When talking about taking proper care of yourself, the first thought that usually jumps to mind, is taking care of your physical health. And, while this is very important, taking care of your physical health is not where it should stop. In the scheduled rat-race that most of us live in today, taking care of your overall well-being involves taking care of your mind, body AND soul.
With a constant demand on our attention, both at home and in the work place (not even talking about social media), taking care of our minds has never been as important. Our minds are constantly bombarded with new information which needs to be processed. And, while there is nothing wrong with that, our ability to prioritize the importance of these constant impulses of information, has gone slightly awry.
We feel like we constantly have to respond to this flood of information rushing our way and are therefore on constant high alert.
However, if we do not take a break every now and then to refresh our minds and to disconnect from this constant demand, we will burn out. I like to think that your ability to process information can only be as sharp as your ability to rest your mind.
Rest your mind
So, how do you rest your mind? Generally speaking it should be something that is very easy (and which comes so naturally that we shouldn’t even need to think about it.) However, as we all know, it is not that easy to just switch off. I’m also not referring to just getting a good night’s rest. Although that is a very important part of taking care of the well-being of your total existence, it is not enough. You need to reboot your mind, and here’s how:
- Give yourself at least 30 minutes every day to just think…. Honestly, just find a quiet spot and just think about everything that happened during that day. Just process your thoughts.
- Stay away from technology or screen time at least an hour before you go to bed. You don’t need any extra stimulation added to your already-flooded-mind. You need it to rest. (Something that helps me with this is to charge my phone in a different room in the house. NOT next to my bed.)
- Drink enough water. This is as necessary for your mind as it is for your body and soul.
- Make time to read a good book. It will help you to focus on something completely different. (And, do not read it on your phone or tablet – read an actual book.)
You need to make time for your mind to rest. You need to be intentional about it. Finding time in the margins of your day, to take care of yourself, will make the world of difference in responding in a fresh and unique way to the demands of your day.
Taking proper care of your body is probably one of the most discussed topics – especially at the beginning of each year. All of us usually have some type of New Years resolution – to be healthier, to lose some weight or to achieve a new fitness goal. And, although none of this is wrong, I do believe that we should strive to live a healthier lifestyle throughout the entire year.
This applies both to our diets and physical activity.
As a mom, I really think that it is crucial for us to set the tone of healthy living in our homes. If we model it, it is easier for the rest of the family to follow. For example: When you do grocery shopping and prepare meals, allow your kids to help and teach them about the benefits of healthy foods. You absolutely set the tone towards what they like and dislike. Instead of giving them a soda and chips as a snack, give them a smoothy (or a smoothy popsicle) and a glass of water. Or some freshly sliced fruit with a nutritious, healthy shake. The possibilities are endless and healthy recipes are SO easily accessible.
Exercise is not something that needs to be forced. It is rather something that needs to be introduced, naturally, at a very young age as part of your everyday living. Again, if you do not model it, it doesn’t seem important. This might also increase the chances of your kids ending up in front of the TV. Here are a few fun things that you can consider instead:
- Run outside. Toddlers, especially, love to run around and you have to let them. They love to be chased around and this is a great way for you to burn some calories too.
- Bike riding. If your kids are still small, they can ride while you take a brisk walk. As they get older, ride along with them.
- Go for a walk (as a family if you can). Not only is this a good idea to stay active, but it also gives you an opportunity to actually talk to your husband, and teach your kids new things about nature. In fact, taking a walk is so good for your mind, body and soul, that this is probably my number one go-to fitness tip.
- Make time to go to the gym or do a Pilates class. If your kids learn that this is part of your life, they will grow up knowing that exercise is essential, not something that you have to do, but simply something that you do. It becomes a great habit.
The entity “soul” is interpreted in so many different ways, by different people. However, for the purpose of this post, I will discuss it with the reading of spirituality.
Taking proper care of your soul implies that you need to feed it properly. Just as with your body, your soul needs to be fed healthy “foods” in order to stay healthy. Sadly, this is probably the one area in our lives that we neglect the most. Why?
Simply because it is the one area where obvious deterioration cannot be so easily seen by the outside world. We will rather take care of our physical appearance first, than to pay any attention to the care of our souls. But, as I am sure many of you know, beauty comes from within….
What the heart is full of can really be seen in the words you speak and, on the long run, in your physical appearance. That is why it is so important to be really careful with what you feed your soul. And, especially to keep your thoughts, about yourself, in line with the truth.
Ways to feed your soul
- Read the Word
- Find time to meditate on the Word. The easiest way for me to do this is to literally write scripture out and place it somewhere in my work space, where I can see it every time I look up from my computer screen. My one friend puts written down scripture in her shoes, and literally stands on the Word throughout the day. I think this is such a practical way to remind yourself of God’s truth and promises.
- Pray. Continuously. Persistently talking to God throughout your day, keeps you aligned with His Spirit and keeps your mind in check with the truth. It really isn’t as difficult as it may sound, you just have to start doing it, until it becomes a habit.
There are so many more things that you can do with regards to feeding your soul. These are just a few, practical ways to get you started.
I hope that in this year you will be inspired to make a few small changes in taking care of your overall well-being. I hope that you will be inspired to form new, healthy habits which will serve as inspiration to your family to live a healthy lifestyle.
I would love to hear about some of the ways you take care of your mind, body and soul, in the comments below.