Incorporating or Discovering Your Faith Through Self-Care
Everyone who knows me personally knows how much of a thrill-seeker I am. I’ve ziplined in some crazy locations, gone skydiving and have ridden every rollercoaster within a 200-mile radius. And although some of my close friends and loved ones think I am absolutely insane for doing some of the things that I’ve done, I am always finding comfort in knowing that there are secures and protocols that are in place to ensure safety, protection, and security. Now sure, some may argue that I am putting myself in these uncertain and possibly dangerous circumstances, and they would be correct (LOL!), but sometimes life also brings uncertainty and scary life situations that we aren’t personally equipped to handle on our own. And so, in a similar fashion, when people ask me how I’ve gotten through some of my darkest of moments, I share that I find comfort in knowing that there is something stronger and more powerful than myself that is in place and in control; and that thing for me is God.
“The one thing constant in life is change.”
This is the most factual quote I know, but also the scariest, because if you are anything like me, having life throw unexpected twists and turns can be very difficult to manage. Have you ever found yourself at your wits’ end and grasping for straws? Doing whatever you could to try and stay afloat? If so, from where do you draw your strength during those times when you feel like your circumstances are beyond what you can control? During those darkest of times, from where do you get your peace, calmness, hope, and strength? Faith is believing in someone or something greater than you to provide you the care and comfort you need while you’re in the middle of life’s situations, both the good and the bad.
Now, I have spoken to many women who have expressed to me that their experiences with faith, church and/or religion have not been the greatest, so if this is also your story, you might be wondering, “How is faith and spirituality supposed to help with my self-care when it just makes me feel bad, guilty or shameful?!” And my answer to you is this, if this has been your experience with faith and spirituality, I apologize on behalf of whoever or whatever made you feel this way. Again, faith is solely recognizing that your abilities might be limited but that there is someone bigger than you from who you can grab ahold of and use as your anchor. I think there is no greater self-care than surrendering your worries and cares, and trusting that you will make it through; because sometimes holding onto false beliefs of control can really cause toxicity in our personal lives, relationships, and health.
I’ve included below a few faith-based practices that you can incorporate into your daily/weekly routines that will hopefully help generate more calmness, peace and comfort into your life.
- Prayer: This word can sound so intimidating to many. Usually the response I get from others, when we speak about prayer, is “Where would I even start with prayer??” Seeing prayer, though, as simply a conversation between you and God is key. It’s that simple! Just like you prefer genuine, sincere, real talk with your friends or family, so does He! Be yourself J When I pray, I tend to thank God for what I DO have and surrender whatever is bothering or weighing me down. Sometimes journaling your prayers can also help your thoughts flow more comfortably and naturally.
- Meditation: There are so many meditative practices that I could touch upon here, from Eastern meditation to meditating on God’s Word (scripture), but I will do my best to describe the general concept of meditation, and the similarities among the various types. Meditation is best described as the practice of training your awareness and perspective. Now, depending on the type of meditation, this is accomplished in many different ways, but I tend to use Christian meditation where you pick a specific Bible verse and you think on that verse and identify ways that it can apply to your life, specifically. When meditating, the environment that surrounds you is extremely significant; so try to pick a time and place where there are minimal distractions.
- Church/Worship Services: With how prevalent the use of phones and other electronic devices are, more and more people are making the decision to stay home and watch a worship service that is streaming online than visit a place of worship, but there is something still powerful and special about gathering together with others who are also seeking comfort and stress relief. When we gather with others who are experiencing similar hardships but are willing to encourage one another’s faith, hope is birthed. Is there a place of worship near you that you have considered visiting recently or used to attend?
- Sermons/Inspirational Music: This practice is my absolute favorite because I’m the type that there always has to be something playing in the background, no matter what I’m doing! Are you like that, too? I will usually google sermons on specific topics that I am struggling with at the time or will listen to inspirational/faith-based music on YouTube, and I promise you it does something to the atmosphere; somehow, it creates such a calming environment. You should try it, if you haven’t already! 😊
As I sit down and write this I recognize that there is a broad spectrum that we all fall on regarding our experience with faith, beliefs, and spirituality. Maybe you are already firmly planted in your faith and find this blog post to simply be a good reminder of some of the practices that you tend to incorporate into your life, on a consistent basis. That’s great to hear! But I also understand that there is a big possibility that you may NOT always depend on your faith and spirituality to draw your strength from, and may even find this whole topic foreign, confusing, and uncertain. Or, maybe you are somewhere in between where you might have grown up in a home where you were taken to church as a child or prayed before each meal or bedtime, but this is the extent of your personal ties to faith. This is a-okay!! The beauty of your spiritual journey is that it is unique, personal and one of a kind.
I think there is no greater self-care than:
- Choosing/exploring the belief that there is something greater out there than yourself
- Surrendering those aspects of life that are uncontrollable, all while releasing frustration, disappointment, and discontentment
- Actively deciding to incorporate more positive, hopeful, and peaceful practices into your day-to-day life.
I thought I’d end by sharing with you the top 5 faith-based practices that I try to weave into my everyday life. Enjoy! 😊
- Stop Controlling
- Be Grateful
- Forgive Others
- Be Prayerful
- Make Time for God
About the Author
Natalie Rosado, LMHC, is a licensed mental health counselor who has worked in this field for over 10 years, helping women overcome the difficult challenges of anxiety, depression, life purpose, stress, and entrepreneurship. She currently works in private practice as a licensed counselor helping women in her community reclaim their identity, purpose, passions, and joy. She has spoken at various women’s gatherings and conferences, bringing hope to women wherever she speaks. She is also the founder of Live Whole Box, a self-care subscription box for women who are too busy to care for themselves! Visit Natalie online at www.