Jesus taught self-care before it was trendy.

When we compare ourselves with others, we are questioning one of two things: who they are or who we are. Either way, we are questioning, and even judging, God’s creation.

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You hear about self-care a lot. A lot. It’s like, I get it. Buy yourself a new pair of shoes, take a bubble bath, read your favorite book, and you’ll be good. But true self-care is so much more than that – plus, it’s scriptural! These six self-care techniques were shared with me by a therapist, but they spoke to my spirit through scripture.

Don’t overthink. You can only do what you can do. The rest is up to God. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” This is followed closely by Proverbs 16:9, which explains, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” There you go. Proof there is no reason for you to continue overthinking. You’re job is to commit yourself to the Lord and share with him the desires of your heart. Your dreams. Your fears. Your vision for your life. The Lord brings about the plans, the steps, and the way. Be in true relationship with the Lord, share with him the whats, and you don’t have to worry about the how. 

Be still. Literally, stop moving. Still your body. Still your mind. Still your thoughts. Often referred to a meditation, this practice is also scriptural. “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’” (Psalm 46:10a). Life gets hectic. We have a lot of “human” responsibilities and expectations on us – work, school, family. There are times I get to the end of the day and realize I have not acknowledge God once. He says, be still. Know me. Know who I am in your life. Know I am the God of peace. Know I am the God who heals. Know I take your anxiety and exchange it for peace. I take your fear and give you courage. Be still and know. 

Don’t compare yourself to others. The only time you fall short is when you place yourself in a comparison match with other people. When we compare ourselves with others, we are questioning one of two things: who they are or who we are. Either way, we are questioning, and even judging, God’s creation. You were created by God to be you. The psalmist reflects on this as he says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:13-14). The depths of who you are were created by the hand of Perfection. All his works our wonderful; therefore, there is no need to compare.

Take actions that scare you. There are positive outcomes when you take risks, when you step out in faith and accept a challenge. It is even more positive when you experience yourself facing a fear and accomplishing what you once thought you couldn’t. We are commanded to do the same in scripture. The Lord says, “‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go’” (Joshua 1:9). Do it. Make moves that give you butterflies in your stomach. Do it confidently. You’re not alone.

Avoid negativity. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). That pretty much leaves no room for negativity. What you put in to yourself is what will come out. If you flood your thoughts with negativity, you will become a negative person in all you do and say. So don’t do it. Do the opposite. Be positive!

Feel your feelings. The good, the bad, the joyful, the painful. Feeling is an important part of taking care of yourself. God created humans with the ability to feel; therefore, it probably isn’t something he wants us to try to avoid. When we feel, we allow ourselves to experience a moment and all it has to offer. If it is joy, we experience it to the fullest. If it is pain, we experience it and heal. Regardless of what you’re going through, allow yourself to feel. Don’t fight the experience you are having in this season of life. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). Allow yourself to be present in each season; allow yourself to feel every experience you are given.

There is nothing wrong with taking a bubble bath to ease your stress and pamper yourself. But I challenge you to take self-care a little deeper. Make it a part of who you are and how you live your life. It’s more than trendy – it’s life-changing.

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