Hello friends! It’s been a crazy February for me so far…life has been chugging along and I’ve kind of been feeling a bit dragged by my heels. Do you ever feel like this? Like you’re just holding on for dear life? Like you’re just trying to ‘get by’? Just putting along the road of life, trying to keep it together, and feeling like you’re failing?
I do. All the time.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my future. If I should go to school, if I’ll get married, how I’m going to make a difference in the world…It’s all really scary to think about, honestly. And thinking about all that deep, heavy stuff, feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders…is not good for your body.
I’m learning this little by little, but your physical body is so, so important. Stress most assuredly takes tolls on your mental and spiritual health, of course. But I feel like sometimes we forget about our actual bodies.
According to God’s Word, our bodies are temples where the Holy Spirit resides (1 Cor. 6:19-20). That’s kind of crazy to remember. But in that light, I believe that it is incredibly important to take good care of not only our mental health but our physical health as well.
There will be Pusheen gifs. Please enjoy.
• Get good (and enough) rest every night
This one is a toughie. Too often I find myself shutting my lamp off at midnight. But the best kind of sleep you can get is in the hours before midnight. Think about it. Midnight is the middle of the night. If you’re awake in the middle of the day, you should be asleep in the middle of the night.
And don’t have your phone or other screens with you in bed. The light is really bad for your eyes, and it can affect your circadian rhythm. Read a book, or listen to soothing music or noises instead.
• Eat good food
Another tricky one. I love food about as much as the next guy, and that can really get you into trouble. (You know it’s bad when the main reason you’re excited to go on vacation is because of all the yummy, new foods. XD)
Colorful fruits and veggies are your body’s friends. So are lean meats, calcium-rich milk and yogurt, and oats, brown rice, 100% whole wheat pasta and bread. Stick by unsaturated fats and naturally occurring sugars and stay away from saturated fats and added sugars.
This is basic stuff, but I was reminded just how important it is to eat good foods when I was getting sick and tired after not eating those foods. That’s not to say that you should never have any treats. Moderation is the key to eating healthfully.
• Remember the small things
Herein lies my biggest struggle. Remembering little things, such as
- Cutting your nails often
- Brushing your teeth well
- Getting your hair cut regularly
- Sleeping on a good mattress
- Brushing and cleaning your hair
is REALLY HARD. Don’t say taking care of yourself is easy. It’s not the easiest. Sometimes you just wanna forgo brushing your teeth one night when you’re tired, or just ignore your nails until they’re crazy long. But these little things add up, and then they become not so little things. They become big problems and bad habits.
Don’t forget about them. They’re just as important as any of the big things.
• Find things to smile about every day
This might not seem like a big deal. I know some days I would just rather frown and scowl at everything and everyone. Why should you have to find happiness in such a grim world?
Well, because it’s good for you. It’s a proven fact.
I could get into how endorphins and serotonin are released into your brain, which then helps your body relax and ease pain and lift your mood, but let’s just say that smiling has real physical benefits. Plus it can make others happy too!
I don’t think this one really needs an explanation. We all know it’s good for us. It boosts your mood, it lubricates your limbs, and helps fend off depression and seasonal-affective disorders (which I go through every winter, not fun, lemme tell you).
If you don’t like the idea of lifting weights or tread-milling, then consider a sport, like soccer or basketball. Something that will get your cardiovascular muscles working. I personally like dancing. Whether it’s Just Dance on the TV, or swing dancing or square dancing at a party, it’s a lot of fun, and it gets you sweating (sometimes embarrassingly so…especially when you’re with a partner XD).
• Keep out the garbage
My mother taught me a simple acronym when I was younger. GIGO.
She explained to me how everything that I put into my body, both physical and mental will eventually come out in some way.
If you eat bad food, you probably won’t be feeling at your best, and you might start to snap at people.
If you don’t sleep well because you were up late watching YouTube, you probably won’t have any energy or drive to do anything in the morning.
If you don’t eat well for an extended period of time, you probably won’t feel very well, and might get sick.
It all comes out, one way or another. Remember to be conscious of what you put into your body, both mentally and physically.
• Pray and read your Bible every day
Possibly the best thing you could do for yourself on this list. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus tells us that ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ That’s pretty powerful. If Jesus is telling us that food, the thing that we love so much, the very thing that keeps us moving, is not enough to live by, you know He isn’t kidding around.
Getting into the habit of reading and praying every day is something I’ve struggled with for years. I still struggle with it. Every time I think I’m doing better, I’m suddenly reminded again how feeble my attempts are.
One thing that I’ve been working on is reading just a few verses a day, preferably in the mornings. It’s not too much to take in, it gives me a simple idea to think about throughout the day, and it’s less pressure when you’re only reading one or two verses. If a good thought or conversation with my family comes out of it, then that’s wonderful, but if not, then at least I know that I’ve read His Word today, and He can show me something wonderful the tomorrow. It may seem like small potatoes, but it means a lot in the long run.
Just so you know, I can say all of this to you guys, but I’m really not an expert at any of this. I’m actually really bad at…well, all of these. Part of the reason I wrote this post is because I’ve been having a hard time taking care of myself. And I’ve learned that when I’m going through something hard, thankfully, I’m usually not alone.
So I hope this post serves as a sort of ‘wake up call’ for you, if you’re struggling, and that it would encourage you to live the life God has in store for you.
This was kind of a different post than what I normally put out, but I hope you guys enjoyed it. Have you been struggling with one of these things? Let me know down below, so we can talk about it and not feel so alone! ^_^