Self Care Tips and Strategies by Anna Szabo of Online Discipleship for Women

Have you been looking for self-care tips? Let me share my 30 self-care ideas that will help optimize your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. I’ll also tell you what the Bible says about self-care. Enjoy my Christian meditation and podcast included in this blog.

Introduction

There was a time when I was young and ignorant of the needs of my body and mind. I’d wake up, go to college, learn till afternoon how to teach kids, walk to a far-away school and teach kids till late afternoon, take a bus home, do my homework for the next day, change clothes, and go party in clubs all night. Then, do it again the next day. I was size double-zero, ate anything I wanted, drank alcohol by bottles, slept around, and that went on for years.

Today, I’m 37, and self-care is an important part of my daily routine. What changed? I hit the rock bottom. I wore myself out. I became sick and tired of my crappy lifestyle. I fell on my knees and asked God to change me. That was how I had a personal encounter with Jesus.

RELATED: Who Is Jesus?

God drew me close and opened up my eyes to the things unseen. He revealed Himself to me and taught me about my identity in Christ. I learned what God says about me and how He wants me to live my life. I realzed the value of daily rest and begun learning how my body and mind work, as well as what they need. It’s been six years of learning.

One thing for sure: self-care is the key to health, peace, joy, and a strong relationship with God. Without self-care, it’s easy to quickly run out of fuel and become sick, tired, overwhelmed, depressed, fearful, and hopeless. That’s why I am writing this detailed article sharing my self-care tips and strategies with you. Self-care saved my life.

What is self-care, anyway?

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care is care provided “for you by you.” It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet those needs. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture you. Self-care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly and compassionately as you treat others. Self-care is the key to your mental health and physical wellbeing.

Let me share with you a podcast I did about self-care tips for women. It offers 30 self-care tips, which you can start applying in your own life right now. Please note that most of the self-care strategies I leverage to fuel myself are either free or cost very little money.

Very often, we feel guilty if we choose to prioritize ourselves and take some time to care for our personal needs. I know this from my experience. Many times, I felt like there was no time to practice self-care. I hoped that someday, I would do it but it would have to be later. I was too busy to take care of myself. It was until I ran out of gas and became dysfunctional.

The Bible is clear about the importance of self-care. God made us for His purpose. He gave us a divine assignment. He taught us how to eat, how to sleep, how to be, and how to honor Him with our body, which, according to the Bible, is not our own. The word of God instructed us on what to think about, how to plan life, when to work, when to rest, and why we need quiet time, prayer, meditation, and stillness.

What Does The Bible Say About Self Care?

I’m 37 at the time of writing this. It’s June 1st, 2020. As I look back at many years of my life when I abused my body with alcohol, sex, smoking, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, and over-eating, I feel deep sorrow. Also, I feel deep gratitude that God allowed me to change and turn my life around while I still have time, before it’s too late. Today, I am addictions-free and completely healthy. I enjoy a great quality of life.

A great quality of life means that I can do anything I want: kayak, run, walk 25000 steps daily, travel, swim, perform underwater handstands, climb mountains, and take care of my daily chores without needed anyone’s help. I sleep well, have no metabolic issues, no sinus infections, no ear infections, and I take no medications of any sort. I enjoy excellent health! My good health enables me to serve God without distractions. I used to be sick, and serving God was hard because I was suffering with health issues daily.

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.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

You are God’s. The Holy Spirit lives in your body. Ask yourself: “Do I take good care of my body with love and intention?” What is the reason you landed on this article? What is enticing you to seek self-care tips and strategies? Why have you not been diligently taking care of yourself?

You are God’s precious possession and deserve intentional care. If deep down you feel unworthy of self-care, I recommend reading my blog post explaining who you are in Christ. Here it is below.

RELATED: Who Am I In Christ?

In the last few years, I had to learn how much rest time I need, when to go to bed, what time to wake up, how much to eat to avoid over-eating and which food is best for my health. I had to explore my habits, eliminate the bad ones that harmed me, build the new ones, and then stick to them, which is hard. It’s easy to go with the worldly flow. It’s hard to glorify God.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

Ask yourself: “Does what I eat and how I eat give glory to God?” If you binge-eat, over-eat, consume junk that inflames your arteries and destroys your gut, you are causing your body to suffer. Remember that your body is not your own. You belong to God. The body you have is a temple for the Holy Spirit. Are you taking proper care of your temple?

A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.” 

