird mouth sores and headaches. A few times I even felt like I’d black out, but I told myself it was just exhaustion. “I’ll get more sleep, drink more water, and I’ll feel better,” I said. Making my own doctor’s appointment always fell to the bottom of my list.
Sometimes women stay so busy taking care of everyone else that we forget about ourselves, don’t we? You take care of the kids, take care of your husband, try to call your parents, and even end up taking looking after the dog your kids swore up and down they’d take care of. And most of the time, we’re actually happy caring for others.
But sometimes not taking care of ourselves can have serious consequences.
I’m embarrassed that I let years go by without making that doctor’s appointment. When I finally went in for a check-up, I learned my iron levels had fallen so dangerously low that doctors insisted I go through a long battery of tests to rule out cancer. Two traumatic months and eight thousand dollars later, I learned nothing was seriously wrong. However, I needed to take iron tablets to restore my hemoglobin levels.
Over a year has passed. I’ve learned since that both my mom and daughter are also anemic. As a safeguard, I will probably take an iron tablet every day for the rest of my life. Because I really do want to take care of myself. Want to join me?
Maybe you’ve been running on the hamster wheel to take care of everybody else.
You spent the month of August getting kids ready for school or dropping someone off at college. Maybe you’re gearing up now for kids’ sports and fall activities, but you’re already exhausted.
Can we slow down to give ourselves the gift of self-care?
Let’s give ourselves permission to slow down and let God restore us. Let’s take time out of our busy lives to press a reset button. My word for September is “Restore.” I’m taking time for self-care, and I’m remembering these verses:
Maybe we need to give ourselves permission to take better care of our own bodies. We need to press pause once in a while. Even if it’s just a few minutes each day, let’s slow down to let God restore our souls.
Here are ideas I want to try:
- Drink more water.
- Choose an earlier bedtime and stick to it.
- Recalibrate my thoughts toward truth by spending a little extra time in God’s Word.
- Buy a new book for myself and actually take time to read it.
- Do Whole 7 again. (My wimp version of Whole 30 lasts one week.)
- Get on my yoga mat each day.
- Spend 5 minutes of my day in silence. I want to hear more of God’s whispers.
Friends, I recognize I can’t do all of these every day, but I can choose a few small changes each week. I’m looking for progress, not perfection. After all, I’m taking the whole month to focus on self-care, as a gift to myself. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram, where I’ll be posting about #SelfCareSeptember all month.
If you want to join me, will you tweet about it or leave a comment? I’ll know you’re coming alongside, and I want to pray for you.
Now it’s your turn: What’s one thing you can do to take better care of yourself today?