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

Enjoy a Social Life

toobusy

 

Social Activity and Stress

                    A study released by the JAMA ( Journal of the American Medical Association) “followed nearly 45,000 people ages 45 and up who had heart disease or a high risk of developing the condition. Those who lived alone, the study found, were more likely to die from heart attacks, strokes, or other heart complications over a four-year period than people living with family or friends, or in some other communal arrangement.” If being lonely does not kill you, it can also make you depressed according to the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health study.

                    The science is strong that having social activity and support in life is extremely valuable to the human soul. Having positive and loving people in  life helps one bounce back after a difficult season in life. Having someone to talk to or vent about struggles can be literally life-saving.

Social Activity Ideas

                      Having positive social supports in life is vital. For some it can be easy to get lost in work, personal hobbies or even recreation time. Some people prefer to be alone and do these activities by themselves. Although, many studies are showing the importance of having positive social supports in life. There is always going to be more work that needs to get done. The workaholics need to learn to set boundaries and limits, to be able to create time that is primarily focused on being social. The introvert needs to maintain a balanced lifestyle which includes other people in their life.
Some suggestions for adding more social elements in life could include:

    • Dating your spouse
    • Using all of your vacation time
    • Finding Positive friends
    • Have friends outside of work
    • Find a mentor/accountable partner, life coach or counselor.
    • Get involved in hobbies/activities that force more social interactions.

Stop Multi-tasking

multi

 

Multi-tasking and stress

            We all are very busy individuals.  We all have phones, computers, tablets, oh yeah and we all have our own personal lives to live away from this technology also. Our work and our play have become so streamlined with technology that there is a fine blurry line between work and play. We use our gadgets all the time, everywhere we go.
Individuals have gotten so used to having the convenience of checking emails, texts and doing other work-related tasks right on their phone, in their hands, that it is just a natural, common-place occurrence.  Individuals have started doing these things while with their family at the dinner table, while watching TV before bed and even in the bathroom. Individuals feel empowered and accomplished as they “multi-task” at and even away from work.

The Problem with multi-tasking

                 The main problem with multi-tasking is that it simply is not real. Scientific studies continue to confirm that what is really happening in your brain is maddening! When multi-tasking,  your neurons (in the brain) are switching between two or three tasks very, very quickly. In all reality, you are not really ever doing two things at once. Your brain is just focusing on one thing at a time, but it does this for every little detail and then switches quickly to the next task and then switches back to the other task and then switches again very quickly. Talk about draining!
Multi-task enthusiasts have simply come accustomed to having your brains cells stressed out and fired on a daily or even moment-by-moment basis. They may even have an addicted to stress, anxiety or adrenaline. Or they may have a fear of boredom, despite exhaustion.  This is where it may be time to detox from multi-tasking and even consider taking a break from electronic devices for a hiatus.

Get Real

           Honestly, the problem that multi-tasking is not real, may not do anything for you. That is okay. Let’s get real about the real problems associated with multi-tasking. The real problems are with boundaries. We have attempted to adapt as our technology has evolved. This is a reasonable dilemma. Being able to accomplish more with technology is a great idea and it does happen. Although, we need to draw a line in the sand at some point and decide where the boundaries are in our life.
Moderation is key. It is important to set limits and priorities in one’s life. If family time is important, it may be time to set a rule that there will be no technological device at the dinner table during dinner time. This is a sacred time to spend with family, catching up, talking, eating and enjoying each other’s company. For others, a good idea may be to put away the devices for an hour and go for a walk with your significant other. Maybe for your own well-being, focus on one task at a time and do not move to the next task until every detail is complete.  Instead of watching TV, playing on your phone and trying to write a paper, try prioritizing the tasks. Finish the paper first, then move to the next device.

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.

