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Self-Care is Not Selfish & How to Start Right Now

We’re thrilled to have Rachel Macy Stafford from The Hands Free Revolution guest blogging for us today!

On an unseasonably warm spring day, my body let me know there was a problem. I didn’t feel like myself, and I wasn’t acting like myself. After smashing a casserole dish on the kitchen counter in a moment of frustration, I told my family what I planned to do to better care for myself. I’d give up the soda addiction and drink more water. I’d start running again, even a mile or two of heart-pumping sweat could do wonders. I’d be more selective when it came to writing opportunities. I’d get at least seven hours of sleep. I’d go to a specialist and get to the bottom of a six-month long bladder infection instead continuing to take different antibiotics.

That is what I did. I immediately began sleeping through the night. I could think more clearly. I could handle frustration better. I went to several doctors until I got to the bottom of my health issue. A highly skilled urologist discovered a ginormous kidney stone that was taking up over half my kidney. Left unattended or improperly removed, the results could have been fatal.

When I told my doctor what the first urologist recommended for removal of the mass, she said, “You could have lost a year of your life due to complications from the wrong procedure.”

But all I heard was: You could have lost your life.

And not just from a monstrous kidney stone, but from not looking after myself—from looking after everyone but me.

Although I’ve healed from three surgeries resulting from the mass, I’m clinging to the reminder this health scare gave me. I’m reminded that I want to be on this earth for a long, long time. I’m reminded that I want to be here for to watch my children grow. I’m reminded that I want to write more articles and more books that bring hope to others. I’m reminded that in order to do these things, I need to care for myself just as I care for the ones I love. It is my honor to pass this reminder on. Here are six small self-care actions to get you started:

1. Acknowledge yourself.

You have feelings. They are worth listening to and acknowledging. You have limits. They are necessary to keep in place as a means of valuing your time and honoring your health. You have dreams. You are worthy of time to pursue what makes your heart come alive. You have needs. You deserve affection, rest, sustenance, and grace, just like everyone else. It is not selfish to look after yourself. It is critical for your happiness and wellbeing.

2. Gift yourself.

When is the last time you gifted yourself? This week, plan on giving yourself something of value that will add to your life. An extra hour of sleep. A colorful water bottle to encourage proper hydration. A crisp new journal to write down your dreams. An hour of exercise or creativity. And if nothing else, give yourself a moment. Everyone needs a moment of grace, forgiveness, or acceptance every now and then.

3. Restore yourself.

Maybe it’s been so long since you felt joy that you forgot how it feels. Think back. What made you feel happy as child? Is it the smell of a library book? Perhaps it is the sound of crickets. Perhaps it’s strumming a guitar or walking barefooted in the grass. Go back to a happy memory and recreate it. Invite someone to join you and make a new memory.

4. Take the pressure off yourself.

What are you telling yourself has to be done today? What are you telling yourself about your parenting skills? What are you telling yourself about your appearance? Try realistic standards today. Try lowering the bar. Let something go. Ban the word “should” from your vocabulary. When you lay down tonight, ask yourself: Did I show up? If the answer is yes, that is enough. It’s more than enough.

5. Speak up for yourself.

Voice the unspeakable to a trusted soul. “I need help” … “I am afraid” … “I am overwhelmed” … “I haven’t felt like myself in awhile”. There is something about voicing the burden that makes it lighter. Give others a chance to support you, this person they love and care for deeply.

6. Notice the good in yourself

Take a moment and recognize where you were and how far you’ve come. Notice the tough obstacles you’ve overcome. Recognize the number of times you showed up even when it was hard, even when it was the last thing you wanted to do. See yourself through the eyes of those who love you—they don’t see imperfections, failings, and mistakes, they see love, never-failing love. Try to see it too.

Note from the iBloom Team:

This is a small taste of what you’ll find in New York Times bestselling author Rachel Macy Stafford’s highly anticipated new daily inspiration book, Only Love Today: Reminders to Breathe More, Stress Less, and Choose Love. With a unique flip-open, read-anytime/anywhere format, this book is soulful encouragement for busy individuals yearning to anchor themselves in love despite everyday distractions, pressures, and discord. “Only Love Today” began as a mantra to overcome her inner bully, but it is now the practice of Rachel Macy Stafford’s life. It can be a practice for all of us with Only Love Today. Join Rachel and her supportive community here: Website // @HandsFreeMama // Facebook

WIN a FREE copy of “Only Love Today!”

iBloom has purchased 25 copies of “Only Love Today” and we want to gift one to you! Leave a comment below sharing one way that you’re choosing to invest in yourself this week. We’ll randomly choose 25 women to win on Wednesday, March 15th.

