Embracing Self Care: Health and Spirituality

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Embracing Self Care

This is Week Two in the Embracing Self-Care Series. Find the introduction here and Week One here

Our own health and spirituality are two of the largest factors determining the quality of life we enjoy and also that of our own family.

Yet, these are the things that often slip by the wayside.

I know I've let it happen many times.

Why is that?

We don't usually make a cognitive decision to put our health and spirituality on the back burner, it's just that many other things require our attention, and many require that attention urgently!

How are we to keep our health and spirituality as high priorities among the crazy?

First, it's imperative that we see it's value.

Which I think most of us do.

There's really no denying that taking care of our health  is good for us. And in turn, good for our family. Our children get a happier, more energetic mommy, our husbands, a more confident and joyful wife.

If you are currently running on youthful energy (or coffee) and neglecting your health, please take it from me, YOU CAN'T DO THAT FOREVER! (Sorry about the all-caps, but I am actually yelling!) 

Your body will eventually say, “I've had enough!”

I'm here to encourage you to be preemptive and take charge of your health now.

So, once you decide that yes, your spiritual and physical health is important enough to prioritize, then what?

Now we make an action plan. It's time to get intentional.

to insure good health

I think we can all agree that our health rests on a few main things: good food, exercise, and sleep.

Add to that, minimizing stress, and you've got a recipe for success.

The spiritual aspect of our health is also a crucial to our well-being. If we are neglecting connection with the One that made us, then we are neglecting the most important power source we have.

So, what do we do to nurture our spirituality?

  • read the Word
  • pray
  • sing
  • spend time in His creation
  • spend time with other Christians
  • nurture our gifts and talents
  • read spiritual books

That's a lot of stuff! It can be overwhelming to think about including all of those things in our lives. And jumping from zero to sixty is probably too much. But, gradually, they can be integrated into the fabric of each day.

Taking care of our health requires time and energy. Which is why we need to be intentional about it.

I used to think of meal planning, cooking, and exercise as extras. They were on the outer fringe of my day and not held as the important tasks they truly are.

Now, I strive to put these in as the foundation of my week. I'm still working on it. But improving.

Here are a few things for you to consider (quick tips and questions for you):

Get good food into your body

effect of diet

I've found that statement to be more true than I realized!

  • Focus on vegetables and protein as the foundation of each meal
  • Pre-chop veggies once or twice a week to make grabbing a healthy snack easy
  • Menu plan – it will make eating well more likely to happen!
  • Have a weekly cook up to prepare parts (or whole) of main meals in advance

Think ahead for success. . .

How much time do you need to prepare healthy food for the week?

When will you grocery shop? When will you plan?

Is there a block of time you can pre-cook a few meals?

How about spending some time this month getting some crockpot meals in the freezer? (This Slow Cooker freezer Recipes eBook is awesome for that!).

Two of my favorite resources for learning about real food:

Real Food on a Real Budget by Stephanie Langford – Very thorough and practical.

Real Food eCourses at GNOWFGLINS – amazing, step-by-step instruction. Including videos, downloadable recipes and instructions, and also an interactive forum.

Making Room to Exercise

You've got to move that body!

no time for exercise

What exercise do you enjoy? If you said, “none,” then try some more stuff! Even things you don't expect to enjoy. You might be surprised.

Be careful of the all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to exercise. It can be challenging to fit in the length and type of exercise you might want to do during this busy season of motherhood, but that doesn't mean you can't do anything. Here are a few ideas for easy exercises you can do at home.

Just a little bit of movement each day is beneficial. Studies have actually shown that short bouts of exercise throughout the day have as much benefit as one longer bout. So, if all you can do is a few minutes, do it! And try to do it again later.

Think ahead for success. . .

When can you carve out some time to exercise?

What exercises are available to you? Or what do you enjoy?

Are you letting the all-or-nothing mentality keep you from exercising at all?

Could you set a reminder on your phone or put a sticky note in the bathroom to remind you to do a few push ups or squats each time to go in there? (It all adds up!)

Time to nourish the soul

The all-or-nothing mentality can come into play here as well. Struggling to find enough time to do the types of spiritual practices we think we should do, or desire to do, can keep us from doing anything at all.

Some ways I've found to get in Bible reading:

  • Aim low; strive to read at least one chapter a day instead of five
  • Read with your kids
  • Leave your Bible out and open on the counter or couch (or in the bathroom)
  • Put Bible verses on the walls, above the sink, or on a waterproof notepad in the shower!
  • Listen to the Bible or other soul-nourishing audios while in the car

I realize I have only scratched the surface of today's topic. There is so much to consider when it comes to our physical and spiritual health.

Let's all be aware that this is truly important. Not just for us, but for our families. 

Little changes add up.

Pick one thing to work on this week. And focus on improving just a little at a time. No complete life overhaul this week, OK? 

What are you going to work on?

Don't forget to check out the Mom Conference before it's over!

mom conference attend

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