• Dr. Dorothy J. Haire

Self-Care Presents to Give to Yourself for a Better 2022

Sisters, let talk.

It is December 2021. God allowed us to see it, live in it, experience it. He did not have to let us see it, (many didn’t make it), but He did. How awesome is that.

Yet, if we are being honest with each other, everything was not a rose garden. We had high expectations for 2021. We said to each other in 2020, “Girl, I will be glad when 2021 comes because 2020 is so hard.

Then 2021 came. And things got worse. Murders, teen suicide, Covid-19 deaths, inflation, police brutality, school shootings, wildfires, hurricanes, the arrival of Omicron, and on, and on, and on.

Even so, Sisters, we played our part. We quoted scripture to each other. We showed up for those in our world with smiles, love, comfort, and service. We were the best wife, mother, sister, daughter, cousin, and aunt that we could be. We put encouraging platitudes on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for friends and frenemies to see that our faith was holding strong.

Sisters, can we be honest with each other? The truth is we are tired! We need a break. We need healing. We need some “me time.”

Yet, some might find the focus of this blog (self-care) to be a selfish idea, because so many family members and friends need care – from us. Others might feel concentrating on self-care is not religious enough, Christian enough, holy enough – much too worldly. Then there are those who might consider it a wishful thought, but unrealistic when one considers all the duties, drama, and disappointments that happen in their lives almost daily. Self-care might be foreign to some women. “What the heck is that?”

My definition of self-care is taking steps to tend to your physical, mental, and spiritual health so that you can become the woman Father God created you to be. Since December is the month of gift-giving, I am suggesting that you include yourself on your list by taking steps to bless yourself.

I can hear you saying, “I already have enough to do, and I do not need more “steps” to add to my already busy day. Besides, I already pray and read my bible. So, I am good, Dr. Haire. Thank you anyway.”

Wait, don’t shut me out. You have read this far. You might as well hear me out and then decide if you want to treat yourself to the gifts or self-care steps that I suggest.

Physical Self-Care Gift

Girl, let’s make this gift super easy. Sit down! Give yourself the gift of a few minutes of rest. Your body is fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). The word “fearfully” is derived from the verbal root yara. Meaning awe, reverent, and honor.

If the truth be told, we have not treated our body with awe, reverence or honor. We have not thought about our bodies in these terms. We have looked in the mirror and viewed our bodies through a worldly lens and thought: “too fat,” “too black,” “too short,” “too tall,” “too much cellulite,” “too little hair.” Stop! See your body as God designed it - His temple (1 Corinthians 3:16) and treat it with the care it deserves. Following are a few possible gifts for your body. Pick one to gift yourself with for the New Year.

1. Sit down for five minutes every hour to allow your body to rest.

2. If you sit for long periods of time at a computer for work, get up every hour and walk around to allow the circulation to improve.

3. Eat healthy to promote good health.

4. Drink more water to keep your body hydrated.

5. Get eight hours of sleep. Sleep allows the body to heal itself.

6. Practice some form of exercise. It does not have to be at a gym. Stretch at home, walk around your block, jump rope in the garage, lift small weights during tv commercials, etc.

Mental Self-Care Gift

We sometimes live in the world of denial of ourselves because we pretend to be okay with everyone around us – all day, every day. We want to be strong and full of faith. But let’s be honest. All of our thoughts are not holy. A friend called me and confessed, “I know I should not think this, but I wish someone would assassinate the President.” Thoughts like this will eat at her every time she hears him speak and ultimately jade her opinion and erode her trust of all politicians. Your thoughts might not be this severe, but allowing negative thoughts to control your mind is detrimental to your mental health. I offer you a two-part gift:

1. You cannot think on two things at once. So, gift yourself with the following practice for ultimate mental self-care:

“…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Phil. 4:8).

2. Also, you can only trust one person to do the righteous thing – God. So, gift yourself with the following practice for ultimate mental self-care:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6 NIV).

Spiritual Self-Care Gift

Sis, the greatest gift we could give ourselves is to strengthen our relationship with God. He wants it too. But how? The simple fact is that to build a stronger relationship with God it takes the same thing it takes to build a strong relationship with a husband or a child or a friend – quality time. Practice the following steps regularly and watch your relationship with God grow stronger.

1. Create/find a meeting place (a prayer closet) to be your special place to spend alone time with God. In this place you will build intimacy. It could be your spare bedroom, a bench in your favorite park, your bathroom, a she-shed, or a place in your mind where you can retreat to, even while being surrounded by noisy people.

2. Once in your meeting place, prepare yourself to commune with your Father:

a. Get out all the things that are stressing you – tell Him all about them. Be honest. Empty out. He will take care of your concerns. “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately {and} cares about you watchfully” (1 Pet. 5:7, Amplified Bible).

b. Then stay put and stop talking. “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him” (Psalm 62:5).

c. It may take a few days of doing this for your natural self to quiet down and hear God, but one day He will speak to you about you and Him. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Verse 16 says, “Isaiah’s question, ‘Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?’ has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.”

3. Keep a journal close and write down the precious, wise words He speaks to you. Review it at the end of 2022 and see how much you have grown spiritually.

Sisters, we deserve to practice self-care for our mind, body, and spirit. Let’s give it a try. We are worth it. Let’s talk again in December 2022 and exchange testimonies.

Abundant Blessings,

Dr. Dorothy J. Haire

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