We believe in the message of this book that we want to get it into the hands of every woman. So, we challenge you to consider paying it forward by purchasing a book and sharing it with a friend.

Comments:

  • Kim Kruse

    March 9, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Even if I have to do in short increments I am getting my “steps” up to 10,000/day. This is not an easy thing to do because my hips will not allow me to walk very long without hurting and I plan on finding out what is causing that as soon as some more insurance takes effect. Improving overall cardiovascular health after having 2 stents implanted is the ultimate goal.

  • Lisa Manning

    March 9, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    I am on Day 23 of a fitness challenge. It has been great to get back into a routine. Probably my favorite indulgence is to grab a cup of cinnamon tea and find a chair in the sun and just sit. No agenda. Just imitating the cat and basking in the sun. Today is supposed to be 70 so I am planning an afternoon walk.

  • Amanda Long

    March 9, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    I’m investing in myself this week by closing up my office by 4pm and allowing myself to rest and go to bed at 10pm. I’m a burn the candle at both ends kind of person normally :/

  • Trish

    March 9, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Oh my words … after spending the better part of last year dealing with three different kidney stone surgeries, I can totally relate to her story. I have committed to doing YOGA twice a week at my church. At close to 300 pounds doing YOGA can be unsightly … but the love and support I get from my class keeps me coming back. I have come to realize I am the only one who can take care of me … I am a child of God and I am worth it.

  • Amy

    March 9, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Love the post. Thanks for sharing! This week I’m allowing myself moments, like this one, to enjoy a snack and cup of tea and reading while waiting for my eggs to boil, instead of running around doing 6 other chores. I love being productive, but I love the moments!

  • Dawn Russell

    March 9, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    I’m taking a nap on Saturday afternoon! It’s been a long few weeks dealing with work, school, events and illness…I am SCHEDULING a nap.

  • Heather Mason

    March 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    This sounds like an excellent book! I’ve actually been doing much better taken care of myself, and I am so thankful! Today I spent two hours at the gym 6 to 8 AM, and then I went to have some blood work done. Not fun, but taking care of myself! Ihave started reading more- A loud to my family and also just for myself, in addition to reading to my little ones daily, which I have always been good about. I also take a nap every day ha ha Ha

  • Mary Lu Saylor

    March 9, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    What inspiring words. I am giving myself the gift of being bold. I believe until this year I’ve been afraid of success and goodness not trusting Jesus and his plan for me. I’ve made reading a morning devotional and a chapter of something challenging (the Bible, business related or inspirational) at night a habit. Then I give myself the gift of pleasure reading AFTER that. I ❤ to read and this system has worked for me and given me the courage and confidence to be bold.

  • Rita Barakat

    March 9, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Wow – this has been plaguing me a lot lately as I have been taking on more responsibility. I have been there (had emergency gallbladder surgery two years ago) so I know better. I am going to slow down – going to bed when hubby does (about 10) instead of staying up late trying to catch up with work/housework (which is never ending). We have implemented a new schedule (homeschool/business/ministry) these past two weeks so I think I can do this now. I have also talked to hubby about personal time – he will be taking all the kids tommorrow when he gets home from work so I can have some “time off”. (He works Saturdays and Sundays we are both involved in ministry.) I think I am going to print those steps and post them!

  • Sandra Valentine

    March 9, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    This week, I am investing in myself by catching up on any iBloom Inner Circle Orientation project I have missed. Sitting by the lake with my pen and journal – engaging in silence, prayer, reflection and meditation so I can re-set my inner compass and crystallize my vision for moving forward.

  • Trisch

    March 9, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    LOVE this post! I have also realized that I am not taking care of myself and hired a business & health coach to help hold me accountable. This week and next my main goal is to get to bed earlier. I know that will help improve several other areas as well!

  • Marian

    March 9, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    This week I will let my broken finger be broken–again. I will be patient with myself in my brokenness. When the kitchen cabinet installer calls me and insists we should be ready by now, I will give myself grace even if he does not. I will allow myself to be broken so I can heal.

  • Dianne

    March 9, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    I’ve been stuck in the past or unknown future. I will get myself unstuck by living in the moment, journaling, adult coloring books, tasting my food, and riding my exercise bike.

