Beloved ones. I am all about self-care. Genuinely I am. Taking care of yourself is vital.
However, what if, contrary to popular teaching, one of the best ways to take care of one’s self is actually counter-intuitive?
What if in order to self-care, we must all exercise others-care?
In my experience, the more self-consumed I become, the more exhausted and tired I feel. Truly, there is a danger in making one’s world revolve around one’s self. Becoming self-absorbed and insular can actually become fatiguing and exhausting.
Often there is nothing more invigorating, refreshing, and uplifting than to take care of somebody else.
Beloveds, life can be challenging. Greenie and I, in the last month, have found ourselves pushed to the limit in many areas. Health, work, ministry, and other areas. Some days/weeks all I wanted to do was to retreat into myself and ‘self-care’.
What we have found, however, is that during these times, the most helpful thing of all has been for us to find ways to look outside ourselves. To change our perspective. To look up and out. To look beyond our problems, to see beyond our own challenges and look for others to love. For people to reach out to. For friends to pour into. For relationships to build.
This can be the most rewarding and refreshing self-care of all. Other’s care.
Here is an example.
Our local police have had a battering of late. There have been protests, outbreaks, and civil unrest. Our Police have worked long shifts, in unfavourable conditions and are many times if not most of the time, taken for granted. In fact, I am sure, many of us, myself included may recall an occasion in our lives where we have taken out some misdirected anger at some poor unfortunate police officer that happened to be on duty.
Greenie and I have made a conscious decision to go out of our way to thank every police officer we come into contact with. And what’s more, to find creative ways to bless them. Each time we see an officer out in public, we have gone up to them and expressed our thanks for all that they do. And each time without fail we have felt humbled at the look of surprise on their face. Comments like “I haven’t had a thank you before!” have taken us by surprise. Is it possible that these incredible men and woman, are so taken for granted in our community?
We dropped a cake to our local station and the officer in charge came out. We thanked him for the work he and his crew continue to do for us. He softened and almost became teary at our genuine heartfelt thanks.
We put a coffee tab on at our local café and called the nearby station to inform them that the coffees were on us. The officer who answered the phone honestly didn’t know what to say. One might have thought we had bought him a house. He was so touched.
- Beloveds is life full?
- Are you feeling tired and stretched out?
Reach outside yourself.
Find someone to love today.
It can be as small as a coffee for a stranger or a note for a friend.
Or perhaps you too may like to adopt your local police station. Churches around Brisbane are doing this as whole communities at the moment! OR just thank an officer or two.
What ever you do remember,
The best kind of self-care is others-care.
Find someone else to care for today.
For there is nothing more restorative than that.
You are deeply loved and richly cherished.
Dr Christine Greenwood
Own Your Health
Think well, Eat well, Live well.
So Agnes is closing. The bakery that Mark and I had a short, love affair with has drawn to a close. This is perfect timing as we develop a new obsession. Are you ready? noosa chocolate factory. I know I have already mentioned this but I have to repeat myself. If you have not yet tried the freeze-dried dark strawberries or the macadamia mangoes, you need to jump online and order some RIGHT NOW. It will change your life. And if you order the dark chocolates it is almost healthy! Right?
Every week (or twice or thrice a week) Greenie and I walk to the city to buy ‘someone’ some treats and since we happen to be there anyway, pick ourselves up a little something. Others-care and self-care all combined in one. It really is a win-win situation.
P.S Have you read We are Australians, full of Guts and Gumpson.