Self-Care Priorities

Last week, I wrote about the importance of having a “second passion” or hobby in life.  Balancing work life with creative life and family life can be challenging. Time management is so important. In order to de-stress, this blog stresses the importance of prioritizing and learning to put the most important things in life in the proper order. So here is a list to summarize on what should be near the top of your list. These are all things the most successful people do but they are also vital for self-care. if a person is not taking care of himself, then they will not ever be successful and productive. Here is a list of priorities to consider for your own personal self-care plan.

1. Make time for family and friends.
2. Exercise.
3. Pursue a passion.
4. Use your Vacation time to relax.
5.  Disconnect from technology periodically.
6. Volunteer.
7. Get enough sleep/Recharge.
8. Plan ahead.
9. Socialize.
10. Enjoy a hobby.
11. Network.
12. Reflect/ Meditate. Join a religion.
14. Laugh and smile more. Try better posture.
15. Celebrate success.
16. Stay hydrated.
17. Learn to listen better.
18. Eat healthier also enhance diet with anti-oxidants and amino-acids.
19. Learn/Try New Things.
20. Reduce clutter.

 

Self-care needs to be holistic. So think of all areas of your life: physical, emotional, spiritual, social, financial, recreational, close relationships and more. Here is a nice Self-care checklist from Lucille Zimmerman.

selfcarecheck

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Two Important reasons for rest

I have mentioned several times the importance of resting for self-care and living to our full potential. CEOs, caretakers, pastors and workaholics are dead set in their work ethic. They want to be productive and successful. It is wonderful to be living with such high goals and expectations.  Although, this always-on-the-go lifestyle has it’s downfalls too. We were not created to work this way. The Bible offers a lot of examples and principles for a healthy lifestyle.

The truth is that the Bible offers a picture of balance. Rest is important is a principle depicted by even God the Father, who rested on the seventh day after creating the universe. Jesus followed suit on many occasions He “went away” from everyone to be alone with God the Father to fast, rest and pray. While I could continue on in the theological evidence, I want to also mention that more and more studies are providing the same information that I am arguing from a Biblical perspective. On Wednesday, I posted my weekly links post. This theme for these links is napping. Napping helps people to be well-rested and in turn, more productive. Even Google is embracing the importance of well-rested employees, as they provide rest pods for their workers.

Through the Bible there is a theme centering around boundaries and balance. We can be the most productive and the most pleasant when we have proper boundaries in our lives. Work is definitely a high priority and an important one. At times, it can be difficult to put down the phone and spend time with kids. Important meetings and business deals need to get down, yes. But there are other priorities that need to be balanced as well. How are you doing socially? emotionally? physically? sexually? close relationships?

Your job will not satisfy all of your needs.

This why we need rest and we need balance.
I challenge you to rest this week. Even if it is only marked out for one hour every day this week or blocked out for a Friday or Saturday evening. During this time, enjoy God and enjoy other people. Do not entertain thoughts about your job. Also take care of yourself. Exercise or enjoy a hobby. Get ready for the next storm. Life does not stop, but as a human you should stop and rest.

Live Happier, Less stressful, Live Balanced

Living a life of balance is extremely important for a life with less stress and more happiness. We have a tendency to get caught up in our worries and our routine that we forget to take care of our own self. Here are some simple ideas to “change up” your regular stressed out routine for something that will help you de-stress:

1. Make time for yourself and family, leave your work at the office.
Pull a Doctor Bob Kelso. Each day as soon as he stepped out of the hospital and took his first step onto the parking lot, his face shifted from stressed out disdain for his job to happy and smiling. He was off the clock and ready to relax at home with his wife.

It can be tempting to work on work stuff at home. It is easy to respond to another email or sort through your work stuff for a document. Instead, you will be happier to forget about all your work stuff. Think Bob Kelso, as he says, ” Who has two thumbs and doesn’t give a care…..Bob Kelso.” Dump your work stuff physically and emotionally and forget about it.

Get comfortable at home. Take a bath or a shower, if this helps relax you. Get into PJs or whatever clothes that you are most comfortable in.

2. Spend time cleaning and straightening up. Clutter is stressful. Calm your life by calming our house and canning the clutter. Keeping up with chores, sounds painfully odd, but if you slowly step-by-step clean up after your self and your home, it will be a more calming place to be. After you come in the door, give yourself time to unwind and have dinner, then tackle one chore. Get it out of the way so you can really relax when it’s done.

