As I sit down to write this post, it feels a little selfish to be writing about making time for yourself. As wives in ministry, we easily fall into a trap of putting everyone and everything else first. Whether it is the needs of our husbands, kids, students, co-workers, friends, family, or anyone else we minister to, we are good at meeting the needs of others while neglecting to take time away to focus on our own needs, dreams, ambitions, or self-care.
A couple of weeks ago I found myself in this place. I had spent the week absorbed in everyone else’s problems. By the end of the week, I felt distant, negative, and nowhere near my normal positive, headstrong, and ambitious self.
When this happened, my first instinct was to isolate myself and throw a pity party about how much life stunk. That is our human nature most of the time, right? But what I’ve learned through prayer, study, and reflection on God’s Word is that isolation is the enemy’s strategy for getting us to distance ourselves from God and the people He has placed in our lives. Isolation breeds resentment, bitterness, and negativity. It is the right condition to make everything in our lives seem drastically more terrible than it really is.
With God’s help, I decided that I wanted to punch isolation in the face, so I reached out to a group of StuMinWives that I’m close to and simply asked for prayer. One of the women in that group saw my message and immediately called me. She told me her similar feelings, reassured me that I was not alone, and spoke life into my situation simply by sharing what she does personally when she reaches this point in her life.
During the conversation, she said that when she is spending too much time focusing on meeting the needs of others, she simply takes a day to make time for herself. She schedules a mani-pedi, goes shopping, reads a book at a coffee shop, and does whatever she wants for herself that day.
It doesn’t sound profound in itself, but as I left that conversation, I knew I had been neglecting my own needs and wants and just needed time to reenergize and rejuvenate myself. Instead of feeling selfish for taking time away, I knew that time to just enjoy life without any kind of agenda was just what I needed.
I’m thankful for my friend who reached out to me and simply shared her own struggles and solutions to the feelings I was facing. She wasn’t trying to solve my problems, but was just being a good friend, and in doing so, helped point me back in the right direction I needed to be going in.
When you feel stuck worrying about everyone else’s problems and can feel the negativity and isolation starting to set it, take time away and enjoy some time to yourself. Find something that energizes you and puts joy back into your life. This won’t be the same activity for everyone. The important thing is finding what energizes you. Maybe it’s shopping, getting a massage, doing crafts, reading a book, getting lost in an antique store, taking a walk at a park or trail you’ve never been to, or visiting an art museum or spot that is unique to your area. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it rejuvenates you and points you back to the joy and the good that God has for you and is doing in your life.
Do you regularly and intentionally make time for yourself? What are some of the things that you do to help put positivity back into your life? Share them below!