My Daily Self-Care Routine for a Happier Life

August 31, 2023
My Daily Self-Care Routine for a Happier Life

Attention, champions of life! Are you ready to get equipped with the most powerful tools to unleash your limitless potential? This blog is intended to ignite a fire of happiness within you!

Things have gotten up-close-and-personal. I am going to share with you a self-care routine that I have followed for quite some time now. These rituals will elevate your energy, amplify your productivity, and fill your life with fulfillment and joy. This is your chance to rise above the ordinary and become the unstoppable force you were destined to be.

My Daily Self-Care Routine for a Happier Life

To quote Parker Palmer, founder of the Center for Courage and Renewal, “Self-care is never a selfish act. It is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others.”

To Accomplish Much, You Must Be Healthy

To accomplish big things for God, you must be in good shape. You need to eat and rest to replenish your body. You need to laugh, relax, and have fun to replenish your soul. You need to be silent to hear what God is telling you to do. Without all these elements of self-care, you are not the best version of yourself and thus are not as prepared as you could be to do God’s work.

Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31)

It took me many years to realize that this commandment includes two parts: “Love your neighbor” and “love yourself.”

I once experienced an emotional meltdown. I began to see my entire life as black and soon my dreams and visions vanished, too. In those dark moments, I lived in survival mode with no energy left to serve at church. That’s when I discovered self-care.

Now, self-care is one of my priorities because I know when I am out of shape — physically, mentally, or emotionally — I can’t serve God properly.

To remind myself of the importance of self-care, I often consider this verse from Proverbs: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4: 23)

Implement Health Checks As Self-Care

To implement my daily self-care routine for a better life, I do a health check-up to make sure I am tending to my personal needs.

Here are 5 health checks you can do every day, as part of your self-care routine.

Health Check #1: Do I Work Too Much?

The work-life balance is a tricky one to achieve. Once I took on a volunteer leadership role at my church’s video team while working as a biotech engineer. However, I underestimated how much time the video project would take and I ended up working long hours at both jobs. After a few weeks, I was burnt out and resigned from the video project. I learned that it is important to prioritize and not take on too much, even when it is for a good cause.

Maybe you are working extra hours to benefit your family, secure a promotion, and a raise, allowing you to live in a nice neighborhood and be free of future financial difficulties. However, your family needs your presence more than anything else. Time spent with loved ones is priceless. We often forget that real wealth is not about money but time. In Africa, people often say, “You have nice watches, but we have time.” Similarly, in Southeast Asia, people prioritize cultivating quality relationships over money.

As Christians, we should strive for excellence and follow Jesus’ time management principles. He taught us to balance work with self-care and spending time with loved ones.

God wants us to help the people He puts in our path. Jesus healed a bleeding woman and brought Jairus’s daughter back to life, showing us we must make time to help those around us. Being busy is not something to be proud of. If you are too busy to help others or pray, consider revising your schedule.

Health Check #2: Is It Well with My Soul?

Self-care involves regularly checking that your priorities are straight and you are living the life God planned for you. When you achieve your dream, you will know that He is beside you.

The prophet Elijah challenged King Ahab to a showdown to prove who was the true God. Elijah gathered all Israel, including the priests of Baal and Asherah. The priests of Baal prayed to their god to rain down fire on a bull, but nothing happened. Elijah then poured water over the meat and wood and prayed to the Lord. The Lord sent fire from heaven that consumed everything, proving that He was the true God.

Unfortunately, the soul doesn’t cry out, begging for our attention, so how can you tell whether or not all is well with it? Consider keeping a journal and regularly asking yourself questions like these:

  • Have I felt more irritable lately, which could be a sign that I am not on the right path?
  • Am I more worried than usual, which could mean that I am not trusting God enough?
  • Am I spending too much time working, which might mean that I need to reassess and adjust my priorities?
  • Do I feel fulfilled?
  • Do I feel at peace?

