SELAH | A Reminder For Self Care Through Rest and Reflection
a reminder for self care through rest & reflection
When was the last time you took time to rest? I mean really rest. To allow your body, your mind, and your soul to just slow down?
We live in a society that says work harder, keeping reaching, GO GO GO! And when we finally decide to slow down and rest, a shower of guilt comes pouring over us. I know this has been true for my life. Whenever I would take a moment to unwind and rest, I would instantly feel like I should be doing more.
I should be doing laundry, I should be calling a friend in need, I should be responding to the 50 texts sitting on my phone. I should be…
The list can literally go on and on.
And while these are all important things to do, the hard reality is that just like you cannot pour water from an empty cup, we can’t give if we are empty. If we are constantly working without taking the time to care for ourselves, we will burn out and begin to just go through the motions. Life will feel colorless and we will be exhausted.
I’ve been burned out from overworking and it’s not fun. I needed to learn that it was ok, and actually INSANELY GOOD, to care for myself by resting and reflecting. And once I did this, I felt a new energy within me.
There’s a word in the Bible that’s used throughout the book of Psalms. The word is selah. It means to pause and reflect on the words that were previously read before jumping to the next part of the psalm. For me, it’s also a reminder that God has given us the gift of rest because he knows our soul needs it. Our body needs it. Our mind needs it. We as humans need the rejuvenation that rest gives us in the midst of a busy life.
Even if we absolutely love our life and are privileged to be doing what we have always dreamed of doing, we still need rest from time to time. And we should never feel guilty for taking a few hours out of our day (or week) to pause, reflect, and rest.
So think about what is life-giving to you when it comes to resting. Is it meditating on a beach? Or sitting outside enjoying a cup of coffee while you read an encouraging book? Or is it simply staying home and talking to a close friend? Wherever you find rest, I sincerely encourage you to pause from your normal actives and selah.
Below are a few practical tips for resting because although it seems like an easy thing to do, it can truly be a challenge at times.
Tips for Resting
Let Go Of Guilt
Guilt is often a real (but false) response to resting and self care. If guilt comes creeping in while resting, practice replacing those lies with positive affirmations such as “rest is needed right now” or “I will feel refreshed while I care for myself”. Overtime, those self-defeating thoughts will be replaced with self-caring thoughts.
Don’t Be Afraid To Say No
Maybe one of the reasons you have a hard time resting is because you’re always saying yes to new demands and events that pop up. It’s ok to say no to certain things. Look at your schedule and decide what you can or can’t say no to, and make it a priority to actually say no to those tasks so that you can make time for yourself.
Ask For Help
Don’t be afraid to ask others for help. Ask a friend to watch your kids for a few hours. Ask someone to help keep you accountable to resting. Or, more boldly, talk to your boss about scheduling some time off. More often than not, people will appreciate you asking for help and will respond positively.
Schedule Time To Rest
It’s that simple. Schedule self-care time in your calendar and actually stick to it! Maybe every Monday for a couple of hours you spend time meditating and journaling, or every Friday you take a long bath with essential oils. Whenever you decide, allow rest to become a part of your weekly routine.
Pull Out Your Tools
Sometimes having “tools” helps us to rest. These are objects that help bring us to a deeper place of meditation so that we can rest more fully. Things such as a special book, coffee or tea, a favorite journal, or a picture with a special motto can help in ways we didn’t even realize!
Put Away Social Media
Mindlessly scrolling through social media can be such a distraction when you’re trying to care for yourself. In fact, it often just leads to a comparison trap, which has never been restful for me. Instead, put your phone or computer away and allow yourself to be present in the moment.
Those are just a few tips to help you selah! I hope these help you move in the direction of caring for yourself through rest!