Proverbs 11:17

Ask yourself: “Do I fuel my heart with kindness so I can be kind or am I exhausted and cruel in my interactions with people and with that I hurt myself and others?” If you’re impatient, angry, and unkind, you may need some quiet time in prayer or a nap. You may need to stop eating that Standard American Diet (SAD) and fuel your temple with healthy plant-based nutrition. You may need to ditch that soda, which thins your bones and kills your brain cells, and start drinking clean water.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

Luke 10:27

For you to love others and God, you must first love yourself. Ask yourself: “Do I love myself and do I care for myself with all my heart, soul, and strength so that I can love others and God from a place of inner abundance?” If the answer is “no,” you need to change that and start honoring God by caring well for His precious possession, which is what you are.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

James 1:5

Ask yourself: “Do I spend time with God to pray and ask Him for wisdom since I don’t have His infinite intelligence but He knows everything? Do I ask God questions? Do I hear answers from Him to have a clear direction for my daily life?” If you don’t spend quiet time with God being still, whose voices influence your decision-making? If you dedicate your time to social media and watching TV, are you a slave to those communication channels? You were instructed by the Bible to become a slave to righteousness and be in constant fellowship with God. You need to disconnect from the world to be able to hear, recognize, listen, and obey God’s voice.

RELATED: How To Hear God’s Voice

The Bible has so many more things to say about self-care but for now, that’s plenty to start with and to get you more comfortable prioritizing yourself and taking care of your personal needs so that you don’t run out of fuel and are able to function well and serve God with all your might.

Four Aspects of Self-Care

If you want to show up and be your best in the world, if you want to serve God’s kingdom, if you want to live out the purpose of your life by doing the good works God prepared in advance for you to do, you need high levels of energy, strength, endurance, and overall health, you need clear thinking and sophisticated discernment, so you must to practice self-care.

Your Mind

You need to feed your mind with devotionals, positive affirmations, inspiring life stories, and information that helps your brain stay engaged and creative. You need to feel your soul by spending quiet time with God so you can relax, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and hear from your Heavenly Father about your purpose and direction. 

Your Heart

You need to take care of your heart by guarding it with discernment and wisdom, which you receive from God by hearing His voice. Here’s a prayer to hear God’s voice. As a Christian, you carry a target on your back, and Satan is always on a lookout to deceive you. Learn all you can about Spiritual Warfare and the Armor of God to protect your heart from the devil’s cleverly-deceptive schemes.

Your Body

You need to exercise, walk, and feed your body healthy nutrients, which your body and brain both need to function properly. Take my 10000 steps self-care challenge! The Bible teaches us that we are each running a race, and to finish, we need to have endurance. Life is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. You’re in for a long run, so make sure you take sufficient care of the only body you have. And remember: your body is not your own, it is a temple for the Holy Spirit, so honor God with your body by exercising and eating well.

Your Soul

Your soul needs God’s love, wisdom, and direction. Your soul longs for stillness and quiet time with God. Your soul was designed by God to require His companionship. You need to make the time to read God’s word and hear from Him. You need to journal and cast your cares on Him. You need to have a regular, consistent, meaningful communion with your creator.

The above four aspects of self-care were a total breakthrough for me on my journey of recovery from decades of addictions and bad habits. Once I realized and understood how God made me and why, self-care ideas started flowing and I began practicing them, which let to improvements in all aspects of my health.

Self-Care Ideas

I already shared with you a podcast about self-care ideas, activities, tips, and plans. Now, I want to give you a free Christian guided meditation for self-care. You can play it here or find my Christian podcast for women called The Anna Szabo Show on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Spotify, and other streaming platforms.

We often experience guilt and shame when we take the time to invest in ourselves. It appears as if we were stealing that time from our loved ones, careers, and families. The reality is that if we don’t recharge our minds, refocus on true priorities, re-establish our direction, and regain our clarity and drive, we will have nothing to give. We can’t be our best if we are exhausted. We can’t give love and care to others out of nothingness and emptiness in us. That’s why self-care is the key to doing good works for God and gloryfying Him.

I created this tip sheet: 30 Awesome Ways to Love Yourself. It offers my 30 self-care tips, which you can apply right now.

