The Virtue of Self Care
At the peak of my “$60,000 of debt” season I felt trapped. Though you may not feel trapped by debt, it could be a job with benefits that you hate but are afraid to leave… it could be a relationship that you’ve invested years in but don’t want to marry the person and don’t want to break up with them either… it could be not addressing a relational issue that has arisen between you and a family member. Life has a way of making us feel as if we are between a rock and hard place.
No matter what you are trapped between… you have a responsibility that is absolutely, positively monumental. Here it is…
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
In the middle of my debt, it would have been easy to justify not doing anything for myself that cost money. My trap felt like a financial prison and any dollars or cents I spent on myself was me being stupid and selfish. While it’s true that I didn’t need to buy iPods or video games, it was not true that I couldn’t do anything for myself… so what did I do?
In order to take care of myself I made a commitment that I was going to be around people. Every Sunday after church all my friends went out to lunch. Perhaps I could have saved an extra $10 a week and paid off $520 in debt… for me, it was more important to be around people and that $10 a week was an investment in relationships. Knowing that I had a little bit of money to spend on myself helped me to feel a sense of freedom, even if all the other days of the week were spent eating hamburger helper at home.
No matter what is making you feel trapped right now, I encourage you to ask yourself, “what little thing can I do that will go a long way in helping me take care of myself?” Perhaps it’s joining a gym. Maybe it is going to see a movie by yourself. Maybe, you need to take family member “A” out to coffee and enjoy their company because your bitter relationship with family member “B” is alienating you from those who you are supposed to be closest to.
Whatever it is you wind up doing, the ultimate value is, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
So true. When I was paying off debt I didn’t take care of myself very well, and I wish I had. Even now, when I have a ton of work to do, I deny myself too often when really, taking a break would help things.