It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget to take care of ourselves. But this season, I challenge you to give yourself the gift of self-care.
As a lay community minister, I understand the importance of self-care in our line of work. We are constantly giving of ourselves, supporting others, and striving to create inclusive and welcoming spaces. We know that in order to continue doing this important work, we must prioritize our own well-being.
So, what gift will you give yourself this season? Maybe it's taking the time to attend a retreat or workshop that nourishes your soul. Or perhaps it's committing to a daily meditation practice to center yourself amidst the chaos. Whatever it is, make sure it's something that brings you joy and rejuvenation.
Remember, self-care is not selfish. It's necessary. When we take care of ourselves, we are better able to show up for others and make a positive impact in our communities. Why wait until the end of the day to take care of yourself? Prioritize your well-being and make it a daily practice.
If you're looking for ideas or inspiration, I invite you to join our upcoming sexual harassment prevention training for faith based and progressive organizations. This training will not only equip you with the necessary skills to create safe and inclusive spaces, but it will also remind you of the importance of self-care in this work. Learn more about it here: https://mailchi.mp/9b41e3d153d6/inclusive-sexual-harassment-training
All of this is easier said than done, right? Everything I just shared is what you know already. You know that taking time to nourish your soul, matters! You know that incorporating daily habits that support your self-care make a tremendous difference in your life. The disconnect is between what we know is true and taking action on our truth.
Here are some tips to translate your intention into implementation:
Write down three actions you'd like to take for your self-care and nourishment. Stick them on your computer or set it as an alarm in your phone. If you do not use the alarm on your phone, connect this nourishment habit to something else you do everyday so it triggers you to remember. In short, you're attaching a new habit to an old one. At some point during the day, pick any one of the three to take action on. This gives you options, flexibility, and daily reminders.
If there is a nourishing educational opportunity that's out of your budget, be creative. Don't be afraid to circle back with your employer about how the opportunity connects with your ability to be successful at your job, especially if your professional development budget hasn't increased in a while. Some employers have discretionary funds that they can allocate to you, if you would only ask. If you're still told 'no' consider supplementing your employers budget with your own so you can still attend. Investing in yourself can be worth it. Talk to your accountant about money you invested in yourself. Educational expenses can often be deducted from your tax obligation.
Tell the people in your circle about what you plan to do for self-care. Not only can it help you with accountability, but their support can help encourage you to be consistent. Keep in mind that self-care doesn't have to be complicated. It can be as simple as sitting down to read for 20 minutes instead of doing laundry or the dishes. This is why asking for help or letting others know can be beneficial. Consider delegating something to someone else to help make space for your self-care. If you have no one to delegate to, consider letting that other task go. Which is more important? Your self-care or that other task? There can be a grey area too, so lean into the grey space as needed.
Let's make this holiday season a time of self-care and growth. Share in the comments below what gift you will give yourself this season. I’d love to hear what you have in store for yourself!
How might you inspire those you serve to give themselves the gift of self-care this season?
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