What does self-care look like in quarantine?
This week on the blog and on my new podcast, Wholistic Hearts, I will talk about the idea of self care during quarantine. The first topic I want to cover is the MOST important: REST.
YALL… Rest and me have had to learn to mesh together and join in a divine relationship. I am a girl who likes to get things done and naturally have the underlying conversation “I should do this; I need to do this…If I don't do it, no one will.” Anyone else feel me?
Let me share my story about discovering the importance of rest.
When I look back over my life as a young married little lady and four small children – DISCLAIMER: we had four babes in four years. I see times where I thought it was either ALL IN or nothing. My weakness was in the “no pain, no gain” motto. I thrived off of the turbo- all in- no mercy lifestyle. Not only was I pushing myself physically to the limits by running or strength training, I also wasn't eating in the morning because WHO HAS TIME TO EAT WHEN YOU HAVE FOUR UNDER FOUR. I was spiritually fighting without resting. I thought it was my job to be the strong, defensive, on my game woman. I was holding so many things- our kiddos health issues, my health issues, strange weird spiritual things happening in our 100 year old home, schedules of the twins and oh…my second born didn't like to sleep…ever. As Ben Harper sings, “I woke up more tired than before I slept,” on most mornings. I was exhausted but I didn't ever want to appear weak.
Here's the glory in telling you all of this… our physical bodies are brilliant at sharing the inner workings of our spirits and our emotional well being. Despite my body's efforts telling me I needed rest, I did not allow it. I began to have major flare ups with autoimmune disease and began getting sick over and over. I would bet even a few friends who walked alongside me during that time would have thought, “Wow, she is a warrior.” But friends, here is the thing. I thought if I did as much as I could, life would be better. But in turn it made me weak.
Until one day, I had a dear close friend come alongside and tell me, “Rest IS Your Weapon.” That conversation changed everything.
I began to let go of the control I thought I had. I began to see the spiritual fight around me was not solely dependent on me. I began to see I was hurting my physical body rather than moving it in a way which was loving. I became aware of HOW TIRED I WAS. Rest was a weapon. I began to allow myself to take those <pause> moments to sit and reflect. I began to let go of trying to control my children when they wanted to do something which wasn’t in the playbook according to me. I began to let go of expectations of others and of myself which were only there because well…that's just what a “good” wife/mom does. I began to learn to listen to the still small voice whispering, “It’s okay to not get that load of laundry in today; just be present.” I began to say no. I began to create margin.
So…What does rest look like now as our days have shifted to this new normal? I am learning to bring in what the Lord has taught me in previous seasons into the present moment of our current situation. We have overcome much more than this and so we will choose to AGAIN choose the REST we need in this time.
Rest is honoring the season we are currently, TODAY, living in- not fighting for control over how we used to do things. We embrace this new rhythm of slow.
Let's break down ways you can REST this week.
Rest is curling up next to Jesus sleeping in the boat while the storm thunders around us. If you haven’t listened to my Encounter, which is like an imaginative exercise where you can rest with Jesus, please find it here. This is a beautiful experiential way to surrender and rest in His arms.
Picturing Jesus taking a hold of all the burdens you are carrying right now- friends and family with various prayer requests, job insecurity etc. And laying it at his feet and asking for His peace in exchange.
Mentally allowing yourself rest is important. There is so much on social media/news and Zoom calls and online meetings…our brains are overloaded. Take a social media break for a day. Or don’t turn on the news for a few days.
Emotionally resting is another good one. I call it Constipation of the Heart. There will be days when I feel like I just need to cry but I got nothin’. So, one of my favorite things to allow my heart to rest from holding it all is speaking it out loud or writing the emotions down and allowing space to validate, THEN REST. Literally say to yourself, I have felt it and now I can rest You have it Jesus.
Physical REST- how to love your body well in this season.
It means listening to your body when it says it is just feeling like a walk or a stretch today. Or maybe you allow a bubble bath instead of an interval workout. When you begin to listen and become in tune with what your body is saying, you will be able to distinguish between the genuine need for rest versus a time to push through.
Rest can look like letting the dishes go after a meal.
Rest can look like a literal nap while the kids watch an afternoon movie.
Rest can look like sleeping in or going to bed a little earlier.
(Anyone else feeling the exhaustion at the end of the day?)
Other ways to incorporate rest…
Rest can look like popping in headphones and listening to a good book or podcast or an Encounter or worship.
Some of the ways my husband and I are finding places to rest in this season is having our kids go to bed a little earlier so we can have alone time a couple night’s a week.
One of my favorite “Rest Soul Care” Options is we have a light structure in the earlier morning so we can ease into the day with a cup of coffee, some time to journal, and read the Word and reflect. If you have small children at home, don’t feel guilty about popping in a little show while you have some alone time. If need be, switch off mornings with your spouse to have some space to do this.
Most of us listening have limited space to ourselves during this Stay At Home order, and I would say REST is the utmost important self care request I can make. When we rest, it is the art of submitting that He has it all. We have to trust He has got it all.
What ways will you choose REST this week?