Join Me In Redefining What 'Self-Care' Really Means

Join Me In Redefining What 'Self-Care' Really Means

True self-care is important and should be maintained daily and with purpose in order to be effective. Here are some ways to prioritize and maintain your mental and physical health during your busy life.
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During winter break, with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays and family reunion, it is very important to slow down our busy lives and take time for ourselves. Self-care is defined by Dictionary.com as “care of the self without medical or other professional consultation.”

However, shouldn’t self-care reach beyond the physical aspects of picking up some over-the-counter drugs, putting on a face mask, going on a shopping spree, or taking a bubble bath? Shouldn’t the effects of self-care last longer than the physical acts of relaxation done on your days off? With a so much emphasis in today’s fast-paced society on reaching one’s “full potential,” it is alarming that the importance of self-care is often brushed under the rug.

True self-care is important and should be maintained daily and with purpose in order to be effective. Here are some ways to prioritize and maintain your mental and physical health during your busy life.

1. Write in a journal.

Take time for yourself to reflect and write about your life. While leading such busy lives, time can seem to go by so fast. Take time to slow down and reflect on your day. This can be as simple as a few sentences. Not everything needs to be shared and documented on social media for everyone to see. Sometimes it is important to sit back and write about your daily happenings without an audience.

2. Be OK with being alone.

Doing things alone allows you time to think and reflect. When constantly surrounded by others, it is so easy to get sucked into the “groupthink” mentality. So take yourself out to dinner, people watch at the local coffee shop, go on a walk, close the door and be OK with just being alone.

3. Set goals and rewards.

Set short and long-term realistic goals and rewards for yourself when you reach them. A big part of self-care is helping yourself reach your full potential and appreciate the work and effort you put in, even if others don't.

4. Cut out toxic people.

You become the company you keep. Putting energy into toxic people will end up hurting you. Choose to spend time with people who build you up, not break you down. You deserve better.

5. Realize when you need a break.

We’ve all been there. Feeling completely worn out; burnt out on our daily lives. This is the time when self-care is the most important. Listen to yourself and trust yourself when you aren’t happy in a situation. Take time to regroup and reassess. Doing something that you aren’t excited or passionate about is not worth the trouble.

Cover Image Credit: Julianna Merry

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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7 Ways God Overwhelms Me with his Love

God is a good, good Father

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God overwhelms me with His love all the time. But usually, I have been noticing I am not looking at the world with my eyes or ears wide open. Sometimes, I get too concerned with the chaos instead of the beauty of the world. The important thing I must remember is God is bigger than any darkness in the world - and these main seven ways help me remember how gorgeous it is to believe in our Good Creator.

1. Scripture

Scripture speaks to my heart in a way that people, song lyrics, and nature cannot. Scripture is known as the living word of God, and it's true. It calls me to reflect in a deeper way about myself, and even if that self-reflection isn't a fun activity, I am somehow filled with peace while reading scripture. I really like Sirach, Hosea, and James.

2. Friends

We are not meant to be alone on this earth - we are called to community, and God really speaks to me through my friends, especially those who are striving to know and imitate Jesus Christ. It's great to hear someone else's perspective on life and how to approach a situation differently. I trust my friends to give good advice, and they usually don't let me down.

3. Music

I really like music. When I am in silence, usually a song pops into my head. Lately, I've been trying to fill my mental soundtrack with Christian music. I know this is a cliche but Christian songs speak hope and life into my life in a very special way - and usually, the lyrics inspire me to keep up the faith amidst all the struggle.

4. The Sky

The sky is God's canvas. It can be moody, dreamy, or blank. It's amazing to see weather light up my night with lightning and storms OR lull me into a peaceful reflection with bats darting across a starlit sky in the garden my campus ministry has. The sky is so cool, but I don't appreciate it enough.

5. The Wind

In my backyard at the house I'm renting this summer, I sometimes chill out in the hammock. It's a thin little net looking thing, and it's my favorite spot in nature. I get comfortable and look at the tree limbs and leaves above me get blown by the breeze. It's so amazing to see the leaves light up different shades of green because the wind moves the leaves into different patches of sunlight. The wind also reminds me of the Holy Spirit - this unseen but present force in our lives. The wind is so soothing, I've always liked it and how it can be like a whisper on a spring day, a loud shout in a storm, or a sweet breeze on a scorchingly hot summer day.

6. Passionate People

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who described what their passion project was with you? I have. That person's eyes light up, they wave their hands animatedly as they speak, and everything about them is joyous and optimistic. Passionate people, especially those who will the good of another, are reflections of God's energy and enthusiasm, in my opinion. It's a blessing to see hope and vigor in this too-often melancholy world. Passionate people are the cure for a slow day at the office, know what I mean?

7. The First Christians

The First Christians are inspirations to me. If Jesus can love someone like Paul (who used to murder a bunch of Christians before his conversion), Peter (who was one of Christ's most trusted disciples, but still denied Christ three times), and Mary Magdalene (who had a bunch of demons inside of her and was a prostitute)... well, if Jesus can love all of these people and help them be better-versions-of-themselves, then I'm sure Jesus can love me too. I find their stories, and so many other stories of early Christians, very uplifting.

These aren't the only seven ways God reveals His goodness to me. But when I think of these seven and look for God in these moments, my day is filled with more peace and happiness. I hope this helps you reflect on how God overwhelms you with love because (trust me when I say this), He is giving you all you need - but are you open to receiving it?

Cover Image Credit:

D. Jameson RAGE at https://unsplash.com/search/photos/trees

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