Self Care Isn’t Selfish

In order to make a difference, you must take care of yourself.

It was February when I moved to Austin, TX, for a new job. This was not my first major move, but this move was different. See, my family stayed in North Carolina for several months to finish out the school year while I started my new position. I was learning both a new job and a new city while also flying back to North Carolina to see my family almost every weekend. On top of that, I was also finalizing and editing my first book for an Easter publication date.

12080370_1080201292005127_7062043521799463920_oWithin just a few months, I found that I was pushing myself too hard. I was worried a lot, and my family missed me. The pace of life did not slow down even after the book was released, and my family moved to be with me in Austin. As time went on, I found that I was getting run down and out of shape.

After more than a year of pushing myself, I was dealing with heart issues, high blood pressure, and serious depression. Thankfully, I make a few small decisions to prioritize what was really important. During that time, I realized that I needed to make some big changes that eventually led me to leave Austin, TX, and change my career focus.

In order to make a difference, you must take care of yourself.

Michael Hyatt is an author, speaker, and CEO of Michael Hyatt and company. He is also the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing and a New York Times best-selling author. Hyatt has long been one of the premier leadership bloggers and podcasters.

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 6.28.34 AMHis most downloaded podcast ever was the Leader-Cast Event in Atlanta, where he spoke to 3500 people live. This event was broadcast to over 20 countries and 100,000 people around the world.

The title of his talk was, “Self-care as a leadership discipline.” In this talk, Hyatt shared that he had some serious heart scares that caused him to trade in the “hustle fallacy” for self-care. 

In order to make a difference, you must take care of yourself.

“And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation.” (Genesis 2:2-3)

Why do you think God rested on the 7th day of creation? The first place we tend to cut is self-care. Did you know that reducing your sleep to 6 hours or less reduces your cognitive processes to the equivalent of being drunk? Michael Hyatt says, “Self-neglect causes crises that cripple careers.” 

In order to make a difference, you must take care of yourself.

The Bible teaches that those who do no work are lazy. However, the Bible says that those who don’t rest are disobedient. Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first 4 hours sharpening the axe.” 

CZgq0QQUYAE343LToo many people are burning out. Think of the last time you felt fully relaxed and imagine if that was your every day. The truth is that self-care drives success and significance in the life of a Christ-follower.

You need rest to be at your best. Self-care also fuels creativity. If you are looking for a breakthrough, you may just need to take a break. What Michael Hyatt calls “The Hustle Fallacy” comes with a HIGH price. It can be effective in short spurts, but sprint after sprint after sprint led me to burnout.

In order to make a difference, you must take care of yourself.

The first place we tend to cut is self-care because it seems like an unnecessary luxury. Daily tasks like sleeping enough, eating well, exercising regularly, connecting with people we love, engaging with meaningful hobbies, and making time for personal reflection take a back seat to the busyness of life. But, we need rest to be at our best. You are all you have to offer. It is not selfish to activate self-care.

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 6.40.18 AMJack Nevison did a study that showed 50 hours on the job yielded only 37 hours of productivity. However, if you raised it to 55 hours on the job, it caused a drop to only 30 hours of useful work. When we push past 50 hours in a week, we don’t get more done. 

As a Christian, you may feel that you must always work to help others. But, self-neglect is not a Christian concept. It can cause crises that cripple you from doing the work God has for you. Years of self-neglect will catch up with you in the form of a divorce, physical crash, or spiritual brokenness.

ASK YOURSELF: Do I want one-dimensional career success?

ASK YOURSELF: Do I want momentary success or significance that lasts?

In order to make a difference, you must take care of yourself.

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