30 Self-Care Ideas to Optimize Your Life

  1. Start each day with a positive affirmation or Christian prayer
  2. Fill your body with healthy food to nourish and protect it
  3. Drink plenty of water and consider doing a water fast
  4. Examine your self-talk and remember who you are n Christ
  5. Surround yourself with people who love and encourage you
  6. Start a Thanksgiving Journal to capture your gratitude daily
  7. End toxic relationships, welcome people who enrich your life
  8. Journal your journey, feel all your feelings and emotions
  9. Step outside your comfort zone, try something new often
  10. Embrace and love the things that make you different: you are special, one of a kind, God made you unique for a purpose
  11. Draw close to God as a source of love, wisdom, and comfort
  12. Take the time daily to calm your mind, breathe slowly, pray wholeheartedly, and meditate mindfully
  13. Follow your passion. What do you love to do? Do it!
  14. Be patient but persistent, set goals but have grace for yourself
  15. Be mindful of your values, align your life with what’s important
  16. Show people respect, compassion, kindness, acceptance, and patience
  17. Spend time counting simple blessings, every day
  18. Reach out for help, invite spiritual mentors into your life
  19. Learn to say no, set strong boundaries, and don’t betray yourself
  20. Forgive yourself, respect yourself, and love yourself
  21. Be willing to feel pain and reflect on it, analyze your past and present to avoid repeating mistakes in the future
  22. Go on digital detox every evening before bedtime, have some quiet time, and be still with God
  23. Give up the need for approval from others – they have their own insecurities
  24. Find happiness, joy, bliss, and peace within yourself, nurture it
  25. Get creative and express yourself in whatever way you like
  26. Don’t dwell on your wounds, learn from your mistakes, forgive, and move on with a lighter heart, leveraging your wisdom
  27. Take care of your body, exercise, eat healthily, and sleep well
  28. Ensure your spiritual and emotional wellbeing every day
  29. Maintain a list of priorities to help you in daily decision-making and don’t let others steal your time, focus, clarity, and energy
  30. Have fun! Feel emotions! Live life to the fullest! Build your future success in your present right now! If you needed someone’s permission, this is it. I’m giving it to you!

I hope you feel empowered by this list of 30 self-care ideas. These are big ones! On a smaller scale, I just want you to know that how you start each day really matters. I wake up and smile. While remembering what God says about me, I do leg exercises before getting out of bed. I drink water, get up, and work out. Then, take a shower and eat a homemade plant-based breakfast. Before bed, I read books that help me grow and learn new skills.

Now, self-care habits are a part of my daily routine. The hardest part for me was to get started on self-care. Let’s talk about it. It’s very important. You need to start small and build some keystone habits, then add new habits, one at a time.

How To Start Self-Care

There was a time when I tried to change everything about my life all at once. It was not sustainable, and I ended up resenting myself and becoming really conflicted on the inside. It’s the fastest way toward depression. I recommend going a more sustainable, slower route, and building new positive self-care habits one at a time.

When I was not working out or walking, when I was eating poorly, when I was skipping sleep and pulling multiple all-nighters, changing my entire lifestyle at once was unrealistic. I began by going to bed at a normal time, sleeping 8 hours, and getting up when I woke up. My habit was to stay in bed and dwell on my thoughts filled with self-loathing. So, getting up took care of that. Next, once sleeping became a habit, I started walking. Once those two habits became a part of my life, I added hula hoop, then running, and then I was able to add daily reading, writing, and scheduled meals instead of binge-eating all day long.

I recommend choosing the most important thing first, just one, and focusing on it for some time. In the beginning, you’ll feel lazy and bitter, you’ll resent the new self-care habit, but as you push through and adopt to it, add a new habit, and then another one and another one until finally you have the exact lifestyle that allows you to have optimal health and serve God with all your might.

Creating You-Time 

Spending time alone is very important when you want to hear from God, generate new ideas, reflect on your life, and experience breakthroughs. That’s why I created the “Must-Have Checklist of 10 Ways to Enjoy Your Own Company.”

10 Ways to Enjoy Your Own Company

  1. Make yourself a healthy breakfast, set it up on a tray beautifully, and eat it in bed
  2. Take a peaceful walk and breathe slowly, look around, and just be
  3. Treat yourself for a movie and then do a little shopping for something you wanted for a while
  4. Cook a healthy dinner for yourself, dress up, decorate your dining room with candles, and enjoy your own company
  5. Read your favorite book at the park, near the pool, near the river, at the beach, or on the rooftop somewhere
  6. Take a trip to the beach and rent a bike, or treat yourself for a helicopter ride
  7. Try swimming with the dolphins, a heavenly experience I had in 2014
  8. Go skydiving, be bold, create amazing memories for yourself, I did it in 2014 and loved it
  9. Learn something new online, on YouTube, or on popular blogs you follow
  10. Get a massage and mani/pedi or make a trip to a luxury spa for a VIP facial

Self-care mitigates the risks of you getting overly stressed, experiencing burnout, exploding with anger, and spiraling down into a dark deep depression.

