Since February is the month of love, I thought it would be fun to do a “loving your health” series. As women, especially as mamas, we tend to focus on loving others and taking care of them and that can leave our own health lacking. In this series, I hope to give you small, little ways to add to your own health. Things that will be so easy to incorporate into your daily life, they will not only NOT drain you, they will actually fill you up.
So what exactly does loving your health mean? It’s taking time to focus on giving some loving to yourself by focusing on your mind, body and soul. Taking an inventory at where our health is in each of those areas and see what we can do to improve them. We are more than just a physical body. We are a spirit, we have a soul, we think and express emotion. And all of these intertwine and affect each other.
This first week, in loving our health, I want to focus on our mind- specifically through relationships. Our mental health affects our physical health and every other area of our life. Suicide rates have skyrocketed. It is estimated that 40,000 people will take their lives this year in the United States alone. Wow! That is so sad.
And even worse is that this isn’t just one life lost-as if that weren’t bad enough. Each of these lives, each of our lives, deeply affect others. As John Donne said, “No man is an island unto himself.” Relationships. Possibly the most important word in the English language.
Loving our health means building up relationships.
Our mental health affects our relationships. And relationships can influence our mental health as well. When things are going well with our relationships with others, it can bring more joy and contentment in our life. Don’t get me wrong. There is no replacing our relationship with Christ and the joy and contentment that only He can give. But even as we draw closer to Him, we should be naturally drawn closer to other believers.
When things aren’t going well with our relationships, it can consume us, stress us, and greatly weigh on our minds. But when relationships are good, we feel loved, wanted, happy and confident to take on the world. Just think of any young person in love. The world is their’s for the taking. It truly seems as if they see the world through rose colored (or rose Insta filtered) glasses. They’ve been twitter-pated, as Thumper would say.
But unfortunately that feeling fades as reality and the truth of how messed up we all can be become apparent. Relationships are hard. But they are worth it. Even more so in our day with so much “social” interaction yet with so little real life, in the trenches, interaction.
So if relationships are so hard, yet worth it, what do we do? How do we cultivate and build them? How do we make them healthy, thereby making ourselves healthier?
We admit we mess up.
Then we love even more.
I want to challenge you to show love this week in your relationships. To give and not expect anything in return. Do some random acts of kindness. Fill someone else up. It doesn’t have to be anything big or glorious. Maybe just a text or card to say you notice and appreciate them. But do something to build up someone else. You may be surprised at how much it builds you up as well.
Loving your health means focusing on all the people that pour into our lives.
Please make sure you hear me right. I’m not just talking about marriage here. I’m talking about friends, children, neighbors. All the people we do life with. Even those we may not know their names. Like the lady at the grocery store who seems to always be working and checks us out. Or the librarian who always has the perfect book selection for our kiddos. Maybe even that police officer who is always on duty keeping our neighborhood safe on his watch. All of these people who pour into our lives in some way.
This week our church challenged us to do this by what we call “Love Week”. We are even given a goodie bag with a list of ideas and treats to help us get started. I thought I’d share them with you to help give you some ideas too.
30 Ways of Loving Your Health by Building Relationships
- Pay for the meal of the car behind you in a drive through.
- Send a “Thank You” card to local law enforcement or individual officers.
- Send a “Thank You” card to a local teacher.
- Visit a homebound or elderly neighbor.
- Pack a care package for the homeless.
- Help a neighbor in their yard or with housework.
- Volunteer or visit those in the nursing home.
- Donate used books to a local library.
- Return all the shopping carts to the store at your local grocery store.
- Send flowers to your spouse or significant other or parents.
- Call an old friend just to thank them for their love and influence in your life.
- Pick up trash in your neighborhood, school campus or work.
- Donate blood.
- Donate clothing to the local Salvation Army or other non-profit/ministry.
- Help someone load or unload their groceries from their car.
- Pay for someone else’s gas.
- Take a home baked treat to a neighbor.
- Tell your children’s school bus driver how much you appreciate them.
- Return your neighbor’s garbage can to their house after the garbage collection.
- Send a “Thank You” card to your boss or employees.
- Buy someone a movie ticket.
- Wash someone’s car.
- Take a new friend/acquaintance out to lunch.
- Call your relatives that you don’t see/talk to often.
- Arrange for a night out with the kids so your spouse can enjoy a quiet evening at home.
- Go on a date with your spouse.
- Weed someone’s flower bed.
- Bring breakfast to a co-worker.
- Bring a co-worker or classmate coffee.
- Volunteer at a local school.
What a list! Surely you can find at least a few things on that list that you can do to pour into others. And if not, it should at least get you going with some ideas of your own.
Does loving our health really mean building others up?
You may be thinking, “What does this have to do with loving our health or our minds?” If we are more happy, content, joyful when our relationships are stronger then it just makes sense to build up those relationships. The natural byproduct will be a building up of our own mind. Or a loving our health.
Solomon tells us that to have friends we must be a friend. (Prov 18:24) He also reminds us that two are better than one because they can help each other succeed. If one falls, the other can reach out and help. (Ecc 4:9-10) And when we know that we don’t have to walk through life alone. We are certain we have a support group of friends that we can rely on. We are more optimistic, confident, and more likely to overcome trials. All of which add up to a healthier us.
So get out there and show some love to others this week. Start some love habits. And see if you notice your mindset changing, relationships growing. You may even notice your physical health improving. All by showing love and loving your health.