To be radical about self-care, I suggest starting with a radical inventory of your life. I have a tool that I hope will help you take this first step.
Instructions for use:
OPTION #1—a quick check: pick two of these questions that get under your skin or catch your attention. Resolve now to spend the next ten minutes thinking about what radical self-care decision would address these two questions.
OPTION #2—a thorough check: set aside two hours in the next week to sit down with pen and paper and think through this inventory in a meaningful way. Spend one and half hours on the questions and then half an hour on a plan for radical self-care.
- Caring for your soul: How would you evaluate your stress level? Are you having enough fun? Do you spend time with replenishing people in your life? Are relationships in your immediate circle growing or shrinking in intimacy and satisfaction? Have you ignored an emotional issue or block that needs attention? Has something changed in your life that you haven’t sufficiently processed? Have you dismissed a hunch that counseling might be a good idea?
- Caring for your body: Are you healthy? Do you sleep well and long enough? Do you eat mindlessly or in reaction to stress? Drink too much alcohol or depend on too much caffeine? Do you need to lose or gain weight? Are you exercising enough? Have you ignored routine physical checks or post-poned medical tests?
- Caring for your spirit: Are you engaging in renewing spiritual practices? Do you observe a Sabbath or take a day off? Do you have a sense that you are growing and/or learning spiritually? Is there spiritual unrest in you or do you sense God’s press to pay attention to something? Is there any way you consistently recognize that you are living outside a spiritual conviction you hold? Do you feel your spirit is expanding or shrinking?
- Caring for your mind: What new topic or skill have you learned about lately? What curiosity has been provoked in your life of late? Do you spend enough time with people who stimulate your thinking? How are you experiencing development and encouragement in your field of expertise (whether that is your vocational, a hobby, or if your main area of expertise is in the home)? What have you read or watched that has stimulated thought for you of late?
Using this or some other inventory on a quarterly basis could be life changing. But only if one is determined to RESPOND to the answers. Word of warning: do not try to change too much at once. Listen to your gut: you will know which things need immediate attention.
Are you willing to start with a radical inventory to catalyze radical self-care in your life?