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Dec. 8, 2021

Me Time

'Me time' is the time when you decide to focus on yourself for a bit. Whether it's taking a bubble bath, going to a spa, or sipping on some coffee while you watch the sunrise or set, it's important to take time to relax and unwind. However, 'me time' can also be the time you focus on your spiritual walk. Whether it's reading the Bible, meditating on God's Word, or spending time in prayer.  It may seem like a selfish thing to suggest, but I have learned that you cannot take care of anyone else, if you don't take care of yourself. It's easier to love your neighbor as yourself, especially when you actually 'love' yourself.

Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. And for the believer, our spiritual health needs special care and attention. I know they say, "We're too blessed to be stressed", but the truth is everyone goes through some type of stress in their life, including Christians. So it's important we learn to manage it. Stress can affect the mind, body and soul. It can disrupt our performance at work, in ministry and at home. It can lead to emotional, spiritual and physical problems, such as depression, anxiety, high blood pressure or even worsen other symptoms, conditions or sicknesses you may be experiencing. There are many studies that support this. However, it can also negatively influence our spiritual walk.

However, stress itself is not the main problem. The issue lies on how well we respond to stress. Sadly, there are those who have turned to drugs and alcohol. Instead of helping to reduce the stress they're experiencing, they worsen their condition. No, this isn't the way to help reduce stress. This just makes things worse. God does not want us to feel overwhelmed by the cares of this world. There are ways to help reduce stress and stay blessed. 

The first thing we need to do to help reduce stress in our daily lives is to recognize the stress factor (the source of our stress) and get the help and support we need. Everyone needs some support, whether it comes from your immediate family, church family or friends. But remember, there's no greater support than God's support. He is a present help in troubled times (Psalms 46:1). We can turn to His Word for help. We can turn to prayer, which in my experience has been helpful to reduce stress. This can also be considered that 'me time' I was explaining at the beginning. 

To me, 'me time' is more than just trying to get away from everyone to be alone. Sometimes, it's not about being alone, but being in the presence of God. Now I know someone would say, but that's not 'me time', that's 'God time'. But this is where we need to redefine 'me time' because in times of stress, we need support and there's no greater support than God. When I draw closer to to God, I'm taking care of 'me'. When I pray to God, I'm taking care of 'me'. And isn't that what 'me time' is about - taking care of yourself?It's doing what needs to be done to improve your mental, physical and spiritual state. This can be as simple as spending time in worship, in praise and thanksgiving. Maybe it's asking someone to help you pray. Maybe it's taking a moment to meditate on Scripture. 

Maybe it's going on a road trip with your family, or going on vacation, and that's okay too. The world is full of stressful people, who make stress-motivated decisions on a daily basis. Let us be the ones to rise above that. Take care of yourself, and you'll be able to take care of those around you. A little 'me time' may be just what you need to help manage and reduce stress in your life. In this case, it's okay to be a little selfish (though it really isn't), especially when others will benefit from your 'me time'. That little 'me time' will help improve the relationships you have with family, friends and with God.