  • Lynda Kucera

    March 9, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Today I am going to take the time to set up my golf league for the summer. I love golf and for the past two years I have not done my league to focus on the kids, but this summer I will play golf once a week. I can’t wait!

  • Penny Raine

    March 9, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    love this! and such confirmation 🙂 I have started a person 100 days of health and peace challenge, just between me and me, it includes a check list, because I love checklists, and I give myself points for certain tasks, they don’t all have to be done daily but a certain amount do for the day to count, this has enabled this over-doer the ability to do things like “rest” “take a 30 min break outside” “take a long bath” “stay in bed 30 mins extra and pray” and still feel like I am productively meeting a goal

  • Kathy Kensing

    March 9, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I am learning to let go of the (unimportant) things that used to frustrate me.
    I am learning to take time for myself and letting others do the same.
    I am in a season of life in which I wish I had taken the time to cultivate solid friendships.

  • Maegen Conners

    March 9, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    I love, love, love this! It’s SO important for us to take care of ourselves first! We cannot pour from an empty well. I’m trying so hard to learn and abide by this saying! This morning I made time to go through a cleaning course I purchased a while back. I’m putting the final touches on a cleaning schedule AND am delegating tasks out to my family so that the whole houses cleanliness does not rest on my shoulders! I also purchased a devotional book yesterday and am taking 5-10 minutes every day to read and have quiet time to myself.

  • Gail Armatys

    March 9, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    I’m going to take the pressure off of myself. I love what just saying that does for my Spirit. I’ve worked for three years to get HeartSong off the ground and I haven’t given up hope but I do put pressure on myself to get things done, checked – off, and move on. Reading these few words, ‘take the pressure off’ makes me really want to do it. I will start by honoring my schedule and God by creating non-negotiable pockets of refreshment each hour…taking a break to give thanks, stretch, sing, dance, and/or meditate. Yay!!!

  • Elyse

    March 9, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    I am investing in myself by choosing to take the time every morning to attend my workout classes. Even though it is early, I know how great it makes me feel and ultimately gives me a sense of calm and strength for my day. I love the message of this post and would love to read the book!

  • Tanya Willey

    March 9, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    A few weeks ago, I set up a small area in our (normally unused) patio, with a pretty plant that a friend gave me. I’ve started eating my breakfast there – alone, just the sound of the birds – in the beautiful morning sunshine. With 4 kids, mornings are hectic, and once everyone was gone for school, I used to jump right into chores. Forcing myself to take 15 minutes to enjoy my breakfast and a moment of peace has been so uplifting!! Oh, and I bought myself a small wooden sign yesterday at a thrift store that says “You’re so INCREDIBLY awesome!” – trying to have a more positive mindset…

  • Julie Haefner

    March 9, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I am meeting an old friend on Saturday just to goof off and laugh and eat pizza. It will just be wonderful to unwind!

  • Georgia

    March 9, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    I’m going to examine my self-talk. If what I tell myself is something I would never say to my daughter or my mother or friend, then it has to go. My goal is to let only love remain.

  • Jamie

    March 9, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Just celebrated my 40th birthday and had a baby. I’ve been struggling to find time for myself, but I am trying. I am starting by focusing on my health. Just bought a Fitbit and logged back into my food tracking app.

  • Kandee Popham

    March 9, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Interesting to read this today … I think “someone” had that planned! Because, just last night I was thinking about the way I talk to myself and decided I needed to change that in any way I could. So grateful, to at least be aware there is something to change. Thanks!!!

  • Becky Hillard

    March 9, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Life seems to spin at top speed lately and I need to care for myself by adding some margin into my morning. Tomorrow I will get up 15 min early to breathe and be thankful.

  • Kalen

    March 9, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    I’m investing in myself by making time for running and zumba and yoga. It makes me my best self and I need to be my best so that I can take really good care of my people.

  • Hannah

    March 9, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    I’ve been investing in myself by allowing myself time to read and enjoy a cup of coffee every day. I’ve also been working on moving to a more minimalistic, simple lifestyle, which is actually an investment in myself because I’m not stressing so much over my house and the laundry now.

  • April

    March 9, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I got a pedicure last Thursday (first in years), and I’m about to go on a walk outside!

  • Laureli Woodin

    March 9, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I am making an effort to get together with a few of my friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. A few lunches and get togethers this month has already made me feel more connected,happier and hopeful! Nothing beats catching up and laughing with friends who know you and accept just as you are.

