I don’t know about you, but no matter how much I love my job, coming back after the holidays is always rough. When I’m on a break, it usually takes me a significant amount of time to slow down after going at such a fast pace.
Then just when I get to the relaxing, restful part of my break, it’s time to hit the ground running again. Not to mention the added pressure of New Year resolutions and jumping on the “new year, new me” train.
If I’m honest, when I finally got to the relaxing and restful part of my break this past Christmas, it was quite life-giving. I spent my time cooking Mexican recipes that reminded me of my family and childhood. I spent quality time with my new baby nephew. I finally got around to reading some of the books I had on my list. I got through some podcasts I’ve been wanting to listen to. I watched plenty of holiday movies. And I slept!
I was unintentionally practicing some of the best self-care I’d done all year!
In my experience, prioritizing self-care has rarely come easy. A good friend recently pointed out how beautifully Jesus modeled knowing what he needed, then prioritizing meeting those needs.
I must admit, I’d never thought about Jesus practicing self-care. After all, he was God. Then I remember he was fully human, too. He ate; he fasted; he had friends and family; he slept on boats; he prayed; he went to weddings; he prepared meals for his friends; and he knew what it was like for people to fight for his time.
I’m no theologian but I’m thinking during all of that, he must’ve experienced fatigue, burn-out, stress, anxiety and all the heaviness we are so familiar with in this pandemic.
Romans 12:1-2 says: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
If we’re encouraged to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, then what does our mind have to do with that? I love this passage because to me it’s clear God cares about our well-being – not just spiritually, physically and mentally, but our complete wellness. He knows if our minds are unwell, it affects our heart, or if our body is unwell, it affects our mind and so on.
He created us and knows it’s all connected.
As we start this new year, I wonder what would it look like for us to follow the example of Jesus, being intentional and self-aware enough that we would know what we need (mentally, physically, emotionally) and meet the need – guilt-free.
Join me in making 2022 the year of intentional, guilt-free self-care. May it be a form of true and proper worship.
Written by Rocio Lopez, senior director of international operations and strategic initiatives for Buckner International.