Self-Care Poem

"Self-Care" #PoemsFromGod

Practicing self-care brings inner peace
As trials and challenges you daily bear.
Your satisfaction with life to increase,
You for yourself must proactively care.

Intentional self-care includes healthy sleep,
Nutrition and fitness and time outside,
Practicing mindfulness and breathing deep,
Helping your mind in peace to abide.

Self-care requires also remembering
Who you are, whose you are, and why you are here.
When life gets too tough and when you are trembling,
Focus on prayer and God who is near. 

Self-care includes the things you love doing: 
Cooking and reading, applying a hair mask,
Writing and journaling, comedy viewing,
Or simply completing a homemaking task.

Going to church, talking with friends,
Getting your nails done, visiting spa,
Kayaking, hiking ... list never ends!
You deserve YOU-time to sharpen your saw.

You deserve quietness. You deserve peace.
You deserve space for mindful awareness.
Your overall health will surely increase
As your mental health has an impact tremendous.

Practicing self-care, you can recharge.
You can regroup and attend to your heart.
Of your mental health you are in charge.
Make a self-care plan and practicing start.


7/20/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
Christian Poems by Anna Szabo #PoemsFromGod Self-Care framed poetry for Prayer Hallway

Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Care

What Does Self-Care Mean?


Self-care is care provided to you by you. It’s about identifying your own needs and taking the steps to meet those needs. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture you, relax you, and give you joy.

Why Is Self-Care Important?


Self-care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others. Self-care is the key to your mental health.

How Can I Find Time for Self-Care?


Self-care can take place early in the morning (read), before bedtime (journal), while waiting for your appointments anywhere (listen to a meditation), at lunch break (spend it alone intentionally counting your blessings), and even during your commute (listen to an uplifting podcast). You deserve self-care, so make time for it.

What Does Self-Care Look Like?


Self-care looks like any activity that relaxes, recharges, refreshes, and restores your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing. It may be a hike alone, a kayaking adventure, an hour of gardening, a quiet meditation, a prayer alone with God, a few moments of journaling, a massage session, a workout, or a bath with essential oils.

How Do I Get Started on Self-Care?


Self-care requires intention and attention. It doesn’t happen by accident. You have to plan self-care and actually take action. While watching a movie with your family, do a hula-hoop. When a friend wants to meet up, do a hike instead of a sit-down meal at a restaurant. While you’re running errands for hours, listen to an audiobook or a podcast that uplifts your spirit and challenges your curiosity. While waiting for a morning coffee to brew in the kitchen, do 20 pushups to tone your arms. While brushing your teeth, squeeze in 40 squats. Etc.

What Are The Benefits of Self-Care?


Self-care preserves your mental health and physical wellbeing. It allows you to recharge and regroup. It makes room for your creative ideas to flow. It helps you maintain a good relationship with yourself. It improves your productivity and effectiveness. It gives you joy.

What If I Don’t Practice Self-Care?


Self-care forgotten leads yo0u to run out of gas, like your car. If your car runs out of fuel in the midst of you trying to operate it, you’ll become unable to function. You’ll be late, distracted, will need lots of help to deal with your car, and you’ll waste a ton of time. If you simply keep your car fueled with gas, it will operate and you’ll be able to function with its help. Your body, mind, emotions, and your soul are the same way. You need to fuel them through self-care, or else!

Is Self-Care Selfish?


Self-care is not selfish. You can’t save anyone on an airplane unless you grab and put on your own air mask first. That’s what self-care does for you – it ensures that you’re alive and functioning properly so that you can give to others. Self-care is wise. It’s an essential skill for all women.

Summary

Self-care saved my life. I was sick and tired. Self-care tips shared here helped revive me back to life and ensure that I spend time with God daily, care fr my body, soul, mind, and heart carefully, and live my life thoughtfully. It all started with my identity. Realizing what God says about me was the starting point of my self-care journey.

Today, I help women see themselves the way God sees them. I’ve specifically been focusing on identity in Christ. From the Bible, I discovered 52 incredibly-positive things God says about us as His daughters. Those 52 precious discoveries turned into 52 Biblical affirmations I created to encourage and empower Christian women. 

To help share this life-changing information with you, I created an ebook called #52Devotionals. Download it now for free

My free ebook helps you understand who God says you are. Don’t be vulnerable to identity attacks from the mainstream media, relatives, coworkers, your boss, society, culture, and the voices in your head. 

Stand firm and know what God says about you!

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