Prioritizing rest is the ultimate sign of surrender when we want to stay in control.
Self-care is a trending topic and buzzword that we often hear as something we should do but is difficult to practice. While we know taking care of ourselves is important, we continue to place our health last on the list. We keep pressing forward, taking care of our daily responsibilities and the needs of others, while not taking the time to properly address our physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual well-being. If we continue to ignore the signs of tiredness, irritability, and burnout, we will be unable to properly accomplish our God-given purpose with ongoing vigor and zeal. Our bodies, spirits, and homes will break down without being fully restored.
God desires for us to serve from a full and not empty cup and to serve from a joyful place—not one from obligation. The Bible speaks to the importance of taking care of our bodies and temples we are blessed with. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 states, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.” Prioritizing our health is the ultimate act of self-love but also an act of worship back to God, our loving Creator. If you have been neglecting to take care of YOU, here are five signs that it is time for you to prioritize your health:
1. Increased Irritability
If you are experiencing increased irritability and lashing out at the smallest things or those who are closest to you, it is time to prioritize your health and address the life stressors that are impacting your increased irritability. Proverbs 14:29 states, “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.”
Pray to God for wisdom on which things or people to say no to, how to adjust your schedule, and get more rest to be replenished. Long-term anger and irritability are self-destructive and not fruitful and affect our overall health. Evaluate and assess what is on your plate, what can come off, and how you can incorporate and prioritize your health by scheduling small, practical, tangible routines.
2. Excessive Sleep Deprivation
Do you always feel tired, burnout, and running on fumes? Are you operating on minimal sleep each night and never fully feeling rested? These are all signs that you may be sleep deprived, and it is time to get more quality sleep to refresh, re-fuel, and replenish your body, mind, and spirit. Often, I have had a challenging time sleeping because my mind is filled with endless to-do lists, worries, or concerns. When we are fully rested, we can serve others more with a joyful spirit, have a better attitude, and have more energy to be present to spend quality time with those who matter most to us.
Getting quality sleep also helps us focus more on deepening our time with God. Prioritizing rest is the ultimate sign of surrender when we want to stay in control. We can have a clearer mind, sharper focus, and renewed perspective. Today, I invite you to prioritize your health by getting more quality hours of sleep and incorporating rest into your weekly schedule.
3. No Self-Care Schedule
Is any self-care time scheduled on your calendar? If self-care is non-existent or extremely limited, it is time to stop and prioritize you. Continuing to run on empty and pressing forward to serve others will lead to burnout, exhaustion, and ongoing frustration. Self-care is not optional or something we should feel guilty for prioritizing. God wants us to live full and abundant lives, which include caring for our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. If you do not have a lot of time, I encourage you to start small by carving out 15-20 minutes a day to do a self-care activity that feeds your soul and gives you joy. Do something fun and laugh again to uplift, strengthen, and refresh your soul and spirit.
4. Always on Autopilot
If you focus so much on your daily routine and have little time to come up for air, you are always on autopilot. Being on autopilot often desensitizes you from taking the time to feel and be more aware of how your body, mind, and spirit are doing. To truly prioritize our health, we must slow down and pause to assess where we are, how we feel, and where we want to be. As we go throughout our day, we must pause long enough to acknowledge God’s presence, invite Him in, seek God’s Word for guidance, and not continue to just go through the motions. Our personal health is extremely important, and we do not want to neglect it because we feel pressure to just press forward.
5. Physical Body Worn Out
When you are exhausted and overwhelmed, your body will tell you. Physical fatigue, worn-out muscles, and health ailments begin, and you are forced to slow down and pause. It is time to prioritize your health when your physical body is tired and needs to be restored. Fueling your body with healthy and nutritious foods, quality rest, and consistent exercise will help to sustain you as you move forward with accomplishing your God-given purpose. We were created by our loving Father, who wants us to take care of and strengthen the bodies He has gifted us with.
As we continue to move forward this year, I invite you to pause and prioritize maintaining your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Be available to do things that uplift and feed your soul, and devote quality time with God through prayer, Bible reading, and communing with Him. Continue to surrender your cares and anxieties to God, which will help alleviate unwanted stress, burdens, and the need to be in constant control. Seek God’s wisdom on how you can make small, practical changes to help take care of your body, mind, and spirit. Receive God’s new grace and mercies available each day, and do not condemn yourself for what happened in the past. There is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus.
When we prioritize our health, we are stronger, our relationships are better, and we will serve others with more joy, energy, and focus. If you have limited time, ask God to guide you on what things you can scale back or cut out of your schedule to prioritize self-care. No amount of serving, working, or doing will replace us with being our most healthy, whole, and vibrant selves. Your health matters, and it is time to not put yourself last on the list any longer. God will empower you and provide you with the time, support, resources, courage, and guidance to take the necessary steps to do so. I am excited for you and what is to come!
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Ridofranz
Kirstyn Mayden is a Christian blogger who writes devotionals that empower and equip believers in their everyday lives. She is a wife, Mom, and loves Jesus. She has a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. For the last 20 years, Kirstyn has served in several ministry capacities. She has a passion to serve with women empowering them to grow and live out their God-given purpose. Currently, she serves alongside her husband in ministry in West Virginia. She is the author of Merciful Moments: A Devotional Journal for Moving Forward with Grace Each Day. Connect with Kirstyn’s blog here.