For centuries, across all cultures and lifestyles, self-care has taken a backseat due to jobs, careers, family, ministry, and social obligations. Attending to life’s obligations can cause a vicious cycle, especially when you don’t take the time to care for yourself, and thus become even more exhausted, stressed, and inefficient. However, boundaries can create a healthy balance in our lives, families, workforces, etc. It is important to practice self-care for our physical and mental well-being. Sometimes, when we focus on the needs of others, our own needs become less of a focus. When we do this, we deprive ourselves of opportunities for future development and positive relationships.
On the other hand, there are people who create a need to be needed and sacrifice their own self-care. In an article called “Quora” it talks about people that develop a “need to be needed” mentality, and in doing so, cannot see themselves in any other capacity. Others may sacrifice self-care because their identities have intertwined with being “the reliable one,” or “the hero.” Without these titles, they have no identity. As a result, self-neglect can lead to dementia, brain damage, or mental illnesses like depression or psychotic disorders. You cannot allow yourself to run 60 miles per hour without fuel. Your self-care must also include exercise and healthy foods, just to name a couple, for improvement in your life. Often, the seemingly slight changes to our lives can impact us in a positive way.
Although sometimes it can be hard to think about your own personal well-being, it’s always important to take time for yourself. Take some time everyday to reflect on your needs and do things that you enjoy, to include spending time with your family. No one can possibly be attentive 24 hours a day, every day, and there is nothing wrong with taking time for yourself. In Matthew 11:26-30 MSG, it says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” We need to learn and understand how to take control of our lives. So, let us also pray because prayer can lead to increase benefits on our journey towards better health and well-being.
Here are some examples of work-life and home-life balance:
Work-Life Balance Strategies
- Understand time management principles and theory
- Understand the process of prioritization
- Effectively plan your day/week
- Be more proactive and less reactive
- If possible “telecommute” a day or two out of the week
Home-Life Balance Strategies
- Morning Meditation and Worship
- Positive self-talk
- Protect your family’s “private” time: “No office Emails, office calls or social media”
- Weekly date night
Why should everyone have boundaries?
We need to learn to set, keep, and respect the boundaries of others and ourselves. We need to have limits that can help us avoid unnecessary stress and enjoy the peace God wants us to experience. For me, one of my biggest struggles as a Christian is where and when to set boundaries without feeling guilty or abandoning my Christian walk. After finding myself exhausted and burnt out, angry, and frustrated, realizing I had been trying to care for others with a care I didn’t really have for myself, I had to create boundaries. Although it wasn’t easy to say “no” at times, I have experienced increased happiness and gained more time and energy.
Furthermore, we’re blessed to have boundaries because they show us which responsibilities belong to us and helps us identify when responsibility belongs to someone else. Another way to view boundaries: they are fences that keep the good in and the bad out. Boundaries can help us strengthen relationships, allow us to be more Christ-like, and help us live happier and healthier lives. By setting boundaries, we are able to make reasonable changes and have confidence in ourselves, while still being respectful and responsible in decision making. Remember, boundaries are essential to a healthy life. Ignoring your needs might be your present norm, but now it is time to practice self-awareness and making self-care a priority. The more self-care you have, along with healthy boundaries, the more you can care for others, in an appropriate way, and the best version of you!