Taking care of yourself is always a good idea. Heart self-care takes the concept a little deeper into the biblical realm of rest and spiritual health. Heart self-care for the over 50 woman covers the common ideas of care while adding the biblical component. Additionally, a helpful tool is included for free and information about it can be found farther down in this post. (Watch for the Heart Self-Care Journal ? below.)
How do You Define Self-Care?
When most people think of self-care, visions of bubble baths and mani-pedis come to mind. Those treats that tend to relieve stress or give us a break from our hectic, over-full lives. The emotional benefits of regular self-care are considerable and proven. Even occasional perks in the middle of life’s craziness can have a positive effect. Who hasn’t gone out for a glass of wine or a double tall with a good friend in order to ‘vent’ or just to get a change of scenery?
A Pin for You!
Most women know when they’re getting to the end of their rope or ‘on their last nerve’. Knowing that place when your emotional fuel tank is close to empty is a good thing. Actually, having a self-care plan in place before you’re running on fumes is even better. Planning a regular date night with your husband or girlfriends, going on a monthly antiquing shopping trip, or doing daily things like setting aside time for reading your book or watching a special movie can be just what the doctor ordered.
Eating right and light, getting enough sleep and water and exercise; plus all the other healthy things like taking your vitamins can also make a big difference. Planning in ‘margin’ to your days is a valuable tip when looking for emotional stability! Here’s a Quiet Hollow post on being grateful! This is another great tip for self-care and you can check out the post How to Grow Your Gratitude here.
If you’re interested in creating a self-care routine, remember to check out the free printable Heart Self-Care Journal below.
Looking at Self-Care through a Biblical Lens
Let’s chat about things beyond the surface happiness level. We all know that all the ‘stuff’ is still there even after a night out or a big shopping trip. Basic self-care can alleviate some issues and even help us cope with our stresses in a more healthy fashion, but I’d like to suggest there is a deeper, more long-lasting answer to our cry for peace and joy and hope.
If you’re a woman of faith (a believer in Jesus as God’s son and human-kind’s savior), you’ve probably heard about Christ’s offer to the woman at the well of Living Water. That water that will quench your thirst forever! (sounds great, right?) Maybe that’s what happens when we’re looking for a self-care solution (and, don’t get me wrong mani-pedi’s and double talls are fun and useful in re-focusing things!), maybe we’re just ‘thirsty’ and maybe all those exterior temporary solutions aren’t able to truly quench our thirst. Let me suggest more of a heart self-care solution; one that will last much longer and will always take care of our need for a long, cold drink of water.
This deeper consideration for self-care moves away from a fun, light distracting action to the actual restoration of our hearts. Let’s call this ‘restorative self-care’. There are several places in the Bible that encourage rest. Remember God rested on the 7th day and wants us to as well. The verse in Matthew 11:29 states Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Isn’t that really what we’re looking for? Rest for our souls.
Three Practical Ways to Accomplish Heart Self-Care
#1 Know Who You Are
We started our chat about biblical self-care with the assumption that you are a woman of faith (defined above) and you’ve heard of Jesus’ living water. But, maybe you’ve landed here and you’re still reading and you’ve not yet experienced that personal faith we’ve mentioned. It’s a simple, but life-altering step if you’re interested. See the **Steps to Personal Faith below with a clear guide for you.
Whether you just prayed the prayer here, or you’ve been walking with Jesus for many years; know who you really are is essential. Well, knowing it, believing it, and GETTING it down deep in your heart. As a child of God, you BELONG to His family. It says in Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. We’re in the family, we’re His masterpiece, He made us new, and He’s got good plans for our lives. Don’t you love it?! It also says in verse 6 of that chapter that we’re seated with Him in the ‘heavenly realms’ because we’re united with Him (He’s in us and we’re in Him). So, that means we’ve got a seat at the table!
Heather Holleman wrote one of my favorite books ever on this topic called Seated with Christ/Living Freely in a Culture of Comparison. I think I’m on my 4th time through. It’s so marked up and underlined and starred! But, she talks about how there are tables we’ve tried to get seats…the popular girls’ table (think junior high), the got-it-all-together mom’s table, or successful career women’s table and we just weren’t invited. Not only are we invited to King Jesus’ table (think King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table) we’re placed in a spot of honor!
If I focus on my seat at the table and my place in the family, plus the knowledge that He loves ME (and YOU ?) more than anyone on this earth could (even my mom!), my heart experiences that restoration we’ve talked about. Daily. Because it’s true!
#2 Know Who He Is
Part of growing and living as a believer is getting to know God. There are three pretty straightforward ways to ensure that is happening in our lives. One is to talk to Him on a regular basis. And, I’m not talking formal, somebody-else-wrote-them prayers. I mean talking like you would with a friend or close family member. You can share your stuff with Him any time night or day. The good and the not so hot.
