Let me start by saying the title is a liiiiittle “click-baity.” I am not saying that “self-care” is wrong. I don’t think that is the case. I think it is healthy to take time to take care of mental health and to work in rest and relaxation to a schedule.
What I am saying is our culture’s obsession with it being the only thing to solve widespread anxiety and stress is wrong.
We live in a society now that is very quick to say that we need to take mental health days, that we need to unwind every day. I get a notification it seems like 4 times a day from my watch to “Take a Mindful Moment.” We, as a society, have become obsessed with self-care.
I, personally, think that is because we are experiencing a widespread decline in mental health and increase in anxiety and stress. The reasons why I think are obvious. Political divide, new normal, constant change, wars, the list goes on.
So, at face value there is a huge problem, and we are trying to solve it. And, at face value, self-care is a perfectly viable option. I even started by saying it’s healthy. But it is intrinsically focused on ourselves solving problems that we have no business solving.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30
As Christians, our answer shouldn’t be going on a walk, taking a nap, going to the spa, taking a mental health day, when it is void of going to the Lord. Again, caveat, I am not saying that we can “out faith” or “out pray” our problems. There are issues that are legitimate, and we are not facing them because of lack of faith.
But are we trying to solve them without taking them to the Lord? We just celebrated Easter. We have a LIVING Hope. Scripture talks about how Jesus is like water that we will never thirst from again.
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares about you.” – 1 Peter 5:7
We should be leading the way of trying to introduce the world to the source that can truly provide long lasting relief from anxiety and stress. We shouldn’t be caught up in the world’s take of solving the problem that is void of hope. That is temporary.
That’s my point. We are caught up in agreeing that self-care and us trying to heal ourselves is the solution. May our lives reflect that Christ is our foundation and in the face of trials, anxiety, we can still feel all those things but rest IN HIM. Not our self.
- Taylor Dooley