March 27, 2015

The Wisdom of Self Care... or Knowing When To Take A Break! (A Five Minute Friday post)

I had a full day planned yesterday...that ended with an afternoon of crafting downstairs in my lovely basement! Now that our Family Room is all cozy and creative, I rarely want to leave it so I opened my laptop and tried to multi-task with papercrafting, netflixing, and #fmfparty-ing... all because I have learned the wisdom and value of Self-Care and knowing when to take a little Breaky!

{I can't say it enough, really - I love my tribe! The Gathering that happens on Twitter on Thursday nights and then flashmob writes out their hearts and hits publish all over the interwebs on Thursday and Friday (and sometimes on Tuesdays!) But, I know... I'm like a broken record here, stuck on repeat! 
However today I am thinking of a different community. Let's just get started.}

This is Five Minute Friday and our Word Prompt for the day is: BREAK


Yesterday my calendar was full with all kinds of Bossy - but it's the kind of bossy that I have learned to pencil in, to plan for, and to protect! It still counts! (Things like in addition to a couple of errands: a walk with a friend, a stroll around the Arboretum with a camera in hand, some crafting time, Voxing friends, etc.  --and by 'etc.' clearly I mean indulge in a little chocolate!)

Earlier this week, I wrote about the three things that God whispered to me that will help us all to better learn our true identity.  You can read that HERE, but today I want to focus on the second thing, because I think it is so crucial and yet so neglected.  

It is the importance of Self Care.

Self care can be defined as taking intentional actions to care for your physical, mental and emotional health and well being.  We so often tend to focus on caring for others, and push ourselves further and further down on our list of priorities!  If you have ever watched an episode or season of The Biggest Loser, most often - neglecting self care is what landed them there, and whether or not we have a weight problem, I think we all battle the weighty problem of lacking self care.

I realize that I am now writing this as an Empty Nester, so those of you still in the thick of the crazy and chaos and glorious Bossy of taking care of a house full --well, you may think this is just something to focus on later... when you can sleep in, get dressed by yourself, or -for the love- be in the bathroom alone!  

It IS dreamy, I'm not gonna lie! 

But it is so vitally important that you carve out time to start paying attention to taking care of yourself now - in whatever season you are in - so that you will be more able to be present in more of your life, through out your life!

When I had my girlie, almost immediately my mother in law offered to take her to give me a break. As in - every Tuesday... like clock work.  In the beginning I said "No thanks!"  I was all, why would I not want to spend every second with her? And I did... she was a joy and actually (#sorrynotsorry) a happy baby who slept well and played well and rarely pushed my nerves... until that season was over and once again, my MIL graciously said the offer stood and while she was still finishing that sentence, I was packing a bag and handing her over, making all kinds of plans for my Tuesday afternoons! 

I think at first, I slept... maybe showered and did laundry.  Eventually I remember that this time was a gift and I needed to do less chores and pay more attention to what I could do that would fill me up and refresh me.  Sure, grocery shopping alone was divine... but I wanted to DO something that would help me remember me!

Through the years, I have had many hobbies and interests and passions.  My MIL kept my girlie every Tuesday afternoon until halfway through elementary school, when sports and practices on Tuesdays entered the picture. But I am oh so thankful for those few hours each week early on that she gave me.  

It helped me to remember that I was more than someones' mom... someones' wife... 

I learned to pay attention to the activities and opportunities that fed me and filled me up... as well as to the ones that drained me and -let's be honest - bled me dry.  

I wanted more of the former, and less of the latter, obviously.

The importance of Self-Care is right up there with sleep and healthy eating and prayer and, you know... showering! It's more than just cleaning up and showing up - it is investing in yourself so that you have a better, more fully you to present! It makes you a better you - yes, and in turn, that makes you a better Mama and wife and friend!

Our over-scheduled, chaotic, fast-paced culture doesn't always allow for self-care and especially within the church, it can feel selfish and wrong. We are supposed to always be giving out and serving and going, going, going... except that without self care - we do all of those things half-heartedly, in a dazed exhaustion, with little passion left in us. I am not advocating selfishness.  This is different.

We let our calendars boss us around and before our heads hit the pillow, we are already spinning our thoughts around all the running that tomorrow holds!  (There is a verse for that... Matthew 6:34)

Can I tell you that there is a better way to take a break than to hit the wall.  

Sometimes, we need a little breaky to slow. the. things. down. already!

Time is spinning and we get dizzy* and we forget that, as Ann Voskamp told us, slowing time is as simple as counting gifts and being fully present!

Can I encourage you to Just. Breathe.

Slow down for a moment and think back to the last thing that you did for you, that filled you up and refreshed you... that made you feel, you know - human again!

If it is hard to remember - you are overdue, my friend!

It's true, I am in a dreamy season where it seems I can fill my day planner with all sorts of glorious bossy like I did yesterday... but don't wait!  You may not have a MIL close by, or you may not be in a place where you feel like you have any 'extra' time.  

Self Care doesn't have to be time consuming.
It can take just a few moments to focus in and check in with yourself.  Oh - it can take an afternoon  -or weekend, if you can manage it! But it doesn't have to! 


Once again, the asterisk is where my Five Minutes were up - but this is so important... As I mentioned, maybe you don't have family close by who can commit to an hour or two a week, or you work full time and taking any extra time away feels impossible! You can give yourself a little self-care once the littles are in bed... you can take a more scenic route on the way home and drink in the Spring around you... you can ask for help --I know, but it's true! Ask your husband, a friend, see if there is someone from church who you could pay to sit for an hour so you can simply go for a walk and breathe.  

I think our biggest hurdle to self-care is that it feels selfish and we don't stop to consider that we are worth it! When we are filled up and refreshed, we offer our best selves! 

