Self Care is all about how we care for ourselves.
Self care is the second in the the group of Missionary Care principles after Savior Care. It begins with identifying the holistic self: our physical, spiritual, emotional, financial, social and mental needs. Then we need to ensure that in our lives we have a way of taking care of ourselves. Below are some of the key ways we can do this. Caring for ourselves needs to come as part of a balanced mission environment. Factors to check of yourself:
- Spiritual – time with God, dealing with sin – we need to guard our time with God – be accountable – have people be accountable to you. To understand more about God's role in our lives as missionaries, see Savior Care.
- Social – develop friendships, links and relationships outside mission.
- Mental – study, set goals, be involved in activities outside of your calling.
- Physical – get enough exercise, eat well, rest, general health care.
- Emotional – set boundaries and be disciplined. Deal with conflict when it arises - see conflict resolution.
- Financial – save money, do your part. For more information, see page on personal fundraising.
These are some topics that may help you when looking after yourself in missions:
Dealing with stress
The amount of stress an individual can 'handle' depends on a variety of factors including: diet, exercise, family history, make-up, personality etc. For more information and detail, see Stress Management.
External symptoms of stress
Stress often has external factors which affect us. These include: Difficulties in resolving conflicts, fears, with no basis in reality, general critical attitude, generalized hatred, hostility to unrelated objects and persons, immorality, impatience, insensitivity to others’ needs, intolerance for others, irritability, rebellion to authority, rebellion to God, smoldering resentment, often toward unrelated objects, uncontrolled temper outbursts
There are also internal factors which affect us, these include: spiritual-emotional symptoms, such as: Accident proneness, anxiety (no specific focus), apathy, depression, false guilt, feeling distant from God, indecision, nervousness, overwhelming discouragement, panic attacks, psychosis, self-condemnation, aense of failure, sense of total inadequacy, sexual dysfunction, short-term memory loss, sleep disturbances
There are also physical symptoms, such as: Allergies, angina, appetite disturbances, arthritis, asthma, eating disorders, fatigue, gastrointestinal distress, headaches, migraines, hypertension, hypoglycemia, musculo-skeletal pain, especially, back, neck and shoulders numbness, trembling
It is not uncommon for people in YWAM to experience burnout from time to time. It can be a serious condition and can take time to recover from. It is also possible to avoid burnout.
Test yourself now for burnout