We hear a lot about physical self-care, mental self-care, and emotional self-care, but as Christians, taking care of ourselves spiritually is absolutely vital. As I shared in my previous post, if we allow our spiritual self-care to slide, then our self-care efforts in all other areas will only take us so far. We’ll be “off-centered” - out of sync with the Holy Spirit - and if we’re out of sync in one area of life, the other areas of our lives will naturally be affected. So while we may be caring for our bodies, minds, and emotions, we won’t have that deep down peace, joy, and sense of purpose that only comes from Him. Therefore, we need daily spiritual self-care to stay in tune with Him.
What is spiritual self-care?
Essentially, caring for ourselves spiritually means allowing Him to care for us.
It means seeking Him daily.
It means waiting on and abiding in Him daily.
It means stopping to listen when He tries to speak to us.
It means allowing Him to share His heart with us.
It means trusting Him with our hopes and dreams.
It means turning to Him before we turn to anyone else.
It means resting in His goodness and grace.
When we allow Him to care for us, we will be led by still waters, our souls will be refreshed, we will be provided for and taken care of (Psalm 23).
The problem for many of us is that we simply don’t slow down long enough or often enough to let Him care for us and refresh our souls. We haven’t made spiritual self-care a habit, or we have but it’s one of the first habits that we let go of when life becomes busy or stressful.
How can we make spiritual self-care a part of our daily lives?
Here are a few ideas to get us started:
1. Treat prayer like an on-going conversation with God.
When we communicate with our loved ones or best friends, we don’t always communicate in the same way every single time. Sometimes we text, sometimes we call, sometimes we spend time with them face-to-face, but no matter the method of communication, the point is we’re always connected with those closest to us. We know we can reach out at anytime and they’re right there, and we don’t hesitate to reach out when we want to talk to them about anything, whether it be something funny or exciting we want to share or whether it be a concern or worry that’s on our minds.
It should be the same with our Heavenly Father. We should reach out to Him anytime about anything, not just during our daily quiet times. He should pop into our thoughts when we’re thinking about something that’s just happened and we want to tell someone.
Tips and ideas:
- When you wake up, say good morning to God.
- When you’re making your breakfast, thank Him for His provision.
- When you’re on your way to work, thank Him that you have a job to go to. (I know this one can be challenging if we don’t love our jobs, but it’s still the way that He’s currently providing for us and there are so many people out there who would love to have a job and can’t find one.)
- Ask for His help with everything you need to do that day. (Be specific!)
Bonus Tip: Want to take it a step further? Ask Him for an opportunity to share His love and hope through a kind word or deed.
- Send up short prayers throughout the day as the day unfolds - prayers of praise, confession, thanksgiving, and requests for whatever needs arise throughout the day.
- Talk to Him on your way to the grocery store and ask Him for wisdom (and blessings!) as you shop.
- Spend some time before bed reflecting over your day with Him. Look for ways He worked things out and thank Him. Identify any worries or concerns and give them over to Him before you go to sleep.
2. Make spiritual self-care a part of your routine like brushing your teeth or drinking your coffee.
Many of us would say we “can’t function” without coffee. What if we viewed our spiritual self-care the same way?
Tips and Ideas:
- Track your spiritual self-care (or lack thereof) for a week or two: each day mark on your calendar whether you spent any quality time with Him and then write a few words describing your day, your mindset, and your overall feeling about the day (for example: “hectic, unsettled, stressed” / “busy but smooth, focused, peace”). After a week or two, reflect back on your spiritual self-care patterns and notice how spending time with Him affects your daily life.
Bonus Tip: If you notice there’s a particular day where you’re consistently missing spiritual self-care, ask yourself why and examine your routine that day to see how you can change it up to include more time with Him.
- Keep your Bible, devotional, prayer journal, etc. on your nightstand so that it’s right there first thing in the morning, last thing in the evening. Build the habit of reaching for your Bible before you reach for your phone.
- Set reminders or alerts in your phone to go off throughout the day. For example, use an affirmation, a Scripture you’re memorizing, a question or prompt such as “Have you prayed about _________?” to remind you and turn your thoughts to Him throughout the day.
- Leave notes for yourself (prayer prompts, affirmations, Scriptures, etc.) all around: on your desk, on your mirror, in a drawer that you open daily. Then after a few days, change them up and move them around to keep them fresh in your mind.
3. Make it a habit to check-in with Him at least once a day.
Take a few minutes to be still and quiet, and ask Him to reveal anything to you that you need to see. Then wait and listen. Allow Him to share with you and spend a few minutes praying over what He’s shared. Ask Him to grow you in that area and thank Him for revealing it to you. Ask Him to refresh your soul and to continue to reveal things you need to see throughout the day.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
- Psalm 139:23-24
Has your soul been refreshed lately, my friend? Have you stopped and taken a few moments for Him to whisper His love for you? Have you asked Him to show you what to do in your current situation? Have you given your worries over to Him? Have you released your jealousy or unforgiveness and stepped back into His light and love?
How does your soul need to be refreshed today? I encourage you to take some time, even just a few minutes, to allow His love and peace to settle your mind and comfort your heart. Allow Him into your thoughts, your worries, your frustrations, your dreams… and then let them go and see what He can do! He’ll refresh your soul. He’ll give you what you need.
So give yourself what you need: a few minutes alone with Him to share your heart and to listen as He shares His.
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