Self-Care: Becoming a Transformed Disciple

Self-Care: Becoming a Transformed Disciple

July 22, 2015

By: Kae Tritle, RN,  Wellness Coordinator

Healthy, well-functioning bodies are often taken for granted—until something happens; an inconvenient infection, a gradual awareness of changing bodily functions or a sudden event—such as a car accident or an unexpected injury that leaves our physical body partially functioning.  

Other aspects of our lives also affect our physical health—worry and stress, changes in our finances, relationships, family and work responsibilities, illness within our families, as well as the meaning and purpose of life as we experience it. These things all impact our well-being; our over-all sense of functioning well physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. 

Does being healthy mean we are functioning well in all areas of our life-physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually? If so—I would like to meet this perfect super-person! In reality, most of us are juggling each of the dimensions; maintaining a balance that is unique to our particular set of circumstances and life stage. If that delicate balance is disturbed or unable to be maintained, then a sense of dis-ease and/or crisis may be experienced. It is then that we start examining what needs to be different. We may start by saying “I need to take better care of myself." But to many of us, caring for our own needs is hard, unfamiliar work.  

Parker Palmer states: “Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have—the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Any time we can listen to true self, and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.” (Let Your Life Speak

What does it mean to practice self-care; to really care for the hurt and bruised dimensions of my true self that need attention?  First, in order to be more of the person God has intended you to be, acknowledge that you need to evaluate your everyday life to discover what is going well and where you might be feeling some dis-ease. Clergy persons in our conference can also fill out a well-being assessment at Wellmark.com. 

Physical:

  •     What are you putting into your body?  What types of food, drinks, substances?
  •     What are you doing to your body?  What is your pace of life, work-load, stress?
  •     What are you doing with your body?  How are you moving or exercising? 
  •     How are you resting your body?  How are you sleeping and relaxing?
  •     Are there any body parts not functioning well?

Emotional/Relational:  

  •     Do you have someone who will listen to you intentionally?
  •     Do you have someone who emotionally nurtures you? Family, friends
  •     Do you have someone who will give you honest feedback regarding actions, behaviors, and interactions with others?
  •     Are there persons who express appreciation for what you do and who you are?
  •     What do you do to have fun or to relax?  
  •     Is there someone with whom you can play?
  •     Are you having difficulty expressing your emotions appropriately?
  •     Are your emotions over-whelming you and interfering with everyday activities?

Stress/Time Management:

  •     Do you feel over-whelmed with tasks?
  •     Do you have some control over your schedule and/or situation?
  •     Do you feel drained by some of your current activities or responsibilities?
  •     Do you experience fulfillment or joy with what you spend your time on?

Spiritual Dimension:

  •     What nurtures and inspires your relationship with God?
  •     Do you make room in your schedule/life for personal spiritual reflection?
  •     How satisfied are you with the quality of that time/space or commitment?
  •     In what ways could you act intentionally to increase your spiritual depth?

I invite you to make time and space to do the hard work of an intentional evaluation regarding the dimensions of your life. Check out the Well-Being Assessment at Wellmark.com. Discuss these questions with your spouse, a close friend, a support or covenant group. Discover what you like and what you don’t like about your current health habits/life patterns.  

Next month this discussion will continue as I focus on the process of change/transformation and supportive strategies to assist you in your journey of becoming the disciple that God would like you to be. 

“Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him…fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.“ (Romans 12:1-2 The Message)