  • Karen

    March 9, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Thank you for the reminder. I dusted off my gratitude box and am re-reading the affirmations that I was putting in it. I am recommiting to identifying things that I am grateful for on a daily basis and changing my ‘have to’ thoughts, to ‘I get to’!

  • Leah

    March 9, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    I’m going to use the bath bombs my husband bought me instead of looking at them fondly and smelling them repeatedly. The topic of this new book is dear to my heart- I’m a recovering burned out pastor’s wife who literally got her life back during a year long sabbatical. God revolutionized my life by teaching me how to be still and how to take care of myself. I’ve survived a life threatening illness twice and I still had to learn the hard way! Would love to win this book and pass it along to a friend…most likely another burned out pastor’s wife.

  • Monica

    March 9, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    I have been working on taking better care of myself this past year after 4 moves in 3 years. I was depleted after the last move. My word for this year is Delight–for me that is to spend time Delighting in God, Delighting in my family and friends and delighting in the fun things I enjoy doing. It takes effort with our family but it has so been worth it. I am a big Rachel Macy Stafford fan so I am anxious to read this book. She inspires me all the time to live a better, but real, life with her posts. Thank you!

  • Sarah

    March 9, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    I let my niece take her nap in my arms. She’s with me for a month and needs love. And a momma touch. Plus there is something soothing about listening to a sleeping child breathe. Self care for me.

  • Tee

    March 9, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    I am trying my hand at a new sport I wished to have tried long time back,but never got time.taking some coaching lessons and all excited ..

  • Rise'

    March 9, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Because I need a reminder sometimes about what I’ve gleaned from devotions/study, I have started doing video journals every morning after my devotions. I may only be talking to myself, but actually saying the words out loud has made a huge change in both my communication to God and from God. This extra “Father/Daughter” time has changed my entire outlook for my days.

  • Christine

    March 9, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I’m taking time to shut off tv and radio and just “be.” I’m also taking time to read and dream.

  • Kendra

    March 9, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Sleep! I need to give myself the gift of sleep. I stay up way too late each night just to have “alone time” and then pay for it the next day with exhaustion, less patience and negative thought patterns. It’s a vicious cycle. Tonight I plan to go to bed with the kids!

  • Vivian Coffman

    March 9, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Needed help with my depression, so hubby said I could spend the week with my BFF in Oregon. We have gotten up every morning and did bible study or watched elevation church online. And we went and had our nails done. Mine are shrek green!

  • Jennifer Record

    March 9, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    This week, I will be in a photo with my children to remember a special event, instead of taking photos of them without me because my hair isn’t styled, I’m not wearing make up, I look too fat..and the list goes on and on

  • Ann Stevens

    March 9, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    I am 3.5 weeks into a new eating plan. Today, the family wanted pizza. We bought the pizza but I decided I wouldn’t like the way it made me feel so I made a quick single serve soup from my new eating plan. I realized that my family just wanted me to show up to our family movie night – they didn’t care whether or not I was eating pizza 🙂

  • Melissa Rossini

    March 9, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    This week I am decluttering so much so that when I sit down to play with my kids I’m not constantly picking up messes but actually playing with them!

    I so enjoy decluttering, organizing and rearranging and the freeing feeling that comes with it!

  • Freda

    March 9, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Currently I am struggling with a Lupus flare and feel so overwhelmed. I definitely need to find a new doctor and until reading this article keep putting it off, I know that this flare could be and probably is caused by stress so I have decided to commit to starting my mornings off with my appointment with God and to end with a cup of tea and time with my dog. Will research information on a new doctor. Buying the book and passing it forth is such a great idea.

  • Jenny

    March 9, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Saying yes to exercise and endulging in some chocolate hot cross buns this weekend

  • Carrie

    March 9, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    I needed this today, this month, this time in my life. I so feel these things she describes like not feeling myself in awhile. Sometimes it’s all so overwhelming. I love her list. I’m going to write down myself word by word and try to imprint it on my brain. Love. ❤️

  • Mikala

    March 9, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    I got a wild hair and decided to take a couple hours off work and booked a much needed massage to relieve the stress knots from showing up relentlessly for my struggling teenage daughter even though I’m utterly exhausted.

  • Julie Rahm

    March 9, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    I am going to take more time for myself and create. Whether chrocheting, writing or or reading, taking time for myself is what matters most.

