• Jennifer Gunter

5 Ways God Wants You to Practice Self-Care

God wants us to take care of our bodies. This means practicing self-care in healthy ways. Self-love, self-care and the entire “love yourself” mindset of society today can be a bit much. I am not talking about the worldly ways of self-care, which can come off as selfish and take things to the extreme.

In this post I will talk about healthy ways to practice self-care that make God happy too.

In 2 Timothy 3:2, we are told, For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.”

I don’t think its healthy to sit in front of the TV all day, eat tons of junk food, or spend lots of money on yourself. However, in moderation, taking time to watch your favorite TV show or have a cookie simply because you LOVE cookies is a different story.

God wants us to love ourselves in a healthy way. Remember one of the most recited verses of all time? Love your neighbor. Let’s take a look at this verse.

“Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:31

We often cite this verse when talking about loving others but what about ourselves? God says we should love others as we love ourselves, which means that we should LOVE OURSELVES.

If we are so exhausted and worn down from going about our daily lives and putting everyone else before ourselves, our well is going to run dry! However, if we take the time to care for ourselves, mentally, spiritually, and physically, our cups will run over, and we will naturally spill out our love for others.

Ask yourself: would I want my friends or family to treat themselves the way I treat myself? If the answer is no or HECK NO, you need to reevaluate the ways in which you care for yourself.

5 Ways God Wants You to Practice Self-Care

1. Eat balanced meals.

“For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church”. - Ephesians 5:29

"Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God”. – 2 Corinthians 7:1

Our body is a complex machine that needs the proper fuel to work efficiently. Thanks to science we know that we need a combination of complete protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates to nourish our bodies.

As Americans, unless we are truly focused on our diets, tend to get a lot of simple carbohydrates and not enough protein and fat. This leaves us feeling hungry and sluggish throughout the day, thinking about what we’re going to eat next.

It’s important to look at the nutrition labels on the food you’re consuming to ensure that you’re getting enough protein to feel full.

If you don’t think you are getting enough protein in your diet use this handy protein calculator to figure out your daily protein requirements.

If you don’t feel like you can meet your protein goal, there is nothing wrong with supplementing with a protein powder. I personally like the chocolate flavor of Vega Protein powder because it’s plant-based and tastes great.

My personal favorite choice for a high-protein breakfast is 2 slices of Dave’s Killer Bread with butter and 2 eggs. This contains whole grains which are full of protein and fiber, plus healthy fat & even more protein from the eggs. I like butter because butter is delicious. 😊

I’ll end this section with saying, you know what food makes you feel good and what doesn’t. Follow the signs your body is giving you. If you’re eating a diet filled with mostly whole foods, you’re probably doing simply fine in this department.

2. Get enough sleep every night.

Rest is important and even God rested after creating the world.

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” – Genesis 2:2-3

There are so many bible verses highlighting the importance of giving ourselves adequate time to rest & refuel. Here are just 3 verses detailing the importance of rest. There are many others that I won’t list here for the sake of brevity.

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”. – Mark 6:31

“It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones”. – Psalm 127:2

“What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless”. – Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

I know it can be difficult to go to bed at the same time every night, but it is SO worth it. Stop using all your electronic devices at least an hour before you’re ready to go to sleep. The blue light from the screens can disrupt your sleep, so it’s best to have an hour of quiet time before bed that doesn’t involve scrolling through your news feed on Facebook. If that isn’t possible for you, go to your settings and look for something called “Night light”. It decreases the amount of blue light your screen emits.

If you have trouble sleeping no matter what you do, I suggest looking into a magnesium supplement such as Natural Vitality Calm Magnesium Powder. This supplement has helped me go to sleep fast and stay asleep all night. (This is not a sponsored post, I just love this product).

3. Move your body!

Our bodies were meant to move! There are so many easy ways to incorporate movement into your day whether it’s taking the stairs or going for a walk. My personal favorite is running but I know running is not for all people and can be pretty rough on the knees.

Sometimes when we do chores around the house like vacuuming or washing dishes, we don’t even realize we’re exercising. So, don’t think too hard about this one. Just make sure that you are active at some point during the day, ideally 30 minutes or more.

”Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies”. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

We should honor God with our bodies. To do this through exercise, the reason we exercise is important. We shouldn’t exercise to punish ourselves for eating something high in calories or fat. We shouldn’t exercise solely to lose weight. We exercise because God created our bodies and we want to strengthen them and practice discipline, if weight loss is a byproduct of that, awesome!

“Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize”. – 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

Consider your time exercising as an investment. You’re strengthening and training your body so you can master it, not have it master you.

4. Spend quality time with people you love.

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. – Hebrews 10:25

God didn’t create us to be alone. Feeling alone, being alone, and dying alone are all things people are afraid of in this life. No one wants to be alone or go through a difficult time alone, and lucky for us, God created us to be social creatures.

Time with family and friends has the ability to renew our spirits and encourage us to be our best. Of course, I am talking about healthy friendships and relationships.

I am in no way telling you to spend time around people that are not good for you or don’t want the best for you. Some of us have negative family members who suck the life out of us. If you feel drained after spending time with someone, you probably shouldn’t spend time with that person.

Spend quality time with people you love, doing things you love, that glorifies God in the process. Fellowship is one of the greatest gifts God has given us.

5. Be spiritually hungry for God.

This is the most important point. If you take away nothing else from this list, please hold onto this point.

If you’re not close with God or not used to spending time with him every day, this one can seem like a chore. We’ve all been there. Our sinful nature leads us astray and ultimately leads to unhappiness. However, that’s not to say that we can’t break free from the cycle. God created us with a deep spiritual hunger for him, down at the core of our very being.

This feeling is the “void” that non-Christians try to fill with worldly things such as material possessions, sex, drugs, alcohol, entertainment, or any combination of these. There’s a reason for the term “retail therapy”. Too many of us seek relief from material things.

However, none of these things can make us truly content & happy, only God can do that.

If we use any of these things to feel better, can we honestly say it’s working out for us? If it worked, we wouldn’t feel the need to constantly keep doing it.

“One who is full loathes honey from the comb, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.” – Proverbs 27:7

If we are full of ourselves and the ways of the world, we have no room for God. For this reason, we must stay spiritually hungry and eat up his Word because it is the only thing that will truly sustain us. Those tough verses that challenge us and convict us will ring true and stick with us if we are hungry for God’s word.

“You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it”. – Haggai 1:6

Spend some quiet time alone with God every day to renew your spirit. Sometimes it seems like we don’t have any free time, but we need to make time.

Set your Bible somewhere that you will see it during your free time, open it, and read a verse or two. This will get you in the habit of reading your Bible. Quiet your mind and talk to God. He’s been waiting patiently to hear from you.

I hope this list has helped you in some way.

If you especially enjoyed this post, please share it with family and friends so they can enjoy it as well!

- Jenni Gunter

#faithfood #christian #selfcare

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