What a week! Every week’s news is more fascinating than the last. This week’s chatter has centered around the reopening of public schools. School boards and school district officials are attempting to collect necessary information from teachers, parents, and local health officials to make the best decision for their community. As they work to do what they believe is best, with safety at the forefront, they are being urged, and to some degree threatened, to open at full capacity, full time.
Stress. I’m feeling it, and I’m not even making the decision for the masses, just my children. I always desire to hear my children’s opinions. I may not agree, but I want them to feel as if their voice has been heard. I asked them each to write me a letter explaining whether or not they prefer to attend school face-to-face or virtually. Both of them strongly desire to attend school face-to-face. Zach, who is almost 16 said, “Coronavirus is inevitable...so I would rather attack it head on than run from it.” I don’t agree that it’s inevitable, I think we can, and should, each be practicing measures for prevention. It’s stressful to consider their desires from a mom point-of view.
You may be familiar with the story of David and Bathsheba in the 11th and 12th chapter of 2 Samuel. To summarize, David, King of Israel, entered into an inappropriate relationship with Bathsheba, who was married. Once they realized she was pregnant, David attempted to have her husband, Uriah, come home from battle for a brief conjugal visit so that the baby would appear to be his. Because Uriah had great integrity, David’s plan did not work. David, desperate to cover his tracks, requested that Uriah be moved to the front lines of the battle field to ensure his death. Bathsheba mourned her husband, then soon married David. The Lord was not happy with David for his actions. The baby, a son, was sick, and seven days after his birth, he died. I cannot imagine how incredibly stressful this time must have been for these two. There’s guilt, mourning, pregnancy, a new marriage, a declining newborn, then more mourning. What I’d like to focus on today are 2 Samuel 12:20. ”Then David got up from the floor, washed himself, put lotions on, and changed his clothes. Then he went into the Lord’s house to worship. After that, he went home and asked for something to eat. His servants gave him some food, and he ate.”
If we read the chapter, it appears that within a short period of time, like hours maybe, David got up, bathed, performed his skin care routine, got dressed, went to church, and later he ate. I’m sure the stress was not resolved when he did these things, but his self-care was important. Are you doing these things in your time of stress? Is your self-care routine somewhat intact? In my pre-Covid-life, I would get my eyebrows arched and toenails polished at least once per month. Prior to Thursday, I had been neglecting these self-care tasks. Why? I’m not sure. There is stress. I’m trying to tend to my duties as a wife, as a mother, as an auntie, as a friend, as an educator, etc. Yes, the salon was closed for a short time, but they are open now, and have put new protective measures in place - and I definitely wore my face mask!
According to Psych-Central, “self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is necessary. WIthout proper self-care, it’s difficult to be at our best for the others who depend on us. I think we can all agree that our current situation is stressful. While you work to make the best decisions for your kids, experience changes in your family budget or employment, care for elderly family members, or even mourn the loss of loved ones, don’t neglect yourself. Lotion is a good thing.
Self-care is not just about appearance. We have to take breaks - the weekend is still the weekend. Although many people are still working from home, it’s important to set boundaries between work and home. Determine a time at which you will no longer check your work email. Determine a time at which work will stop and family time will begin. Although your summer vacation may have been cancelled, it’s still important to get out of the house! Go for evening walks - and don’t take the same route each day! Go to a state park. Take a day trip to the mountains. Go to a drive-thru zoo! While you are there, and in a better state of mind, pray. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary.
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A few helpful links:
16 Ways to Practice Self-Care That Cost next to Nothing
South Carolina State Parks
Drive Thru Zoos and Safaris
Thank you for reading!
Stay safe, sanitized, and wear your face mask!