3. Enjoy one of your hobbies:
A. Have a drink.
B. Read a book.
C. Listen to music.
D. Get outdoors for some light exercise: jog, run, walk, hike, play with the kids or sports.
E. Call a friend
F.Play a game: cards, video games, apps on tablets/phones, crosswords, ect. What ever is stimulating and fun for you.
G. Laugh more. Watch a funny TV show, movie or comedy routine.Laughing 100 times a day is equal to doing a 10 minute rowing exercise!

4. If you don’t feel like cooking, don’t.

5. The old Bob Marley song, “Don’t worry, be happy” comes to mind here. Plan one night a week or every other week to do bills and errands this way you don’t have to worry and stress over finances every night. Relax the rest of the month, you will be happier.

6. Maybe the most important thing to do is to Get a good night’s sleep. Go to bed earlier if you have to. You will want to make your bedroom as comfy as possible. If you need absolute dark to sleep well, invest in blackout shades for the windows. If you need total quiet, put in earplugs before trying to fall asleep. Set the heat or air conditioning to the perfect temp for restful sleep. Study after study continue to show the importance of sleep!

7. My expertise: try a relaxation method.
For some people, yoga is extremely peaceful activity. It combines a lot of other great techniques such as meditation, breathing and light exercise. read this blog to get more ideas for relaxation methods. Today I am going to offer a few:

A. Throw your negative thoughts into the trash (literally)
Write them onto a piece of paper and then throwing it away!

B. Use your imagination to imagine a world that is different, one where you are happier and relaxed.

C. Stop buying possessions, start buying experiences. Spend quality time with those that you love. These earthly possessions do not last anyway!

D. Give/Help People
Volunteer, pay for the person behind you at a store, cook a surprise meal for someone, or give someone a gift outside of Christmas or their birthday. Doing kind acts/helping people, helps you feel better.

E. Train your brain like a monk. Do yoga or some form of mind training. Spend time in meditation. Slow down and learn to relax your body. Meditate on Scriptures!

F. Focus. The age of multitasking is wearing thin on our minds. And science is showing that multitasking does not work as well as we first imagined it would. Did you know that being distracted makes you unhappy? There is a powerful direct connection between focus and happiness. It makes sense though, because to focus is to live in the present moment, which cuts out worry, guilt, and other past regrets or future concerns.

G. Accept life difficulties as a challenge for growth and gain instead of seeing it as an impossible negative situation. This was the focus of my last blog post.

H. Breathing technique: belly breathing.

I. Smile more. Actual practice smiling, real smiles that include your eye socket.

J. Be Thankful for what you have. Be grateful and appreciative to everyone that treats you kindly. Tell people how grateful you are and journal every night about all of your blessings and thank God for them!

References/Resources to check out:

6 Scientific Ways to Live Happier

Ten Simple Things You Can Do to Be Happier, Backed by Science

17 ways to Relax

8 Easy Bodily Actions That Transform Mental Performance

The Sheltered Christian

My reflection on chapter 6 of UnChristian:

The perception that Christians are boring, unintelligent, old-fashion, and out of touch with reality.

The Christian culture or sub-culture, seems to be well behind the secular culture. It is not as exciting to outsiders.

The perception continues to build since many outsiders see the “moral behavior” of Christians as boring, dull, predictable, lifeless, disconnected, and a rigorous standard of rules that keeps Christians away from pleasures.

Some outsiders go so far to say that Christians do not even have room to think and act for themselves. Their religion keeps them in an insulated box.

And there are good points here that outsiders are making. Think about how much time we Christians spend together doing things together for our own enjoyment. IN OUR OWN BUBBLE!

Instead of engaging a social club, we need to be out in the world as Jesus was.
Outsiders are not aware of their main problems. The true Christian worldview is not prevalently known by all people. We are failing at explaining the problem of sin to our common men. We are failing at sharing God’s love and Gospel!
we are not in the culture creating, contributing, and fighting for good art, music, history, literature, government, science, medicine, education, and social justice. Christians have had a history of creating and contributing to culture in the past and through this they have transformed the world and demonstrated God’s love and the Gospel to others. But today we are failing at this also!

