“My own garden, I have not kept”
The bride in the Song of Solomon felt bad she had not taken enough care of herself, and the wedding day was just around the corner!
All too-often we can be so busy with daily life demands that we neglect really important things. Spiritual self-care, for example. It’s one thing we simply cannot delegate to others. We have to do it for ourselves.
The standard practices of the spiritual life are obvious to us all, but ensuring we have a daily, disciplined and delightful method of spiritual self-care is not as easy as it sounds. The big things are of course, daily Bible Reading, prayer, worship, fellowship and walking in the ways of the Lord. But there is more.
Here are my Top 5 ways to better spiritual self-care:
Stay connected to your spiritual community, make sure you are regularly eating at the food served at the family table and step up your cell group involvement.
Remain positive in your thoughts and outlook. Meditating on Christ and unhurried personal reflection on the Word of God will keep you positive. Stay away from negative news, uncontrolled social media and people who will easily pull you down.
- Physical Life
A healthy physical life can help your mental and spiritual sense of well-being. Keep active with movement and exercise. Get plenty of rest and sleep. Eat well-balanced nutritious food.
Psychologists tell us that cultivating a healthy practice of thankfulness is good for your mental health. At the end of each day, focus for 10 minutes on things, small or big, that you are truly grateful for, and express your thanks to God. Notice the sense of spiritual relief when you do this.
- Service of Others
Focussing on others rather than endless self-focussed rumination, will release you internally as well as encourage others. Practical steps such as reaching out to someone with a phone call, a word of encouragement, or word of prayer all help your own spiritual and mental health.
Check out this longer PDF read on spiritual self-care: The Secret Place