You know the saying, Happy Wife, Happy Life?  Or how about, If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't No One Happy?
Yeah. That.

 A little self-care goes a long way!

So what kinds of things do you do to practice Self-Care? (I go for a walk... I take photographs... I make coffee dates with friends... I read, journal, create, (and Netflix!)  

If it helps you to rest and refresh, it is Self-Care --and it is vital to your health!

I love the #fmfparty Community that gathers on Twitter and all across the Internet on Thursday nights and on Fridays... on into the next week, where we encourage and uplift... where we share prayer requests and praise reports... where we talk food and friends and we find support and kindred hearts and we are reminded that life is good and God is good and we are not alone... and then we all write for five minutes flat, a flash mob of wordsmiths letting our hearts and our fingers do the talking tapping and we hit publish before we can second guess... we just let Him flow!   Five Minute Fridays gives us the chance to dive right in and share what He puts on our hearts! Click here to read what others have to say about "BREAK"

Oh ...the fine print: if you don't know what FMF is!  Five Minute Fridays have been hosted by Lisa Jo Baker.  This week we start gathering over at Kate Motaung's.  FMF is open to anyone, so to learn more about it - and to jump in yourself (the more the merrier!) or just to find a linky to see what everyone is writing about today - click HERE!  The idea is to simply write... for Five Minutes flat... no editing, no deep thinking - or at least REthinking, no spell check - just write! Let it flow! We all write using a prompt that Lisa posts at 10pm Thursday night (EST.)  I'm loving the community of amazing bloggers and the creativity that flows from these magical Five Minutes!


  1. Self-care is so important! When I was in seminary, that was a lesson that they continuously kept engraining in us. It is a lesson that I carry with me and try to carry out throughout the week. I love spending time with my friends and family, just chillin and watching mindless tv, etc!

    1. Right... self care is something I think we instinctively know as children but we lose it somehow along the way! I'm guessing fear of man, people pleasing, and just wanting to serve all contribute... I love that you pointed out that self care is not always a solitary endeavor! Some of the ways I practice self care are very social - even as an introvert ...and who doesn't love Netflix, am I right? ;)

  2. I am finally learning the need for self care to give myself some peace time. I am about 18 years to late to this but have finally started to take respite from my foster son in hope that i am in a better mind when he returns but also to spend quality time with my daughters and husband.

    1. Sara - it is so vital and I am so proud of you for recognizing it and choosing it! It won't just happen... I think that is a lie we fall for for too long... (yes - sometimes 18 years!) Praying for you and your family!

  3. Self care is so incredibly important! And while it doesn't have to be extensive or expensive, it DOES need to be regular! Daily time with God first thing. Exercise. Relaxation. Without those, I'm no fun to be around!

    1. Amen, my friend! So much amen! I think we often feel like it DOES have to be extensive AND expensive (A weekend out of town, a retreat, a day spa, etc.) - but a slow intentional walk around the block will do! Thanks for stopping by! xoxo

  4. I love this post. I hate that I didn't learn to self-care until later after I had hit the wall....more than once. I pray all the young moms listen to your advise and learn quicker than I did.

    1. Amen, my friend! It's never too late! That is good news, right there! xoxo

  5. Anonymous2:29 PM

    "A better way to take a break that hit a wall." No kidding! I'm still learning this lesson, Karrilee. Trying to balance the "bossy" I have to do with the things I love and want to do. Most times I get there before the wall - other times not so much. Thank you for the reminder and for letting me (at least) live vicariously through you. :)

    1. I think we all learn this... and then have a tendency to forget it... and then relearn it again... (and then forget?) Aahh - we are all in process, yes? Grace, grace, my friend!

  6. Anonymous3:24 PM

    Yes! Self-care is so, so important. I'd like to think I'm pretty gifted at it - being an introvert I focus most on energy management versus time management and if I'm worn out, then something is getting taken off my calendar so I can chill. My very extroverted husband likes to tell people that I taught him how to rest. :)

    1. Amen, Liz! I tend to think we introverts have an advantage to self-care, but then again all my extrovert friends say they practice self care among the masses? I guess it's just about investing and paying attention to what feeds and fills us and doing more of that! Loved your fmf video - and your post today! Looking forward to Faith and Culture in a few weeks!

  7. An ongoing learning journey for me. Seeking out what true rest looks like for me as sitting watching TV often leaves me more drained than refreshed. I've been getting back into craft and booking in a craft group at least once a month. I'm intentionally choosing projects that I can work on in bits for those little spare moments in my day. Starting my blog has also been part of that for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. That is awesome, Jo! I think it's also so important to remember that there are seasons when some things fill us up - and some seasons when those same things will drain us! So happy to hear that you are finding ways to pencil in self care!

  8. I love this and I seem to need the reminder of self-care daily. When my job is consuming and exhausted is how I feel at the end of the day, it is nice to know that I can gift myself with some "me" time in order to refuel for the next day. Thank you friend for this advice! Have a great weekend!

    1. Amen... 'gift myself some me time' - yes to this! We all need to remember to do this from time to time!

  9. Self care. It's critical to our well being! Thank you for this great reminder, friend! I, too, take walks and photograph God's handiwork. I also try to break away from my normal schedule every three months or so. Love that we wrote in a similar subject this week. Much love to you!

    1. I love it, Julie! I just got done playing with a ton of shots I took at our Arboretum... I love the whole process and it is definitely self care for me! I also have a Maternity Shoot lined up for next week, and a Toddler session coming up soon... those kinds of Photography outings are still fun but don't always count as self care (which is why I never made it my official job --I still wanted to love it and find it refreshing!) ;) Love you right back, my friend!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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