  • Annaliese

    March 9, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    I have just gicenter birth to our fourth and last beautiful child. We have two girls and two boys. The way I plan on caring for myself is simply to embrace this limited time with my children while thru are small, by letting go of the high standards I’ve set for myself in regards to housework and trying to make everything look perfect. Making more time for them and for myself. We only get to raise them once, time is already going do fast. I want to show them it’s impirtant to enjoy life by being present and to love yourself.

    • Annaliese

      March 9, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      Please excuse my typos! Too busy not being perfect 😉

  • Bri

    March 9, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    After buying some half-price mini calendars with inspirational quotes and beautiful scenes, I am making my own greeting cards to send to others. Selecting the scene and quote for each person and imagining them opening the card fill me up.

  • Katherine N.

    March 9, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    I’m so glad this showed up in my FB feed tonight! I have been struggling with depression in recent weeks and this article makes clear some of the things I need to do to take care of myself. I’m printing it out tomorrow when I have access to a printer and plan to use it daily to take stock of what I have done to take care of me instead of focusing on the negative. I can only imagine the sacred wisdom the book contains!

  • Holly A.

    March 9, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    From all that I’ve seen of this book, it looks like there are nuggets of wisdom within every page. Can’t wait to read it!

  • Sandy

    March 9, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    I have been getting 8 hours of sleep a night most nights.

  • Beth

    March 9, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    Taking time each day to read a book, one for enjoyment not learning

  • Lisa

    March 10, 2017 at 12:14 am

    So glad I took a few minutes at this late hour to get on Facebook because otherwise I would’ve missed this post. Thank you for reminding me I need to attend to myself.

  • Cheryl Zandbergen

    March 10, 2017 at 12:21 am

    I’m going for a hike. Can’t beat the healing power of a forest.

  • Stacia Rosenau

    March 10, 2017 at 12:48 am

    This is such a hard lesson, but so needed. Only Love has become my motto.

  • Sherri

    March 10, 2017 at 12:51 am

    I am going to do some yard tending while it is so nice outside, then relax in a nice hot bubble bath. ❤

  • Jane Mueller

    March 10, 2017 at 12:56 am

    I’ve been sick for over a week now, and with one toddler and one nursing baby i haven’t had enough rest, so I am choosing to rest during naps and go to bed early.

  • Melissa

    March 10, 2017 at 1:06 am

    I have become more thoughtful of my inner dialogue; making efforts to be kinder to myself and offer myself grace when my mind wanders to the list of what didn’t get done, “should’ve” done, etc.
    Thank you for this list, reminder and “permission” we need to be reminded of. 🙂

  • Rose

    March 10, 2017 at 2:24 am

    Definitely going to get more sleep. Let what I’ve done by 9pm be enough instead of staying up ’til midnight trying to play catch up. I needed this list and will need to revisit often as a reminder!

  • Laura

    March 10, 2017 at 2:58 am

    When I wake up, I’m going to reach out to God instead of reaching for my phone. This is when I wake with my baby in the night OR when I wake to take on the day. My phone will live next to the toaster in the kitchen from 9:30 PM-6:30 AM instead of next to my bed.

  • Abby

    March 10, 2017 at 3:35 am

    Tonight I “gifted” myself with the purchase of a month long meal prep service subscription. I don’t enjoy cooking and all that it entails, so it requires a lot of mental and physical energy, something I’m already limited on. So, to better care for myself, and in turn my family, I’m trying to find a solution to this area of my life.

  • Renee Terry

    March 10, 2017 at 7:46 am

    I plan to do Yoga tomorrow, take a detox bath with essential oils & then take a nap. I have been pouring into lots of people & desperately need to refill myself. I can’t wait to learn more about self-care!

  • Deborah

    March 10, 2017 at 7:54 am

    I plan to walk in nature today. Yesterday, I recognized I needed a few hours away from the energetic kids and took it (thanks to my gracious husband!). I need these reminders every single day! I keep,forgetting!

  • Heather

    March 10, 2017 at 8:06 am

    After suffering a personal tragedy. I find it hard to “self love”. I am practising yoga daily and eating clean…I have been keeping those a priority even through the tears….baby steps.

  • Kim

    March 10, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Twenty minutes of yoga, and some cardio afterward, every morning. Starting my day with some time for myself while also getting some exercise helps me feel good.