Time Management and Priorities : Finding Time for Self-Care

 We are all only given 24 hours in a day, everyday. That is an equal for all of us, no matter what the situation is, no matter how successful or unsuccessful, rich or not as fortunate.
  It can be challenging to find time to take care of yourself, especially when you have enough things to do already! Your 24 hours quickly disappears! Many people are great care takers of children or of their elder parents, there is not enough time in the day to serve everyone that needs to be served or earn enough money that needs to be earned. So the main skills that are correlated with self-care are priority-setting and also time-management.
This box demonstrates a simple way blending these two elements: time management and priority-setting. The four boxes center around two thoughts: Urgency and Importance.
            1. Urgent, Important
            2. Important, Not Urgent
            3. Urgent, Not Important
            4. Not Urgent, Not Important
With these two ideas in mind, I can replay every action, that I did in my mind and categorize which box that action goes in.
For example, activities that go in the first box are: Putting out stressful “fires,”crises or deadlines. Work deadlines, family emergencies, project/homework is due, major complaint from large company,  
             The second box is my “Creative pro-activity.” Here is quality time/production, Preparation, prevention, planning, career development, long-term strategy, relationship building, personal fulfillment, quality family time and taking care of myself by going to gym or reading a self-development book. The third box may be my least favorite box. These activities are red herrings (plausible but not important or relevant) , Interruptions like phone calls, some office meetings, some mail, chose of colors on a wall, etc.  The fourth box is time wasting: TV, Internet, Video games, fun, relaxing, does not add much of any other value, distractions, trivial activities and “escapes” from reality. We need to spend some therapeutic laughter and pleasure time in life, but we need to limit this category or we will become its slave. 
 Here are a few more of these charts to help bring home the point:

What are you bowing down to?

We all have the habit, as humans to get our priorities skewed.

When this happens, we end up putting something other than God first in our lives.

It might be that new toy we got for Christmas or that exciting relationship in your life…

but the point is we intentionally or inadvertently bow down to something in our lives.

The question at hand is “what are you bowing down to?”

And what are you going to do about it? Take sometime to reflect and think about your own

priorities it is important to get our habits established early on in the year. It is something I

struggle with as well.

There is an answer…

All men have a bend towards sin, but there is an answer…

from Unchristian by David Kinnaman:

“No one goes to heaven because of what they do or do not do. Every human
sins
, and we all deserve Hell for that. But Jesus freely offers everyone his
grace.
…homosexual behavior is sin, but it is no different than if I sleep with someone
other than my wife or even momentarily have a sexual fantasy. God created
sexuality, it is good, but it can expressed in wrong ways. Every one of us, gay
or straight or whatever, expresses sexuality in wrong ways. It all comes down
to what you do with Jesus.”
(pg. 108)

I just finished chapter 5 of Unchristian called “antihomsexual.”
It was another hard chapter and humbling chapter to read.

I really had not put too much time or thought into the what the culture, as a whole, thinks about Christians relating to the topic of homosexuality.

Christians have
A. been wrong, too conservative, and mean
B. left people with the wrong idea of what we believe about homosexuality
C. left people with the wrong idea of how we should treat homosexuals
D. hurt people
E. wrong priorities

What we really believe is that homosexuality is a sin, yes, but it is no worse than any other sin.
And Jesus still loves and has mercy on homosexuals, just as he has had mercy on us and forgiven us of our sins.

Bad perception due to real problems within Christianity:
Christians have displayed a special and bad image for the sin of homosexuality. It is “the big one.” And Christians have irrationally fought harder against the issue of homosexuality than any other sin/issue.

We have come across as arrogant, uncompassionate, self-righteous, inconsistent, and uncaring to homosexuals. Our method has been ineffective, stupid and dumb. We have repelled young outsiders from church because of this issue. When this happens, it is apparent that we have lost sight of what is really important! Jesus Christ as their answer and salvation!
Stop fighting the sin and show the love, grace, mercy and compassion that Christ would!

Think about it. Homosexuality is a sin, but it is only a sin! You also sin!
We are all sinners. God’s gift of grace is what is important! Regardless of our sin, God still loves us.
Don’t avoid relationships with people because of their lifestyle. Make relational connections with homosexuals. Stop preaching at them and going to political war with them. Treat them as HUMANS, treat them as friends. It is sad I have to say this! Respect. Love. Grace. Show them Jesus. Build on real relationships.