It may seem impossible, but there IS a reliable source of self-care motivation for the overwhelmed mom. And it’s not what you think!
Oh, I remember my overwhelming days of being a mom.
It seemed that nothing ever got finished.
My daily pattern:
- Start a task
- Forget I was doing said task
- Start another task
- Rinse and repeat
No matter how many times I circled the house to pick up the toys, wipe up the crumbs, or put away all of the ‘stuff,’ it never seemed like enough.
Many days, I felt like I wasn’t enough.
I couldn’t even keep my house clean. So, I sure didn’t feel motivated at work.
My zealous goals of climbing the corporate ladder slowly evolved to just clinging to whatever rung I could grab.
I needed a break.
I needed to take better care of myself.
Actually, I needed time with the Lord.
Serving others used to bring me joy.
But motherhood seemed like more than I could handle. Through my exhausted eyes, all I could see were the time constraints and all of the other barriers to my self-care plans.
And, I didn’t have the motivation to even try to overcome them.
No matter what advice I implemented to try to muster up the motivation, I was defeated trying to take care of myself.
Out of desperation, I finally cried out to the Lord.
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Change Your Priorities to find Self-Care Motivation
God is so good, isn’t He? Even though my prayer life and time with God was all but absent during the inundation of motherhood, He clearly answered me.
Praise God, I’m not overwhelmed anymore! And I want that for you too.
God led me to Romans 12:1 which 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 is truly the way to worship him.” (NLT).
Paul encourages us to make obedience to God our new standard of how we use and take care of our bodies.
To be specific, Paul uses Romans 12:1 to tell Christians to move towards a ‘giving’ kind of sacrifice as a way to honor and praise God.
As I wrote about in my Bible study: The Self-care Impact: Motivation and Inspiration for Wellness, the verse tells us that taking care of ourselves isn’t just to be healthy or well. Taking care of ourselves is a way to honor God.
This form of worship changes our priorities, in fact, it puts our focus on Jesus.
And, when it comes to your self-care, if you focus on Christ, you’ll turn your attention away from the worldly (and often exhausting) model of wellness, and the overwhelm will start to dissolve.
We Need God
Do you know what else?
Offering your body as a living sacrifice is a more natural and less stressful way to take care of yourself.
First of all, you can lean on and use the power of the Holy Spirit and save your own mental and emotional energy.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, you’ll thrive when you follow God!
Do you remember the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament? The Israelites were never able to keep all of the laws.
And because they couldn’t be restored without a sacrifice, this was an all-consuming process for the people to stay ‘clean.’
Please don’t miss it, because that was the whole point; God wants you to see how much you need Him.
Your obedience drives you to choose to spend more time with God!
Your obedience honors God but also drives you to choices that are beneficial and make you well.
Obedience to God Helps You See Your Self-care Needs Differently
When you make a decision to worship God in this manner, you have an ongoing commitment to each decision related to your self-care.
You’ll start to ask yourself, “Does this choice honor the Lord?” or “How can I make a better choice to take care of my temple?”
These actions – to stop and look towards the Spirit and ask the Lord for wisdom and strength to make a better choice – are honoring to Him, and will bring wellness to you!
Having a Romans 12:1 heart and mindset helps me:
- Get more exercise because I take the stairs instead of an elevator
- Stop the negative self-talk so I protect my emotional health
- Stick to eating 1-2 cookies for dessert (instead of eating lots of cookies for snacks or even meals:)
- Buy healthy food for meals and snacks for my family
- See me as a child of God; created with a specific purpose. I can more easily avoid the comparison trap and realize motherhood is a tough season because of the task of raising children. (Not because I am not enough.)
- Go to bed on time whenever possible, so I get enough sleep.
I no longer view self-care as a giant list of rules or must-do’s.
I see it as a way to involve the Lord in every self-care choice I make so I can bring Him honor and worship.
Self-care Motivation for the Overwhelmed Mom
Finally, self-care motivation is strengthened in the quiet faithfulness of the Lord.
You won’t achieve this with a big announcement, volumes of activities or a gigantic amount of effort.
It’s achieved through daily prayer. Just 5-10 minutes is plenty.
It’s achieved through ongoing daily conversations with the Lord.
When you’re obedient, you’re moved and then motivated, to do your self-care for the glory of God.
In closing, it is so tempting to get caught up in the busyness of motherhood, the clean cleaning, or the perfect looking life.
But, that’s not the source of self-care motivation.
The motivation to take care of yourself is found through your quiet obedience to the Lord.
And, because it’s a Biblical promise, there isn’t anything overwhelming in that!
Lisa Kimrey, RN, is a speaker, freelance writer, and author of her recently published book, The Self-care Impact: Motivation and Inspiration for Wellness. At her blog, Mylifenurse.com, Lisa writes about ways to care for your life as you serve and care for others. She has been a nurse for 28 years and finds joy through helping people improve their self-care so they can feel better and serve the Lord at their highest capacity. You can follow Lisa on Pinterest and Facebook.