  • Holly

    March 10, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Tonight I will watch a movie I’ve been longing to watch instead of pushing myself to accomplish 20 more things before bed.

  • Rena Clark

    March 10, 2017 at 8:51 am

    During my spring break next week, I am going to finally use the massage gift certificate I got for Christmas, get a pedicure & scrapbook the recent surprise trip my husband took me on to Waco.

  • Jen S.

    March 10, 2017 at 9:57 am

    I started a fitness challenge, am taking time to read and am also trying to rearrange things to create a day of rest every single week. Would love to win a copy of this book!

  • Heather

    March 10, 2017 at 10:18 am

    I’m investing in my talents and creating time to paint. I’m also living moment to moment and allowing myself to breathe.

  • Jamie

    March 10, 2017 at 11:18 am

    I’ve been feeling so tired, stressed and overwhelmed. I’ve realized I need to start with the basics. Getting a better night sleep, drinking more water and eating healthy meals while decreasing the convenient/sugary snacks. (Next step, get back onto the treadmill…and hopefully soon, when it warms up, the open roads!)

  • Renee

    March 10, 2017 at 11:48 am

    One of my Aspirations/Resolutions for 2017 was to get more exercise and lose some weight. I have been doing pretty well, and added walking on my breaks and at lunch, so that I am getting 10,000 steps per day. This week I began an exercise program that I am doing in the morning once I am up and going-Day 5 and I have made it through the week without missing a day!!

  • Nicole S

    March 10, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I’m attending a women’s conference (IF: Local) Friday night and all day Saturday! Hubby has the kids and is capable and confident. So excited!!

  • Robin Dalley

    March 10, 2017 at 11:54 am

    While all the “outside” stuff matters, I think self healing starts inside with one’s heart. So for this season, no more “shoulds”, self deprecating messages, and total acceptance of all my feelings…How I act upon them (or not) is a personal choice, but I can love, value and embrace the lesson each emotion brings.

  • Lisa

    March 10, 2017 at 11:57 am

    I am training for a half-marathon. It is hard to find time for the long runs, but they do so much to counteract stress, and they give me time to pray and think.

  • Cheri

    March 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    I need to remind myself that no one else is going to “take care” of me. I need to sleep more and use the work no more often. It feels selfish to be that way but I am the only one that can do that for myself.

  • kristina

    March 10, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Reminding myself to rest this week, as I care for my son who has influenza B and strep throat and will likely be spreading it to me soon!

  • Tashlyn

    March 10, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    I am going to schedule a day of rest including a massage for myself. I have a gift card from Christmas to the spa and have yet to use it!

  • Jill Rosenkrantz

    March 10, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    I am giving myself grace. I can only accomplish so much in the hours that I have, so I am gifting myself with the refusal to feel overwhelmed and condemned! I’m giving myself time to enjoy my morning time with God, and I think I’ll schedule in some bubble bath time! 🙂

  • Davina Douglass

    March 10, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    I’m fasting this week and seeking God to show me how to more of the woman He has called me to be…Thank You…Blessings!

  • JoDitt

    March 10, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I’m always busy creating stuff for others, or learning new creative skills or working on my business, etc. I created a Scripture art coloring book to help women delight in the Word of God and just have fun and relax, yet I have rarely made time myself to do just that. So, this weekend I am giving myself permission to spend some time coloring, just for fun, just for me. 🙂

  • Kayla

    March 10, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    I chose, with much prayer, to resign from my job and it ended Monday, March 6. God has wonderful things ahead for me and they are beyond my imagination. I am taking care of myself not only by leaving a toxic situation, but giving myself the gift of resting in God this week.

  • Alexa

    March 10, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    I choose to listen in. I choose to gently saturate my life, my loves, and my every moment with softened, courageous awareness. I choose to learn how to receive. I choose to remember and honour every form that Love has taken in my life … past, present, future, and on into eternity.

  • Karen R. King

    March 10, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    So after having to go thru Shoulder surgery on my right arm (I’m right handed too) on January 6th. Then a repeat on Valentine’s Day because of an internal infection. I am now finally able to resume my physical therapy…& maybe get my range of motion back.
    Anyway this 2 month stretch has lead to a lot of soul searching… I’m very much like the author…Always taking care of others before myself.
    So I have promised myself that I will be a priority in 2017. I am pursuing & addressing some health issues that I’ve just been “putting up with”.
    Thanks for your positive support!

