As I reflect on self-care there are three keys to being effective in self-care: self-knowledge, boundaries and intentionality. Over the next several blogs I will be talking about each of these factors.
There are certainly other key factors in effective self-care, however I have found these to be the most essential three. We cannot care for ourselves effectively if we do not know who we really are, our strengths, weaknesses, temptations and victories. Boundaries are not easy and very unpopular but are an essential aspect of love and of self-care. You cannot care for yourself without setting boundaries. Self-care also does not happen without being intentional. It is counter-intuitive and counter-cultural.
Health does not happen on accident.
Self-care does not happen on accident and no one will do it for you. In fact, leadership often makes self-care much more difficult. Its critical that leaders set intentional habits, routines and systems of care and accountability in order for self-care to happen. Its often not natural instinct for leaders, especially ministry leaders to practice self-care. There is never a lack of need, work or opportunity.
Saying no is difficult, painful and counter-cultural, especially for leaders. As leaders we often feel guilty for saying no, but it is important to health, self-care and modeling both of these things to those we lead. If we are not healthy, we cannot lead others well. If we do not say no, our people may pick up on this habit and will themselves be unhealthy.