Self Care for Socially Distanced Youth Workers
What comes to mind when I say self-care?
Naps? Massages? Cozy spaces with books? Meditation?
Those are all good things – but self-care is also a journey into self-awareness and learning to be the you God created you to be.
Self-care isn’t self-ish, it’s learning to care for yourself SO THAT you can bring your best self into the world for God’s glory. When we are exhausted, hurting, overwhelmed, and angry, we tend to forget to take care of ourselves. When we’re doing great, feeling good, and things seem balanced, we tend to forget to take care of ourselves.
During this season of Lent and social distancing, why not put some time into self-care? Many people have mentioned that they plan to spend more time with Jesus as they stay home – what an incredible opportunity to dive deeper into how God made us or deal with some of our own stuff. Your spiritual health matters, healthy leaders lead healthier ministries.
Diving deeper into ourselves isn’t on the radar of many…in fact, I’ve heard that we don’t really know ourselves until we’re in our thirties (or older). For many, taking the time to actually get to know your deeper self seems like a waste of time. Or, I’m too busy, I’ll get to that when I can. Well, we’ve honestly been given time!
Yet, each week, as we lead students –we ask them to do a form of self-awareness. We want them to face their fears, set boundaries, give themselves grace, to love themselves even as they are still figuring out who that is. We want them to share with us, be accountable, and feel cared for as we ask them hard questions about their lives. When was the last time you asked yourself these kinds of questions?
- …learning how you best feel cared for, and the reality of seeing your true self.
- …knowing your personality, acknowledging your strengths and learning how to lean into Jesus with your weaknesses.
- …loving yourself. Well.
A part of self-care is asking ourselves hard questions and being honest with the answers. Here are few to contemplate with resources to dive deeper:
- What are my blind spots? (The Self-Aware Leader by Terry Linhart)
- Do I have healing to do? (Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis)
- Do I understand myself enough to grow in my weaknesses and lean into my strengths? (The Road Back to You by Suzanne Stabile and Ian Cron and Online tests and resources: Strength Finders
- What makes my heart sing? (You and Jesus)
- What do I believe about Sabbath? (Rhythms of Renewal by Rebecca Lyons and 24/6 by Matthew Sleeth
- What do you have for me Jesus? (Prayer and God’s Word – meditate, read, rest in it)
I love the great British baking show, the accents, the kindness, the amazing creations. It is one of those shows I can binge watch easily. As I watched the finale of one of the seasons, I was amazed to hear the winner, through her tears say, “I am enough.” She was hit with the reality that she won, she had enough in her to win, and she was humbled and aware. Has that reality ever hit you? That moment when your heart realizes that you are truly enough – that in Christ – you have EVERYTHING you need. HE COMPLETES US.
As you take time to discover what might be hard, let me tell you:
You are enough.
You have everything you need to do exactly what God has purposed you to do.
You are loved to the depth of your soul with no judgement.
You are enough.
You have what it takes.
Romans 12:1-2 tell us,
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: 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. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
You know it. Live into it.