  • Kristin Palmer

    March 10, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Everything about this post spoke directly to my heart; it actually brought tears to my eyes! Like so many other women, I often find myself caring for others and neglecting my own needs. One way that I’m choosing to invest in myself this week is to let something go. To give myself a break from the never ending to-do list. I also plan on gifting myself with at least an hour of creativity to pursue what makes my heart come alive. Why? Because I am worthy!

  • Marlene Scott

    March 10, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    I am making myself work on a decluttering project that bothers me every minute I am home. This will make me feel better. I will also spend extra time pampering myself.

  • Diana Walker

    March 10, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Hi my name is Diana, I am the other of 4, a grandmother of 3. I ran home daycare for 15 years. That allowed me to stay home with my children. In 2000 when my youngest went to school so did i. I became a Surgical Assistant. I was diagnosed with Lupus in 2004. All of my doctors tell me to take better care of myself. I am still learning what that means. All I know is taking care of others. I have lost 120 pounds. I am decluttering everything. I am starting my first planner. I made jewelry for my time. I’m still working. I am trying to sell my jewelry on easy. Not selling very well.

  • Kristie

    March 11, 2017 at 7:56 am

    I’m a single mom with a medical sales job that at times can be very stressful and demanding. My son is 5 and my parents are thankfully able to help me out when I have to travel. I will focus more this week on that 25 minute workouts I used to do in the past. These are a great stress reliever for me and help me feel stronger and better about myself.

  • Kim

    March 11, 2017 at 8:07 am

    What an inspiration! (And great reminder.) This past week I started walking outside more and started listening to an audio book. I’ve also been more intentional about reading. Reading has been my greatest stress reliever. Just last weekend, my hubby reminded me (as he saw my stress level increasing)~to implement a time in my schedule to read.

  • Melissa Bien

    March 11, 2017 at 10:20 am

    I have been trying to do a better job at taking care of myself the last few months… however, when a ‘need’ with my family arises, I will forfeit my me-time for their wants. I this past week I have scheduled my me-time (going to the gym) for right after they leave for work and jump on the bus…delaying the start of my work an hour to get some needed stress worked out.

  • Mother of 2

    March 11, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Your prayers almost always bring tears to my eyes. I’m a single mom due to domestic violence – I homeschool our two kids, run a business and am launching a nonprofit, so self-care is a very real need right now. I took an hour for an Epsom salt hot bubble bath…it felt wasteful to do that while a friend watched the kids (I mean, I could have gotten SO much done in that uninterrupted time), but I’m learning. Thanks for your vision and your ministry!

  • Loretta Leda

    March 11, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    I’m exercising more everyday to ride my recumbent all 7 days for Bike Florida. Watching what I eat to stay healthier too. I look for ways to share oils to help others with their health issues. Drinking more water. Not just doing daily devotional but having a business meeting with God. Thank you!

  • Rhyl

    March 11, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Today I’m taking my elderly parents for a drive in the countryside and coffee at a cute little cafe with beautiful views. This is self care and parents care all,rolled into one.

  • Michelle

    March 12, 2017 at 12:03 am

    Sleep! I have not been getting enough rest and as a result, I don’t have as much patience, stamina or will-power. So I need to make sure I have 7-8 hours each night.

  • April M

    March 13, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I’m doing two things: I’m going to start a happiness project and I let my parents watch my girls for 6 hours yesterday. We hardly leave the girls with anyone but because we did we got to go on a beautiful hike.

  • Alyssa

    March 15, 2017 at 1:38 am

    This week, I forgave myself for my shortcomings, allowed myself to take a walk during my lunch break, and reflected on the things I was grateful for before going to sleep. It was rejuvenating to take that time to myself!

  • Debb Walker

    March 15, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    I am taking better care of me by eating healthier and meal planning and taking time each morning for meditation, prayer, planning and gratitude – makes a huge difference when I start my day this way!

  • niky

    March 15, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    This is such a great article! Thank you for sharing! God gave us each a body to steward, each one unique and beautiful, yet the world so often robs us of appreciating just how much we are His craftsmanship! I had to have the day in bed today after having a severe migraine yesterday – I’m not normally a very patient patient, especially when there is so much to do! but today I’ve been re-learning the unforced rhythms of grace, learning to be yoked to Him and surrender my agenda and rest completely – not easy! because I love doing, but today I have been a human Being! and now thankful at the end of the day for the opportunity to rest.

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