You may not be familiar with the term “spiritual self-care” so I am going to give you some definition and explain why I starting this new category in my blog.
First, “spiritual” means that element that is non-material in the holistic understanding of man as body, mind, and spirit. The spiritual aspect of our being that is most recognized with the religious that reaches beyond ourselves to a higher existence and to others with a higher purpose.
Second, “self-care” means taking some initiative to care for yourself, rather than leaving it up to someone else. So, spiritual self-care is taking some initiative to care for your spirit, to nurture your spirit, or to feed your spirit.
The benefit of spiritual self-care is having a strong faith or resilient human spirit so when difficult circumstances challenge our outlook in life we are not easily depleted or distressed. It’s a situation I’ve seen too often in the hospital room when a bad diagnosis surprises a patient who then grapples for hope because they lack any spiritual reservoir to draw from.
We get a glimmer of what this looks like in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 when Paul says “so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope” (NIV). He is speaking to followers of Jesus who have been practicing their faith and building a reservoir of spiritual strength. They are human so they still grieve, but because of their spiritual well-being they have hope so their grief is not unending.
Spiritual self-care is the process or practice of intentionally caring for one’s spirit or religious faith. It is taking the time to shift your mind toward something greater than yourself, something with greater purpose beyond yourself.
I sometimes think of spiritual well-being as having an extra layer between ourselves and the sadness, anxiety, and fearfulness that our world can sometimes impose upon us. The stress and sorrow of life affects us but having that spiritual layer keeps it from severing hope out of us.
I’m starting this new category in my blog because spiritual self-care is something that I think about everyday. As a hospital chaplain, I spend my days dealing with spiritual care and helping others draw from their spiritual reservoir as they cope with disease or the stress that illness brings. I see first hand the benefit of spiritual self-care and I want to encourage others to consider it for their own well-being.
In weeks ahead I will be writing more in this category and exploring some different facets of caring for oneself, especially from a biblical perspective.