Have you ever had a “vacation” where all you did was run around from one activity to the next? When you get back home, you need a vacation from your vacation.
Or did you hang out with a group of friends, thinking it would be a refreshing time, but come back feeling depleted?
Oftentimes, our “self-care” activities can deplete us, leaving us needing more rest. But true self-care gives us the energy we need to face our daily lives.
When does our “self-care” deplete us?
When we use self-care to numb our pain so we don’t feel it anymore, it depletes us. For instance, overactivity can be a numbing behavior—we become too busy to feel pain or negativity. Watching too much Netflix, being overly social, or overexercising can be a way we try to numb pain. But in the end, we just feel more tired.
When we try to numb our pain, we ignore our needs.
Jesus’ form of self-care never ignored needs—for Himself and for the disciples.
In Mark 6:31-32, we see Jesus noticing how the disciples hadn't eaten because they were serving the crowds. He calls them to follow Him and refuel themselves with some rest, which is what they needed.
In John 21, we see Jesus return to the disciples after the crucifixion. The disciples are in a boat fishing when Jesus calls out to them. They are thrilled to see Jesus and jump out of the boat to see Him. When they arrive on shore, Jesus notices they are hungry.
Before Jesus tells them what they must do, He is intentional about meeting their needs. He has a meal waiting for them on shore.
Jesus wants to meet our needs so we can meet the needs of others.
When we numb ourselves with busyness, overactivity, and doing too much, we ignore our needs and turn away self-care. But the good news is, we can meet Jesus in a quiet place. He’s willing and waiting to meet our needs. And once He does, we can engage our daily lives feeling refreshed and energized.
Today, consider whether your self-care activities are energizing or numbing. If they are the latter, search for what needs are being ignored, and strategize ways you can meet those needs with Jesus.