{Health & Fitness} Invest in Yourself

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Have you ever thought about what it means for you to truly invest in yourself? Have you been doing that?

If so, that is fantastic and I’m happy that you have made yourself a priority!

But for most of us, I do not think that is the case.

Especially, I’m sad to say, in Christian communities. This, I think, is why we see so many exhausted, defeated men and women walking around, serving, but not from the heart, showing up when they should, but all they can think about is going home to rest. I mean, we don’t really need a billion things to do for church, etc., after all, we have jobs, school, relationships…tons of responsibilities during the week. How are we supposed to have the energy for this during the weekend, too?

I think that part of the answer is in investing in yourself. I don’t know where you’re coming from. But I have seen this, and I have been there and I know. When you read those words: “take some time to invest in yourself!”…what immediately comes to mind?

Fear? What will other people think when I say I’m taking some time for myself. Will they think I’m a horrible Christian and have my priorities all wrong? Will they label me as ‘selfish’? Will they judge me for not saying yes to all service opportunities? Will they look down on me because I admit that I’m tired?! Or, what will God think of this? If I don’t say yes to that opportunity, who else will step in? Does HE think this is selfish and a waste of time?! 

Dread? This means I have to admit to myself and to others that I am exhausted and that I don’t have it all together…which is scary. Also, this means that I will have no excuses. I will need to look at myself for once…I can’t hide behind serving others and always focusing on other people 24/7. I don’t even like myself all that much, so I don’t know if I want to spend much time by myself or on me. Am I even worth it? 

Hesitation? If I spend time, energy, effort, and money on myself, that means I won’t be able to participate in other things. My life can’t go on for an hour or two a week (or whatever works best for YOU, with where you are right nowwithout me! How will my husband manage to take care of the kids for half an hour? I am being so selfish! We need that money for other things, and I’m spending this on myself? I don’t think I can do that! And it continues…

What is it for you? {If another emotion comes to mind, I would love for you to comment with that word and a description like I did above!}

Look, healthy habits are scary. And hard. FREAKING hard. They often seem impossible, actually! I recently started a bullet journal (#BUJO), which I LOVE btw! {I can do a post about it, if people want} Part of the reason why I wanted one (with many, MANY other reasons!) is because of the habit tracker idea! And I am trying so hard to remind myself each and everyday that it really isn’t about the number of boxes that I don’t get to color in each day, or nearly as consistently as I wish I could. It’s all about giving myself the grace and love to see that I am trying, and to try and do better the next day! It’s hard, I’m not going to lie. Both that mentality, and the habits. But it’s important! {More on that later…}

What does ‘me’ time look like to you? I would encourage you to sit down and write it out and really think about it. Are you feeling tired? Exhausted, even? Empty? Here are some things that I can think of that may help you:

Health & Fitness | Nutrition. Working out. All of these things will help you not only look better, but feel better as well! When you start seeing and feeling results, you will be able to better serve and love the other people in your life. When you are in better shape, you will tend to like what you see in the mirror better, which will make you feel better about yourself so that you can love on other people better! You can do it…one day at a time! Forget about the results you want for a while…just focus on what you’re doing TODAY to get to your ultimate goals! Remember, the goal is to eliminate stress and get a healthier, happier lifestyle which starts with learning to love the process (because what happens when you get to where you ‘wanted’ to be? Don’t you want MORE?) 

Photography | Okay, so…this is my thing. So, this might not apply to you, but I’m willing to bet you can think of something that makes you feel the same way…so substitute that in here for you! Remember, this is ALL about thinking about what works best for YOU with the life that you are living, with where you are RIGHT NOW (not in a few weeks, months, years!). Sometimes all I need is to go out and take some pictures. Photography is my passion. It’s what I love. It makes me smile, especially when I have clients in my type of photography (seniors, portraits, engagements). It makes me feel like I have purpose, I am talented, I am living the life that I have dreamed about! It fills me with peace and happiness. It relieves stress. Do you have something like that? Think of what this might be for you, and try to do more of it! (In the right way! If I get busy doing photography just to take pictures, but it’s not for a type that I like…it has the EXACT OPPOSITE affect on me!)

Scrapbooking, or other crafty hobbies | Scrapbooking is another hobby of mine. I think it’s fun. It’s a creative outlet that doesn’t take too much thinking, but reminds me of all of the great memories that I have had with friends, etc. through the pictures. I love being creative. My bullet journal is also another creative outlet for me, although a slightly more structured outlet (on MY terms!). Do you have a hobby like this? Think through this and make time for it, if it helps relieve stress, reminds you of who you want to be and where you have come from, brings you closer to Christ, etc.! 

Spending quality time with Jesus, instead of a rushed time | This summer I am making it my personal goal to be better at this. It is so easy to let the time get away from us, isn’t it? Especially when you are busy with work, school, or both! This summer I have a job, but it doesn’t start until later (mostly July), and I haven’t been able to find anything else yet for before I leave, so I can’t use the excuse that I’m too busy…because I’m not! It’s simply a matter of deciding that this is a priority and discovering what works the best for me right now! You probably aren’t as free as I am, but it’s never too late to start trying to be more consistent with spending quality time with Jesus. His peace can fill you throughout the whole day, no matter what you might have going on. This is when he teaches you how to live and what to change…so you grow during the time when you’re living it out! You get better at it 🙂 

Praying deeply, without rushing | Basically the same as above! 

Reading through Christian books that help you, take your time and write out your thoughts! | Again, the same as above! I also love journaling (as you can probably tell), so another way that I love to take some time for myself is journaling out my thoughts, especially in relation to the current book that I am reading (Christian non-fiction). This is how I hash-out my thoughts. If you’re a writer, maybe try the same thing! It helps to get it all out, it helps you learn and grow, it helps you get closer to God and prayer right there on the pages, etc.! If you’re not a writer, NO WORRIES! {Remember: GRACE, not perfection…} Find out what makes you feel this way! Is it grabbing your best friend and going out for coffee and talking for hours (yeah, that’s mine too hehe)? Or is it some other way?

Are there other ways that you have found work out for you? {If so, I would LOVE if you would write it in the comments with a description similar to that above!!}

This health & fitness journey is so hard because it’s about a whole different lifestyle than we’ve been used to. The point is a healthy, happy lifestyle. Which is hard. But it is so, SO worth it! You are worth it. Beautiful. Worth the time, energy, effort, money, etc. that healthy and fitness and investing in yourself NEEDS!

 

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