Self care, selfish?

As I scrolled through Instagram a few weeks ago, something continually grabbed my eye.  A bubble bath here.  A pedicure there.  A facial at the spa.  A huge slice of chocolate cake and a warm mug of coffee sitting next to it.

What did all of these things have in common (other than being glorious)?

They all had the same hashtag… #selfcaresunday.  Mmmmmkkk.

I then decided to search the hashtag and found even more fabulous things: a pretty new nail polish.  A hair serum. Yoga poses.  Fake nap poses.  All the things that make dreams come true!

The more I scrolled, the more conflicted I began to feel.  I suddenly had the urge to go out and get a pedicure while someone put a gloss on my hair and poured me continuous cups of hot chocolate.  I then thought to myself “but who would watch the kids?” and my new favorite catch phrase “it’s not in the budget.”  Thanks Dave Ramsey.  *eye roll*

See, as a mom, wife, and teacher, I have this continuous inner dialog list of who to take care of next and “what fire needs to be put out first?”.  On that list is never my name.  Why?

Why did all these little “20 something” girls with a part-time job and no kids feel the need to have #selfcaresunday when they don’t even have that much to take care of?  They have all the time in the world for “self care.”

And BOOM!  All of a sudden I found myself jealous of 20 year olds in their rose petal baths with their juice cleanse spritzer and I DON’T EVEN KNOW THEM!  What kind of monster am I?!  Why do I have to hate on someone else who is taking time to care for themselves?

Most of the time we tend to judge or hate on someone that we are truly envious of.  Joan Didion said it this way “To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is, a dissatisfaction with self.” 

 And there it is, folks.

I don’t hate that 20 year old who parents her cat!  I hate that while I am parenting everyone else, I don’t take the time to parent myself!!!  Who is going to make sure I relax when I need to?  Who is going to make sure my hair is truly clean instead of going on 5 days with dry shampoo?  Who is going to make sure I change out my toe nail polish more than once every 17 months (seriously, how DOES polish stay on the toes that long but pops off my fingers if I sneeze??!)?

The answer is NO ONE.  No one is going to help me take care of myself.  That’s part of being an adult.  Let me rephrase that.  That’s part of being an adult WOMAN because we all know we are still taking care of the men, am I right?

So why does taking care of myself make me feel selfish?  What is that?

Many times “self care” needs to start with choosing to let God take care of us for a change.  This draws us closer to Him.  When we begin our self care by coming to the One who created us, it no longer becomes a question of selfishness; it is a question of priority.  Many times when we feel overwhelmed to the point where we need to take the time to prioritize ourselves back into the equation, it is because we have neglected coming to God first.  Maybe we have been neglecting our prayer and devotional time.  Maybe we have been doing our tasks (careers, mothering, housekeeping) out of obligation instead of seeing it as serving Him.  Maybe we have been using the busyness of ministry to keep us away from the work of a relationship with Him.

God saw acts of “self care” as important.  Here’s an example from scripture:

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” – Mark 6:31-32 NIV

Here’s another:

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” – Mark 1:35 NIV

You see, God saw value in rest and seclusion.  He saw value in taking care of your bodily needs, but he also placed a value on taking care of your spiritual needs.  If Jesus saw the value in these things, I should take note.  I know I should be taking care of my spiritual life daily, but now I also know that I don’t have to feel selfish for taking some time to pamper myself from time to time.

So where are you at on this topic of “self care”?  Do you take the time to place yourself as a priority? Or do you feel guilty about it an never get around to it?  Do you take care of your spiritual life as much as you care for your body and mental health?

What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate “self care” into your routine?  Drop a comment and let me know!

In the mean time, you can find me in my bubble bath with some essential oils, a candle, and light jazz playing in the background.  🙂



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