I got too far out of my routine of self-care in the last few weeks, and ended up with a head cold and a lack of ability to be my best in the service to others.

This was a great reminder for me on the critical importance of taking care of myself so that I have the required amount of energy, focus, and stamina to effectively serve my family and my clients.

I overloaded my schedule to the point that I missed the necessary sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition that I have found important in maintaining my well-being. This led to being rundown and getting a cold that really zapped my energy and ability to be effective in my job.

To keep me focused in this area going forward, I developed 8 Commandments for Extreme Self Care, which I am committing to starting this week:

  1. Get your sleep. Not getting enough sleep makes you more stressed, more anxious and in general affects your mind. Sleep deprivation makes it hard to feel and stay positive, hard to concentrate, and hard to be creative. Your working memory is shown to get smaller when tired, and you have limited ability to concentrate, learn, listen, and solve problems. Finding ways to improve your sleep will enhance your ability to effectively lead and serve others.
  2. Get your exercise. Your body is the engine for high performance, so you need to keep it functional and in good shape. Being fit greatly affects your happiness in life. Make it a habit to exercise regularly, i.e. several times a week.
  3. Eat Healthy. What you eat can impact how you feel overall and what kind of energy level you have throughout each day. What you eat affects how your brain and mind works. When your body is functioning well, it feeds your brain, and you will find it easier to stay positive. If you want to be a high performer watch what you eat.
  4. Spend time in devotion / reflection. We all have a calling on our life from God. We have been gifted with talents and passions that God wants us to use to advance His Kingdom. Spending daily time with God studying scripture and reflecting on what your priorities should be that day will enhance your effectiveness.
  5. Love God / Love your neighbor. Good health and a positive life can resonate from your heart. Staying focused on this command from God will keep you focused on what is really important in life and insure that we are taking care of our self to insure that we can love God and our neighbors.
  6. Pray often. We have more on our plate than we can handle. I think God intends it that way, so that we know we need to rely on him. Take everything to God in prayer. Maintain consistent conversation with your Father, leaning on Him for health, guidance, wisdom, comfort, and peace.
  7. Give thanks! Be thankful for all your blessings. Being thankful will fulfill your soul, and lead to good health and a positive outlook on life.
  8. Enjoy life. Ensure that you are living a life of balance. Don’t let your priorities get skewed to the point that you are feeling stressed over things that at the end of the day, really don’t matter. Insure that you are taking time to have fun and enjoy this amazing gift of life!

Taking care of yourself is not selfish; it is mandatory if you want to maximize your ability to effectively serve others. What are you doing to hold yourself accountable in this area?

Mark Deterding

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20