Today’s younger generations are more flexible in viewpoints, more diverse in opinion, more comfortable with just about anything…they enjoy searching for new sources of input. They/We are more protected and more safe. We like safety. Everyone is entitled to safety and their own way of life and opinion and viewpoint.

Of course, every life is messy. Sin is messy. Fortunately our God is a god who can work in the mess, in fact he works better when people’s lives are messy and out of whack.

What do we do?

As is, Christians are not sharing the Gospel enough. They do not even have time to.
We need Balance. We need to spend less time doing in church things and more time reaching out in the world.

We have a responsibility to engage culture and engage lives. We have relationships with outsiders, but are we really sharing the Gospel with them? Are we salt? Are we light? Are we being the city on a hill?
These things take time and energy, are we devoting time and energy to the lost and our outreach to them?

Love dispels fear. Do not be afraid. But let the Holy spirit work and speak words through you.

Have compassion. Expect trouble, persecution, and to be offended. But do not let it bring yo down.

Be ready at any time. God wants to use us if we are willing and ready. Listen to the Holy Spirit!
Also be ready and willing to help the desperate: the sick, the needy, in gritty, real and raw places.

We come back to the idea of balance:
We are to be in but not of the world.
Pure and proximity.
Both are important.

One of the most important things to do is to forget about having this “Christian culture or subculture”
and to simply live in (but not of) this real world.
Secondly inside of this world we all a have a sphere of influence -people we see, live with, go to class with, sit by, in real life at school, at work, and everywhere we go normally.
These people are the people God has placed in your life to talk to, interact with, and share God’s love with.

Free will or Soverign God in relation to righteous Prophets

In the Prophets there is a point at which God says “no more! That is it! I am going to punish you…I gave you the chance!”

There are times where the faithful and righteous followers of God intervened through prayer and God listened…God gave his people another chance.

Then there are times when God refuses to listen to even the righteous when the his people have broken the “threshold” (if it where). Then it is all God, no matter what the righteous followers do or say.

Of course the argument could go for or against either side…ultimately a Sovereign God is going to punish them eventually or ultimately the people were going to choice to sin and life a lifestyle of disobedience.

But I want to look at both sides of the argument and say that in the Sovereignty of God and in the responsibility of man –there is a balance! Through-out Scripture and in real life…

Sure Calvinists and Arminists can fight all they want but I want to look deeper and see that both sides have a point. Look at Scripture and see the balance.

Thoughts on Persuasion


I have been thinking a lot recently about Persuasion in our Faith.

I have to reference a podcast I listened to from Apologetics.com on this topic
But I have been thinking a lot on the topic from reading Speaking to Teenagers, oddly enough.
The same ideas about persuasion are followed in both instances, going back to the Greek philosopher Aristotle’s ideas of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. I have been trained on this a lot recently in my Communications and Philosophy classes that I took this quarter at Ohio University.

A very brief overview of these three things is explained well here:

Ethos (Credibility), or ethical appeal, means convincing by the character of the author.

Pathos (Emotional) means persuading by appealing to the reader’s emotions.

Logos (Logical) means persuading by the use of reasoning.


One thing that is difficult for intellectual Christians, like myself, is finding the balance between showing love and doing real evangelism verses studying theology and talking about it. We can get so caught up in learning and studying theology, for a number of reasons: Ranging from us wanting to know the Lord better to wanting to be able to make a strong argument for our faith, or desiring the knowledge in hopes of receiving a Doctorate degree. Let’s focus on using this knowledge to help us make a strong case for our faith.
Studying theology to win intellectual arguments can be a great thing, but it can also be dangerous and a waste of time. Knowing knock-out winning arguments is not true evangelism. God can and will use these on His own time but in our own prideful ways these arguments can be in vain.


1 Cor. 13: 13
So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
My rant :
Showing Christ’s Genuine Love in your life, is the best way to persuade other’s for Christ. Yes, having knowledge about theology can help and I am not saying that you are completely wasting your time by studying theology and “always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope” (1 peter 3 :15) . There is a balance.
Studying theology and knowing these knock-out arguments becomes dangerous when we put them above love and above Christ working through us. It is a problem when we put more trust in ourselves, our arguments in this theology rather than truly loving our friends (and enemies) – or anyone we are explaining this theology to- and depending on Christ and his love.

I am still thinking about this idea of persuasion in our faith. Love and reason.