Today, mental health and well-being is more important than ever. Self-care is a top priority if we are going to experience the life that Jesus affords each of us (John 10:10). In addition to personal mental health, soul care, and wellness, it is also crucial that we check in with our children and assess how they are doing. They are still growing and developing and are still in need of nurturing, reassurance, and guidance. We, as parents, have to teach them how to use the gifts, skill, and tools they have been given to thrive, even when life is tough, scary, and unfamiliar. For example, my two daughters, who are in high school, are learning remotely. If you have children who are learning remotely or are hybrid, I'm sure you can empathize with the reality that this style of learning has its challenges. So, when the school day is over, my husband and I encourage them to get away from the computer screen. Get outside and get some fresh air. Take a bike ride. Read on the porch. Sing. Dance. Get a snack. Talk about the frustrations of the day. Celebrate that we got through another day, by God's grace and determine that the same grace that God gave us which enabled us to get through the day, will get us through the next. What are we endeavoring to teach them? Our capacity to stand and endure is is greater than they may realize. Prayerfully, they are learning that they have been endowed with the capacity to endure, withstand, and overcome trials and challenges. Prayerfully, they are learning the importance of self-care and cultivating a personal relationship with God. Prayerfully, they are learning how to practice gratitude and change their focus from the negative to the positive, particularly when circumstances are out of our control.
Does this resonate with you? Are you able to find good news in the word of God when the world seems to generate so much bad news? Are you able to make your mental health a priority and practice self-care? Are your practices and belief systems evident to your children?
Consider the following suggestions that may help you make run at an optimal level even when the cares of life can seemingly overwhelm and deplete us. These suggestions may also be helpful to share with the young people in your life:
- Rejoice, Pray, and Give Thanks (I Thessalonians 5:15-18)
- Get a good night's sleep (Psalm 127:2)
- Demonstrate, kindness, and forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32)
- Laugh! (Proverbs 17:22)
- Sing and dance like no one is watching (Psalm 98:1)
- Get outside and get some fresh air (Psalm 23)
- Turn off the TV and opt for quiet time before the Lord--contemplative prayer, meditation, and reflection (Psalm 1:2)
- Talk with a trusted friend, pastor, or counselor about what is bothering you (Proverbs 17:17)
- Eat a good meal--treat yourself to something yummy (Nehemiah 8:10)
- Take your burdens to the Lord. Take a deep breath--breathe, rest, and relax (Matthew 11:28-29)
Father, in the name of Jesus, thank you for your Word. Thank you for being concerned about the state of our souls. Thank you that it is your desire that we do well, triumph in adversity, and live lives that bring you glory. We confess our need for your guidance, your peace, your joy, and your strength. Help us to not be discouraged by what our eyes may see or our ears may hear. Enable to wholly trust in you as we walk by faith with the assurance of victory. In Jesus' name, Amen.