I’ve heard it said that we are either about to enter, in the middle of, or just coming out of a storm in our lives. Jesus made it clear that we are going to have challenges and trouble in life. If we know we will have difficult situations and days, shouldn’t we prepare in advance? That’s why I wanted to share this idea for creating a Christian self-care ritual.
The words “Christian” and “self care” may sound like opposites. But to me, self care is really soul care. And it is vital that we care for our souls and build our faith before trials come our way.
I have been very open about my struggles with health-related anxiety since my thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Because I know these events are inevitable, I decided to create a self-care ritual that I lean on when these feelings return.
But why would I call it a Christian self-care ritual? Because, as Christ followers, we know that true peace comes only through Him. All the meditation, journaling and therapy in the world won’t help unless you go to Him first, and do other things under the Spirit’s guidance.
Now, your anxiety or stress may not be health-related. Maybe you feel anxious about money, or you are going to an event where you don’t know anyone. Perhaps your stress is around a work project, an event that’s coming up, or a problem with one of your kids.
When you know these feelings are going to be triggered, it’s smart to have go-to resources prepared ahead of time.
First, go to God. I have a habit of going to Him after I’ve tried a million other things. That’s like getting into an accident and trying to use bandaids to care for your wounds before calling 9-1-1. Jesus desires to be our first response, not our last resort. Go to His word, and let His voice minister to your soul. Read verses aloud. Post them on your mirror or in your car. Pray and pour out your concerns to Him.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:7
I heard Kyle Idleman interviewed on a podcast and he said that we often give our worries to God and then wonder why nothing changes. He said we tell God all about our worries, but we also need to tell our worries about our God.
After you take everything to God and strengthen your faith, then you can supplement with these other ideas that will keep your foundation in Him solid.
Christian Self-Care Ideas
- Create one or more music playlists with songs that remind you of God’s sovereignty or just favorites that make you happy.
- Call a friend that will listen and speak life into your situation.
- Keep a list of podcast sermons that address your circumstances.
- Practice meditation. Abide and Soultime are two apps that offer Christian guided meditations.
- Build a list of quotes from blog posts or books that encourage you.
- Go outside and enjoy the natural energy boost that the sun and scenery bring.
- Light a candle or use a calming essential oil.
- Wrap yourself up in a favorite blanket. I have a blanket that is somewhat weighted, and I love curling up with it.
- Ask your spouse or friend for a long hug.
- Exercise for the endorphins that will boost your mood.
- Journal your feelings. (This is one of my favorite ways to pray.)
- Make a list of things (YouTube clips, TV shows, comedians) to watch when you need a laugh.
- Build a team of prayer partners who you can text when you are in need.
- Distract yourself. Find a project you’ve been wanting to tackle or do something nice for someone else. Get your mind off of yourself and on to something else.
Keep in mind that you may need different routines for different scenarios. What you need when you feel anxious is probably different than what you need when you feel overwhelmed.
The most important tool I use when I am anxious or stressed is my Bible. I write down my favorite verses on Post-Its and put them in places I see often. I’ve created a FREE printable with 8 of my favorite verses about God’s peace. Print out these verses that you can cut out and display in your home, car, planner or work.
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