The second way to get to know God is by reading or listening to His Word (the Bible). I’ve always heard a great place to start is the Gospel of John. If it’s been a while since you’ve read it, go back and read it again. I’m sure you’ve found that each time you re-read a part of the Bible, you hear something new. By the way, this is a good reason to combine the first two ways of getting to know Him, that is talking and listening. Isn’t that how any good conversation goes?
Many of my friends keep a journal nearby to record thoughts, prayers, or words from a particular verse. Your journal can be personally very inspirational and encouraging if you re-read it later. I have a prayer journal that I kept during a particularly hard time in our marriage. I drew a vertical line through the middle of each page, recording dated prayer requests on the left and then the answers to the prayers on the right. Amazing. And, it encourages me still.
The third way to get to know the Lord is by meeting regularly with other believers. If you’re blessed to have an open church nearby, get yourself connected. Join a home group or a women’s Bible study…or both! We NEED each other. And, I believe we need worship music too. I know I sure do. I’m writing this on October 25th and some have noted that Hebrews 10:25 is perfect for today. It says, And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. He knows us humans need to get together!
#3 Know What to Do
If you’re learning who you are and getting to know Him, knowing how to live out your life will be the next step. There isn’t a checklist of dos and don’ts. Finding and learning about your path takes time. But, let me tell you, it’s worth it. And, I’m not only talking about the BIG path (career, spouse, where to live, etc.), I’m also talking about the day to day directions and purpose. Pray the simple prayer, “Lord, show me what you have in mind for me today Show me who you’ve got for me to bless.” and you will start seeing the deeper heart self-care materialize. I’d like to suggest that the more we lean into knowing and following the Lord, the more at peace we are. And, the chances of experiencing true joy will be that much greater!
I love the 15th chapter of John which talks about God as the gardener and Jesus as the grapevine. We get to be the branches! The cool thing is that as long as we stay attached, we will ‘produce much fruit’ and we’ll be able to ask for what we need (remember we’re attached to the Source). Some versions refer to this as ‘abiding in Christ’. I love that concept! It brings belonging to a whole new level.❤️
?Click Here to Get Your Printable Heart Self-Care Journal ?
Let’s Wrap this Up
Just like the mom who is instructed on the airplane to put on her oxygen mask before those of her kids, we need to take care of our spirits, souls, and bodies so that we can help and love those around us.
Sometimes a quick walk through the park or nachos with a friend (I just had lunch at Taco Bell ?) will lift our spirits just the right amount. I believe sometimes God pops those things into our lives as little unexpected gifts. Other times we can plan them in when we’re going through a rough time and they’re needed. Report card weekend and parent conferences was always such a time for me! Not deep anguish or depression, but definitely a stressful time that felt so good to have behind me when I was done! Potato chips and Diet Pepsi were my self-care dietary choices. Not good for on-going nutrition, that’s for sure, but perfect for those times at the end of each trimester.
I encourage you and myself to continue getting to know who we are in the Lord, who He really is, and what that all means for our daily lives. Along with your regularly scheduled trip to Hobby Lobby or the spa, consider creating a special time each day devoted to Heart Self-Care. Many call it their quiet time or daily devotions. The name doesn’t matter, it’s all about the time you spend regularly abiding and hanging out with your best friend, your brother. Jesus. The one who wants to take the heavy part of the load and give you rest! The one who wants to take care of and even give you a new heart! ❤️
**Steps to Personal Faith
You start by praying (which is basically talking to God) telling Him you’re ready for a new life and you’re sorry for the life you’ve been living. Let Him know you are giving Him control of things (you won’t believe how much better His way is!) and you want Him to live in you (His Holy Spirit does this part…it’ll make more sense later) and walk alongside you. And, that you’re looking forward to living forever (that means Heaven – this is the only real way to get in) with Him and all the rest of us! ❤️And, that’s it! You’re now a brand new child of God. I highly recommend reaching out to a trusted Christian friend, a Bible-based church, or shoot me a quick email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can get you on the road of growing in your new faith! Welcome sistah!!
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Finding a new purpose in living and joy in the day-to-day was the goal when author Kathy Rowland and her entire family (adult kids and grandkids) moved from the PNW to Texas several years ago. The focus of Quiet Hollow is to encourage ‘next chapter women’ – those who are retired, empty-nesters, or have found themselves without a spouse to jump back into life. And, she shares multiple tips, ideas, and possibilities toward that end. Kathy completed her almost 30 years as an elementary teacher and hopped into over a decade of volunteer work, side hustle-type businesses, and grandchild care before discovering her unique and fulfilling purpose for the next chapter of life. What you read on Quiet Hollow is a large part of that calling. Another part is the happy life she’s leading in Central Texas in the same neighborhood as the 3 big kids and her 5 grandkids. She and her college sweetheart husband made sure to add a pool to their new Texas home, so there are lots of noisy, splashy days in their little oasis of a backyard. Come join her on Quiet Hollow in a conversation about finding and living the life you were created to live in this later stage. The chats will be full of laughter, support, faith, and inspiration to create.