Embracing Self-Care: Spiritual & physical health

This week's topic for the Embracing Self-Care series is sort of a biggie. It's probably the biggest, in fact. If we're not taking care of ourselves spiritually and physically, there literally is nothing left in us to care for others. It's also the most constant work-in-progress category for me. IMG_7562

Physical health

I'm very casual about exercising-- maybe too casual. I was an athlete growing up and (thankfully) I still have the general physique of an athlete (although an athlete who's birthed and nursed two babies), so when I do work out there's a lot of muscle memory that helps me out.

By and large, my exercising has consisted of carrying and chasing babies/toddlers/kids for the last seven years. I've gone through seasons where I did regular gym workouts, CrossFit classes, gone surfing, and/or taken long walks, but nothing super consistent.  Now that I'm done having babies and am thirty-three, it's probably time to get some kind of regular routine going. ;)

As for diet, I'm a primal-ish eater, although the emphasis on the ish has gotten stronger in the last few months. I could stand to be a little more disciplined with my eating again. Sleep is something that I'm working on as well. My goal is to go to sleep at 10:30 and wake up at 5:30-- I'm getting closer to that, but it's really hard for me to get to bed on time, especially because David is a major night owl.

Plan of action for self-care:

I really do want to take care of this vessel that God has given me. I want to be energetic enough to take care of and play with my kids, and even if I end up with some random health problem eventually, I want to know that I did what I could to keep myself as healthy as possible. I also want to set a good example for my kids of taking care of my own body.

My springtime goal is to workout at least three times a week: ideally I would do a park workout once a week and do this really cool (free!) workout tailored especially for (but not limited to) getting in shape for surfing called WaveShape two evenings a week. I also want to start doing squats or push-ups or sit-ups throughout the day. When summer hits, I'll have to re-evaluate since I'll hopefully be surfing and walking more.

Spiritual Health

There are a few disciplines that really help me feel like I'm tracking well with the Lord. These are areas where I constantly need to be mindful of or they will easily slip away from me.

First, is my morning time with the Lord. This is a vital part of my spiritual healthy. I wrote a little bit of detail about this part of my life a few years ago, and that post is still relevant and descriptive of how I basically like to do things.

If you're feeling the pull to waking up early but needing help and encouragement, I can't recommend enough the free eBook Maximize Your Mornings by Kat Lee and the HelloMornings community that grew out of that eBook.

Speaking of community, I also can't say enough about the benefits of being immersed in encouraging, inspiring, authentic community. I see a direct correlation to my being connected to the body of Christ and my feeling spiritually healthy. A couple of resources that may encourage you in this area are my 31 days of intentional community series and my PDF prayer calendar for praying for those around you (free for newsletter subscribers).

embracing self-care: physical and spiritual health

Here's where I need to grow: prayer

I've been feeling the Lord imprinting on my heart that prayer is a discipline I need to focus on more and spend more time doing. The season of life I'm in is a challenging one and I need to be really leaning on Him being more intentional about praying, specifically for my own heart in parenting, and also for my kids' hearts to be softened and for their growth and development.

Time in creation

Being outside, especially at the beach switches on a big wave of peace in my heart and really tunes my heart to sing His praise. Prioritizing time at or near the beach doesn't feel indulgent to me anymore because I know that it refreshes me spiritually, and oddly enough makes me a better mom. I encourage you to figure out what you can do or where you can go for that feeling of refreshment, the place where you take a big sigh and go, "ah, my happy place."

It's been such a good exercise to take a good, hard look at the physical and spiritual aspects of my health and determine where I need to be more disciplined and how I can best take care of myself. Remembering to do this regularly can only help me to be a better mom, wife, and friend.

How's your health? Where do you need more discipline or growth? What disciplines come easy to you and which take more effort?

You can visit the other Embracing Self-Care hosts today, too!

Their individual posts for today’s topic will be linked up in the linky, or you can view their whole series by clicking the links below.

Beth at Red & Honey

Emily at Live Renewed

Krissa at More Than Mundane

Mindy at This Crazy Wonderful Life

Stacy at The Delightful Home

Leigh Ann from Intentional Grace