One of my greatest pet peeves is observing someone so caught up in "doing it all" that she thinks taking time out for herself would be selfish...when really, the stress she's put herself under to "do it all" causes her to operate at about 50% in all her activities, resulting in a less-than-ideal mood for those around her. Before I elaborate, let me just first confess that I have been that woman.
Take this example: in high school, like may teenagers, I was involved in a number of extracurricular activities. Show choir, youth group, piano practice, various clubs on campus, an honors class...I remember coming home from choir practice one night, mountains of homework still to be completed before the next day, and begging my mom to wake me after a 30 minute nap so it could all get done. In that 16 year-old state, I did not yet have the maturity to understand how staying involved in all my activities to the extent I was caused me to be a burden to the people around me. It caused me to be sleep deprived which weakened my immune system and lead to mood swings. In that season of life, my mom often preached to me the concept of "margin"...how creating margin for oneself allows a greater awareness of God's presence; how it reminds us that human beings are neither meant nor able to do everything.
Since high school, like all of us, I've experienced busy seasons and slow seasons. But the lessons from my mom, coupled with a growing awareness of the importance for self-care have allowed me to stop neglecting sleep, nutrition, and fun breaks when the season is busy. Here's the thing: self care is not selfish. When we take care of bodies and hearts, we are creating space to be the best versions of ourselves. When we are the best versions of ourselves...rested, nourished, and at peace, we can then pour ourselves into our "things"--work, family, ministry, relationships, to the best of our abilities...rather than continuously pouring out just that 50%.
So what do you need to do this weekend to take care of yourself? Do you need a nap? Do you need to get on the yoga mat? What about a delicious sugar free, whole food smoothie to detox some of the junk you've eaten this week (sign me up)? Or carving out an hour to watch something funny on TV? Get the childcare, schedule the time, cross off the unnecessary item on your to do list...do what you have to do to get the self-care in. Because "doing it all" without taking a break...well, that can be selfish.