Self Care

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(By Janine Folks)

You probably know the rule on an airplane.  They tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first before you attempt to help someone else.  You cannot help your loved ones or anyone else if you cannot breathe.  We are quicker to comply with the airline attendant than we are to apply this principle to our own lives.

By nature and instinct, we want to reach out and help.  We often do this without even thinking about ourselves.  If we pass out while trying to help someone, we not only risk our own life, but we are not of much help to others.  We need to apply the oxygen mask principle to our own lives.

If we allow ourselves to become depleted, then we compromise our ability to serve effectively.  The better off we are spiritually, emotionally and physically, the more powerfully we can serve.

Misunderstanding and misuse of the phrase, “It’s not about you” has caused some to neglect themselves and ignore basic needs that help us function with excellence.  Some believe that putting their needs first is selfish and self-centered.  Self-care does not mean you have to be self-absorbed.  When you’re self-absorbed, that means all you care about is yourself and no one else.  Self care is when you take care of yourself so that you’re better equipped to care for others.  There’s a big difference.

Some even feel guilty when taking care of their own needs.  Self care is common sense and very necessary if you are going to be healthy mentally, spiritually and physically.  Taking care of yourself is taking care of God’s Temple, because that‘s what you are.

Opportunities for self care are not always given to us, so sometimes we have to make or take opportunities to care for ourselves.  Women have an important role in the world.

Women affect homes, families, communities, and nations.  Women cannot do all they need to do if they are running on empty feeling depleted.  Some of us are trying to do just that and it is literally killing us.

I know that sacrificial living is a part of Christian life, but I don’t think God wants us dying young because we refuse or neglect to take care of our temples [mind, body, spirit].


Janine Folks - Spiritual Columnist

About Janine Folks - Spiritual Columnist

Janine Folks is a licensed and ordained minister, inspirational writer of a weekly newspaper column, columnist for a national Christian magazine, self-published author of several books, and co-founder of a women’s prayer group called Women of Transition. Janine holds a B. A. in Liberal Studies with concentrations in Business, Sociology and Communications from the University of Michigan. Janine has studied Clinical Pastoral Education in Detroit, MI and works as a chaplain in the medical field. An avid roller skater, 2013 recipient of a Spirit of Esther Award from the Alliance of Women in Ministry, Janine lives in Michigan is a mother of three.