My role early in my nursing career was to guide patients in making lifestyle changes. Most people I spoke with struggled with staying motivated.
They understood the what to do part pretty quickly.
But the why to do it…the motivation? For many, that part remained a mystery.
So, thank goodness I finally solved that puzzle!
Okay, I need to be more honest.
I didn’t find it until I struggled to find the motivation to make lifestyle changes in myself.
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It kind of snuck up on me – realizing that I needed to take better care of myself.
One minute I was a young(ish) mom of an infant and working full-time as a nurse.
The next, I was the mom of a 7-year-old and the proud owner of a skyrocketing cholesterol reading.
I knew the what.
Yes, I knew I had to eat better and move more. I had said it probably thousands of times.
I find that to be MUCH easier said than done.
I mean that literally.
It is SO. MUCH. EASIER. for me to say ‘eat better and move more’ thousands of times than skip a bite of brownie or make myself go to the gym once.
It seemed that a source of motivation for me was non-existent too.
How to Use Faith as Motivation for Self-care
Then, I became a stay-at-home mom through a series of events that only God can orchestrate.
After nine months of working full-time, using an in-home provider for a colicky infant, and then another nine months watching her not thrive in childcare, we leaped at being a one-income family.
I was looking forward to the bliss of being a stay-at-home mom.
Boy, was I in for a shock.
After a few months of learning the ropes of being at home and doing it all, I was discouraged.
It wasn’t easy.
Being home with a grumpy baby wasn’t fun.
It was way harder than working a job outside of the home.
Believe it or not, I was so desperate to get out of the house I started going to our family fitness center. I didn’t really know how to do much there, and I wasn’t interested in learning, if I’m being honest.
So, I just did something I knew how to do: run.
I ran circles (at snail speed) around the indoor track for 20-30 minutes when my daughter was in the child-care center.
While I ran, I listened to praise music, prayed for a renewed passion, and cried.
What a sight, I’m sure.
But God heard my prayer. He led me to an amazing motivational source.
Him!(Or, my faith.)
Through my obedience and trust (which you should read as my frequent disobedience, trial and error, and God’s continued faithfulness), God revealed a four-step method of using my faith as motivation for self-care.
I experienced a transformation in my faith and in my self-care!
So, here are 4 steps to use to find motivation for your self-care.
1 First, Believe God Made Me in His Image Too
I noticed something interesting.
When I interact with others, especially people who are hard to love, I remind myself that God makes them in the image of God.
This truth helps me love them.
But, when I struggled to balance my mom-related care-taking duties, home management, wife responsibilities, and servant duties at church, I got mad at myself.
Typically, 3-4 times a week, I would get frustrated with my perceived failures and put myself down.
I felt like I’d failed, so I worked harder and spent even more time caring for everyone else.
Eventually, my own needs are last.
I unconsciously decided taking care of myself wasn’t worth it. I think I also sometimes secretly wondered if I was worth it.
But the Lord reminds me through Scripture that I, too, am made in God’s image.
Christ teaches me that I am loved and very valuable to Him. Jesus wants me to love myself as He does and to remember that God made me in His image.
I remind myself of this over and over.
I did this until I believed it.
And now I want you to do the same.
2 Allow it to Align My Priorities
When I believe God makes me in His image, I remember who God is.
He is the creator.
He is my Lord and Savior. When I think of all of that, it is much easier to make the Lord my priority.
When God is my priority, I remember I am here to serve Him. I have a spiritual gift and calling.
Taking care of my body, mind, and soul helps me to carry out my mission and use my spiritual gifts to my greatest ability.
So, it is appropriate to make time for my self-care.
3 Utilize the Power of the Holy Spirit for Self-Control and Faithfulness
When I allow the Holy Spirit to guide me, the Holy Spirit produces fruit in my life.
The Lord’s faithfulness in all things helps me trust Him, and my faith grows.
And, I am motivated to take better care of myself through the Holy Spirit’s self-control.
Because of this, I can finally do (or not do) the things that are helpful to my self-care. I can more easily complete my self-care because I receive supernatural support and encouragement.
And, I do it for another reason.
4 Use Faith as Motivation for Self-care – It is a Form of Worship to God
Scripture shows us how to find the motivation to take better care of ourselves.
Do it to honor the Lord.
Use faith as a motivation for self-care.
Romans 12: 1-2 reads, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will find acceptable. This way of living is truly the way to worship him.
When I take care of my body, mind, and soul in a way that honors Him, the Lord is pleased. God sees it as a way to worship Him.
It is acceptable. God expects us to live and care for our bodies in this way.
In closing, there are four steps to use faith as motivation for self-care.
- First, believe God creates you in His image too.
- Second, allow this belief to realign your priorities and see that taking care of yourself is essential.
- Third, utilize the power of the Holy Spirit to receive the fruit of self-control and faithfulness.
- Finally, trust the word of God in Scripture and acknowledge that it is possible to honor God by caring for your body, mind, and soul for Him.
If you follow the four steps, you will not only see the why of taking care of yourself, but you’ll also have supernatural support and encouragement as a source of motivation!
Be sure to get your FREE Self-care Starter Guide HERE!
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Want to Read More:
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Hi, I’m Lisa! Thanks for visiting My Life Nurse, where we provide people who serve and take care of others with easy self-care plans and systems, wellness strategies, and scripture-based encouragement so you can stay happy, healthy and rejuvenated. I’ve found that many people struggle with caring for themselves while taking care of others, but they also feel called to serve others, so they keep working even when they’re stressed and exhausted. That’s why I combine my nursing expertise with Scripture-based teaching. Our readers love learning how to walk closer to the Lord to improve their self-care – so they can begin their journey to feel better – without feeling guilty. Be sure to grab your FREE Self-care StarTer Guide!