Everyone talks about self-care but no one really says how we are to take care of ourselves. Learning how to take care of yourself involves learning who you are and what’s really ailing you. You’ll discover that many of your ailments are related to one another.
Before I begin, allow me to say that I am not a medical professional. What I am about to tell you isn’t claiming to cure, prevent, or treat any disease. I am sharing some things that are based on years of personal research.
Where to Start?
Begin with assessing yourself in the three categories of your being.
Before we begin, click here to get your free 14-page journal; 3 Steps to Heal Yourself Journal.
Assess what you believe about God and what the word says about Him. Do they line up?
Do you believe that God is really providing for you? (Matthew 6:26)
Do you believe that the Holy Spirit is working on your behalf? (Romans 8:25-28)
Do you believe it when the Lord says He left to go prepare a place for you? (John 14:1-7)
Do you frantically go about your day as if everything is on you?
Do you feel that all ‘good’ you do can earn God’s grace and forgiveness?
Do believe that you can fix all that is wrong in your life and the lives of others?
Are you hypervigilant in trying to prevent any and everything from going wrong?
The answers to those questions will lay the foundation of how you go about your day.
Mini Testimony: I’ve gone most of my life struggling to live in God’s grace and trust in His provision. In result, I would scramble to get into jobs that weren’t for me, scramble to pay the bills, scramble to do other things so that other’s wouldn’t think of me to be lazy, say “yes” when I really meant “no”, and I was often irritable and depressed. I didn’t realize that God wasn’t as hard on me as I and the world was hard on me.
What to do?
Grant yourself some grace = Give yourself space and time to improve.
Pray and ask God to help you see yourself and your life through His eyes. Ask Him to help you endure this temporary hardship and trust Him. Ask Him to keep you from doing something horrible and permanent during this temporary hardship.
Related Post: Self-Care Saturday! Self-Care 101.
“Who do you think you are taking too?!”
A phrase many black mothers and fathers have iterated after we’ve allowed our words to fly too loosely.
However, this applies to us for us. We can be quick to downplay who we are, what we look like, what we’ve accomplished, and worst of all, what God has done for us. We do this to attempt to be or seem humble. In reality, our harsh words can dissolve us from the inside out and discredit what and who deserves credit.
Mini Testimony: I was a pro at downplaying my looks in order to avoid being made fun of about my size. It was my way of ‘beating someone to the punch’.
I had often assumed that if I wasn’t overweight, they wouldn’t make fun of me. I had often wished I wasn’t fat. I used to call myself “stupid”, “fat and ugly”, “too dark”, etc.
If anything went wrong, I assumed it’s because of what I did or didn’t do. Which is why, I still battle with feeling like I could have prevented all the bullying, sexual harassment, loneliness, and more.
What to do?
Try to catch yourself calling yourself names.
Catch yourself about to turn down a genuine compliment on your smarts, efforts, or looks.
Catch yourself comparing who you are and what you have to others.
Know that you’re worthy of respect, love, honesty, joy, peace, health, and wholeness.
Grant yourself some grace when you do mess up.
Treat yourself like you would a ten-month-old baby learning to stand and walk.
Did you know that it is possible to get headaches from normal foods you eat or drink? Did you know that chronic stress can cause hair loss? Did you know that anxiety causes sleeping problems and sleep deprivation can cause an anxiety disorder? (Anxiety & Depression Association of America, www.aada.org)
Most doctors would scoff at those kinds of questions, but they’re not exactly science-fiction. It’s recognizing which auto-immune issues you may have. Auto-Immune is when the body makes the error of attacking itself. Anywhere on your body can become inflamed causing pain, swelling, growths, and other problems.
Some Common Auto-Immune Issues:
To see a longer list of autoimmune diseases visit the American AutoImmune Diseases Related Diseases Association. (www.aarda.org)
Mini Testimony: If I consume too much dairy I’ll have back pain, headaches, persistent mucus that will interrupt my sleep and my speech.
If my diet has been really poor, my menstrual periods are extremely painful.
If I get too little sleep, my anxiety and depression will shoot through the roof.
I’ve had an ob/GYN refuse to remove my birth control rod after I told her that I didn’t want it anymore and it caused me to bleed for up to 17 days. She laughed and wrote me a prescription for another birth control pill.
Update: During the Summer of 2019, I began the Whole30 diet. Within two weeks of beginning this semi-temporary plan, I noticed that my endo symptoms were alleviated among other problems.
What to Do?
It’s imperative to know our bodies better than anyone else.
Study and research your pains, moles, patches or rashes, menstrual irregularities or confusion, etc.
Read about the Auto-Immune Protocol (AIP), Whole30, etc to understand how common it is that foods can affect how we feel.
Shop around for healthcare providers that will take your symptoms seriously. The ones who brush off your problems, but are quick to prescribe a pill are the ones you don’t need.
If your health isn’t taken seriously, speak up! Notify the hospital and notify your insurance company so that when you go for a second opinion, the insurance will cover the visit.
This isn’t a perfect formula, but it’s one that will help you assess who you are and help you to be more comfortable in your own skin.
Ebony Glass Co.