Our body, soul, and mind can often become overwhelmed with the thoughts of the things happening around us. Christians become depressed, have panic and anxiety attacks, and some contemplate suicide or, worse, commit suicide. A lot of this happens because many Christians do not know how to prioritize self-care to maintain a healthy and sane mind. In this article, we’ll explore the concept of Christian self-care, the benefits of self-care, types of self-care, and self-care activities Christians can try.
And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested (ceased) on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it [as His own, that is, set it apart as holy from other days], because in it He rested from all His work which He had created and done.Genesis 2:2-3 AMP
In this article
What is self-care?
Self-care means taking proper care of yourself to remain healthy or become healthy. Self-care is an intentional act of putting in the effort to ensure you are healthy. Self-care is not a one-off activity; it takes deliberate and continuous action. Christian self-care are habits and activities Christians incorporate into their daily activities to live healthily and improve their capacity to fulfil their purpose.
Types of Self-Care
There are four areas of our lives that Christians need to consider when taking care of ourselves. They are;
- Spiritual self-care
- Emotional self-care
- Physical self-care
- Mental self-care
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Spiritual self-care is caring for your spiritual life or spirit man to be spiritually healthy and sound. It is essential to take care of our Spirit because the Spirit is a gateway to many things manifested physically. Many Christians trivialize spiritual things trying to explain them with physical understanding, which is a no.
In high school, I used to read a lot of romantic novels. I loved reading those novels; I had a group of friends that we rotate books to read, and we discussed those books when we met in school. I used to look forward to reading a new book now and then, but when I got genuinely saved, I realised those books weren’t good for my spiritual health. The explicit sexual content was not good for my imaginative ability. I had to stop reading romantic novels and developed a habit of reading Christian literature.
Christians must learn to filter news, information, and trends that hinder our spiritual growth. We must learn to prioritize our spiritual health because our spiritual health is our connection to God.
Emotional self-care is taking proper care of your emotions and thoughts. It requires filtering the negative emotions and energy while focusing on positivity and gratitude. Taking care of your emotional health is very important because emotions are like water; they can destroy when it is not channelled correctly or managed.
It is important to avoid toxic associations and discussions to have healthy emotional health. Forgiveness is also vital for excellent emotional self-care.
Physical self-care is taking care of your physical body to keep it healthy and function properly. I usually compare taking care of the body to maintaining a gadget or machine; you can only enjoy them with proper care and maintenance.
Imagine buying a car, and you keep driving it without resting it, adding water or engine oil; the engine will knock out quickly. We must take care of our physical health by being deliberate with our eating habits and other things that affect our physical health.
Mental self-care is caring for mental health to be mentally fit, handle challenges, and think properly. We often do not regard mental health as very important until it becomes a necessity, and by then, many people are mentally destabilized and need real help.
I have had to walk away from relationships, organizations, and anything that challenged my mental health. I decided in 2020 to prioritize my mental health over what others think or want; in subjection to the leading of the Holy Spirit, this decision has saved me a lot of heartache and mental breakdowns.
Why is Self-care important for Christians?
Self-care is essential for Christians; here are reasons why self-care is vital for Christians:
- Taking care of oneself is biblical: Christians are called to love others as themselves (Mark 12:31). We see Jesus taking time to himself on some occasions in the scripture. He was sometimes resting, praying Luke 5:16, taking a break from the crowd, Luke 22:39-44 , and spending time with others.
- Renewing the mind: Self-care helps Christians to renew their minds (Romans 12:2). Whenever we take care of ourselves, we can focus on the critical things.
- Good stewards: Christians are called to be good stewards of their bodies, and self-care is essential (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). We are to take care of our bodies like we would take care of our homes and the temple of God.
- Modelling healthy behaviour: Self-care can help Christians model healthy behaviour to others, like our children, unbelievers, and others around us.
- Enhances creativity: Self-care can help us become more creative and imaginative. It improves creativity by providing time for hobbies and other creative pursuits.
“Remember the Sabbath (seventh) day to keep it holy (set apart, dedicated to God). 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath [a day of rest dedicated] to the Lord your God; on that day you shall not do any work, you or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock or the temporary resident (foreigner) who stays within your [city] gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is in them, and He rested (ceased) on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy [that is, set it apart for His purposes].EXODUS 20:8-11 AMP
Benefits of Self-care for Christians
- It helps to reduce stress and burnout
Self-care can help Christians reduce stress, which can have adverse physical and emotional effects. These days we have a lot of believers overwhelmed by the stress we face daily. Taking time out for yourself can help to reduce stress and help you focus on the positive things.
- It enhances spiritual growth.
Self-care can help Christians grow spiritually. It is important to note that we care for our spiritual health by providing time for prayer, meditation, and Bible study.
- It improves relationship
Self-care can improve relationships by reducing stress and increasing one’s communication ability. It is easier to communicate whenever we are thinking straight and positively. We are often angry and bitter at others when we don’t care of our self.
- It increases energy and productivity levels.
Self-care can increase energy levels and productivity. Increased energy and productivity can be beneficial for serving God and others.
- It improves our physical and emotional health.
Self-care can improve physical health. It helps us maintain a healthy body, making us healthier for God’s work. It can help Christians manage their emotions healthily, leading to greater emotional stability and resilience.
- It helps build self-esteem and self-confidence.
- It increases Joy and Gratitude.
Taking time for self-care allows Christians to cultivate joy and gratitude in their hearts. It helps us recognize and appreciate God’s blessings and goodness.