When asked, “Why should you care for your soul?” Sharla Fritz, the author of Soul Spa: 40 Days of Spiritual Renewal, provides these four reasons:

  1. Your soul is the most important part of you.
  2. Your soul is the part of you that is eternal.
  3. The state of your soul affects the rest of your life.
  4. A healthy soul will enable you to love and serve the people in your life.

Remember to slow down and listen to your soul.

Health Check #3: Am I Eating Healthy Food?

If you want to perform at an elite level, you must pay attention to your diet because the body needs proper nutrition to work its best. According to the finding of a study conducted by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, you should focus on the quality of your diet.

For instance, “The type of carbohydrate in the diet is more important than the amount of carbohydrate in the diet, because some sources of carbohydrate — like vegetables (other than potatoes), fruits, whole grains, and beans — are healthier than others.” The same applies to fats, with a low-fat diet being a thing of the past. Today, dietitians recommend a balanced diet with good carbs and some fats. Consult an expert to determine the ideal diet for your body.

If you eat the right food, you will supercharge your quick-thinking and decision-making skills. Several studies have found that a healthy diet is associated with lower risks of severe memory problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Daniel Amen, psychiatrist and brain disorder specialist, recommends these seven foods to help protect your memory: colorful vegetables and fruits, water, cruciferous vegetables, berries, herbs and spices, fatty fish, and nuts.

Paul wrote to believers in Corinth, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)

Eating the right kind of food is good stewardship. If you want God to do amazing things through you, you need to take good care of the amazing body He has given you by watching your diet.

Health Check #4: Do I Exercise Enough?

To promote fitness and healthy habits among students, Naperville Central High School in Illinois had their students run and exercise for an hour before classes. This program not only improved the students’ physical health, but also their academic performance. After a few months, students reported being more alert in class and saw a 17% improvement in English reading and comprehension. As a result, the school ranked among the top ten in the nation for standardized test results.

Clearly, physical fitness has many benefits for students.

Exercise not only makes you healthier but also contributes to your smart thinking since aerobic activity transforms the body and the mind. Research shows that exercise improves your brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and thus:

  • Stimulates the production of new brain cells
  • Enhances your capacity to learn new skills and your memory
  • Promotes better communication between the brain cells
  • Prevents neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s
  • Makes you happier
  • Improves sleep

When you exercise, you get smarter, happier, and healthier, and you will live longer.

Health Check #5: Do I Sleep Enough?

Sleep is vital to both your physical and mental health. As UC Berkeley sleep researcher Matthew Walker puts it, “The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life span.” According to his research, sleep does the following:

  • enhances your memory
  • makes you more creative
  • keeps you slim
  • lowers food cravings
  • protects you from cancer and dementia
  • guards you against colds and the flu
  • lowers your risk of heart attacks, stroke, and diabetes
  • helps you feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious

To operate at a peak-performance level, you must prioritize sleep.

A recent study by the Appleton Institute for Behavioural Science of the Central Queensland University in Adelaide, Australia showed that athletes need an average of 8.3 hours of sleep to feel rested and that insufficient sleep compromised their capacity to train effectively and compete optimally.

Even if you are not an athlete, getting adequate sleep is necessary for you to be at your best.

BONUS TIP: Give Yourself A Treat

“*Have I had my ice cream yet?”*Asking this simple question changed the way I treated myself.

God teaches us that our lives should not be all about working and delivering. He commanded the Israelites to celebrate regularly, telling them, “Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival with me.” (Exodus 23:14-19) He wanted them to stop periodically and take some time to enjoy life.

Recently, I decided to celebrate my accomplishments. I found that enjoying some delicious ice cream was a great treat to give myself. Occasionally, I stop at my favorite Italian gelato place in town and enjoy a hazelnut ice cream cone.

King Solomon once said, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) Remember to stop, pat yourself on your shoulder, give yourself a treat, and enjoy life.

Remember, self-care is not selfish, but rather a necessary part of living a fulfilling life.

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