Self-Care is a Discipline

By: Brittany Horchner

Author, Brené Brown, encourages people to “talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” This is a powerful quote if you choose to live this quote out in your everyday life.

Growing up, I was taught the typical acronym in the church, which spelled out Joy. It stood for Jesus first, others second, and yourself last. The concept was that we should love other people before ourselves. In my little mind, I had no clue what that meant or how that looked. Today, I would challenge that acronym in the fact that for any one person to properly love another well, they have to first love themselves well because what fills will spill. If we treat ourselves with hate and disgust, then that is what will flow out of us when we are trying to love others. Mark 12:31-32 states, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” These verses indicate that as a Christian I am to love God first and then love others as I love myself. That indicates that there is a way, that is not selfish, to love me well so I can love others well. It is necessary to practice self-care to keep one healthy. I am a counselor and if I am not loving myself well then I will not be as effective in loving my clients where they are at and helping them.

Some days it is easier to practice self-care than other days, but it is still necessary. I have learned that for me self-care is like a discipline. If I do not schedule self-care into my schedule every day, it will not happen because I could find other things to do. Recently, I came to a place where I realized that I was not taking care of myself that great. About a month ago, I found myself worrying about what my sister would think if I went home after work instead of watching her kids play baseball. It was not that I did not want to see them play, but rather the fact that I was tired, worn out, and stretched thin with the two jobs that I needed some time for myself. One of the reasons I have found self-care to be difficult for me is because I care about what other people think. It is easy to talk yourself out of something because of other’s opinions, but that reason is not good enough.

I want to take a second and remind you that YOU ARE SO WORTH LOVING, even when you are unable to meet the demands of others. YOU DESERVE A BREAK. This writing is to give you permission to take care of yourself. It is okay to stop and rest. Hannah Brencher stated, “It’s okay to unfollow other people’s definitions of ‘hustle.’” That quote helped to remind me that it is okay if my speed and hustle look different than other people’s.

So what does it look like to practice self-care as a discipline?

It means taking time each day to refuel and fill yourself up. It does not have to look a certain way or take up or how day but must be something that works for you. Some of the things I do for self-care are journaling, spending time with God, road trips, listening to music, reading, and concerts. Some of the things I listed I cannot do every day or all the time, but I try to get those self-care things in as much as I can. Take some time to reflect on what self-care looks like for you and how you can practice the discipline of self-care every day.

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