Christian Self-care Ideas
- Genuine Salvation
You cannot be a Christian without salvation. Being genuinely saved is crucial for believers. Many people only proclaim Jesus with their tongues, not with their hearts. When you accept Jesus and continually live according to his will, you will take care of your health.
Journaling is one of my ways of releasing pressure and expressing my mind. The Bible admonishes us in Habakkuk 2:2 that we should write down the vision and make it plain. Whenever you are troubled or need an activity to help, you overcome your stress, try journaling.
- Reading books or literature
What is self-care without reading and information? Reading books and literature that help you learn is a form of self-care. Books are a great way of learning and acquiring more knowledge to help us on our path to self-improvement.
- Listening to messages
Listening to inspiring Christian messages and resources is a way to care for your spiritual health.
- Fellowshipping with others
The Bible admonishes us not to forsake the fellowship of the brethren (Hebrews 10:25). When we gather with other believers, we become better and learn a lot from them.
- Creating a community
Create a community of like-minded people around you anywhere you go. We need to identify with people with the same belief, visions, and goals. You can also join a community if there is one around you already.
- Healthy eating
We need to eat healthy all the time. Many people eat anything they can find without considering the damage it can do to their bodies. Whenever you eat healthy, you take care of your body so that it can function correctly.
Many people do not consider exercise important where I live; we see exercise as a luxury meant for the rich. Exercise is good for our overall health, and it takes discipline to build a daily exercise routine.
- Meditation on the word of God
The word of God is food to the Spirit. Constant feeding on the word of God is essential for proper spiritual health; we cannot do without the word of God, and it is crucial to nourish our Spirit with the word for adequate growth and health.
- Take a moment alone with nature.
Studying and appreciating nature is therapeutic. Our natural environment inspires us and helps us understand God.
- Practice gratitude
Gratitude is an excellent emotional, spiritual, and mental self-care routine. Gratefulness makes us focus on the positive things without allowing the negative things to distract us.
- Take a break from social media.
Social media have become a part of our daily life. I do a lot of searching and interacting on social media. Still, I have learned to take time off social media for my mental health. Social media is where people pretend and act perfect for the cameras. Christians must allow their ideal example to be taken from God’s word and not social media.
- Avoid negativity and toxic relationships.
- Make smiling a habit.
Smiling is important for you. Try smiling, not frowning; it makes you look younger and gives you a positive outlook.
- Rest and sleep
Good sleep and proper rest are crucial for us to function properly. A night of good sleep can keep my imaginative creativity together as a writer. Whenever you feel exhausted mentally or physically, try taking a nap; you will feel better.
- Listen to Christian music.
Music is a therapy that reaches the soul. God speaks and ministers to us through inspirational music sang. I believe Christians should only listen to Christian music because it helps us to reflect, ignites the fire in our Spirit, and praise and worship God.
If you love cooking, take time out to cook for leisure, not because you are hungry. Cooking has a way of bringing out our creativity and relaxing our minds.
- Learn to say NO.
No is not so difficult to say. Learning to say No to people is an integral part of self-care. I used to fear saying no to people even when the Holy Spirit prompted me to say No; I find it difficult because I fear hurting the emotions of others. My inability to say no became one of my most significant weaknesses as a teenager. I felt hurt and pain; I had to bear the repercussion.
I understand that saying No doesn’t mean I hate the other person. I have to permit whatever the Spirit permits me to say yes to and reject the ones he doesn’t allow me for all our sakes.
- Follow God’s leading.
If you genuinely love yourself and want to take care of yourself, you will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit all the time. Self-care is following God because he sees what you cannot see and has the best intentions for you.
- Choose your association wisely.
The companions of fools will be fools. We need to move with people that share the same vision with us. Always choose your association with the leading of the Holy Spirit.
- Avoid procrastinating
Procrastination is hurtful and dangerous. I remember when I preached a message to the teens in my church, and the Holy Spirit asked me to make an altar call. He specifically asked me to tell them to come out, and I was afraid no one would come out.
After the message, I was not going to make that altar call, and the Holy Spirit kept nudging me to make the call; I eventually obliged, and one of the teens came out to respond. I was relieved, and my mind became at peace.
If I didn’t obey that instruction that day, I would be disturbed and sad all day. I would feel guilty for not obeying that call that day which is not .good for my emotional and mental well-being.
- Be still
Be still and know that he is God. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, be still. Don’t allow anything to bother you before you recognize and accept his greatness.
- Forget what you can’t control.
Always Remember, what you can’t control doesn’t deserve your worry or attention. Forget whatever you can’t control and turn it up to God. Allow God to handle whatever is beyond you.
Volunteering is good for emotional health. Everyone wants to help out in areas where they can. We all want to feel helpful and impactful. Volunteering for the right cause helps to tick this box.
- Understand your strength and weaknesses.
Self-care understands your strength and weakness. When you know your strength and weakness, you can focus on the right things. Many people become depressed because they see others as more important than they are, which is a negative energy. People always present their best self, know their best self too and show it to the world.
Is self-care a sin?
Self-care is not a sin; it is selfish care that is a sin. Certain narratives see self-care as pushing others away and promoting selfish habits and behaviours. The intention of self-care for Christians is to live an intentional lifestyle to win souls and bring others to Christ.
In conclusion, we should never forget that the need for self-care for Christians does not replace our willingness to obey God and follow his instructions whenever he bids us. We must be good stewards of our overall health to lead more souls to his kingdom.