Being a mama has taught me so much, but one of the lessons I'm most grateful for is that how we care for our physical body matters.
Jesus used motherhood to expose some really ugly beliefs I held about my body and the way I should care for it.
I see our generation struggling more than most with the idea that our worth is directly connected to what we achieve, and as a result we’re forgetting to prioritize true self-care.
Practicing Self-Care Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Trust Jesus
Even in Christian culture, we cheer for the people who work harder + longer in the name of Jesus (never stopping to wonder what toll it’s taking on their body or if Jesus actually asked them to exhaust themselves in his name).
For much of my life, the condition of my soul was emphasized so much more than the condition of my physical self that I never learned how to listen for my body's needs.
I never understood that nourishing my body and resting well are as much a spiritual practice as prayer or worship.
And certainly, I never considered myself anxious. That term seemed awfully dramatic and clinical for someone who was functioning just fine.
And of course, there’s the flippant way we’ve been taught to handle our big feelings: conceal, don’t feel, don’t let it show how sensitive and serious you are because Jesus wants us to have the joy, joy, joy, joy.
Anxiety Can Be A Symptom of Imbalance in Your Body
I read an article a few days ago that said postpartum anxiety is much more common than postpartum depression. And I thought, “man I wish someone had grabbed my hand and told me that a whole bunch of years ago.”
Everyone is on high-alert for PPD, but I never knew that a clenched jaw, a tapping foot, or a sensitivity to noise were signs of anxiety.
A couple of babies, a couple of IUD’s I should have never opted for, and years of paraben-filled makeup and lotion slathered on my skin had my endocrine system so out of sorts that my brain’s fight or flight response was perpetually activated.
On top of eating well + sleeping more, I threw every skin-care product I owned in the trash and either made a natural DIY version or replaced it with a non-toxic brand.
From makeup all the way to dry shampoo, if it wasn’t safe enough to eat I didn’t put it on my skin.
I had no idea how good my body could feel until I decided to love it fiercely.
Essential Oils Have a Unique Impact on the Brain
Our culture has an unhealthy obsession with fearlessness. We all want to be fierce and brave and we tell our kids not to be afraid of the baseball flying towards their face.
But fear has it’s place. It keeps us from walking in front of speeding trucks and from laying our hand on stove tops (and from standing still while the baseball busts us in the nose). Personally, I’m grateful for fear and I often pray that a particular child of mine would find a little more of it.
The problem with fear comes when it overtakes our rational brain. Now, the fight or flight response that keeps us from getting hurt is preventing us from behaving logically.
Now we’re afraid of the baseball when it’s only rolling on the ground. And if that primal response continues to dominate, soon we won’t even go near the ball field.
Essential oil roll-ons are my go-to remedy when my fear becomes irrational.
Good Vibes Only Roll-On Essential Oil Recipe
1 10ml roller bottle. I get mine here, but Amazon sells them as well.
Fractionated coconut oil (find it in the cooking oils section of most grocery stores. It’s just liquid coconut oil).
Frankincense, Lavender, and Lemon essential oils
Pipette, also on Amazon. Optional but makes adding the coconut oil easier.
Add 10 drops of Frankincense, 8 drops of Lavender, and 8 drops of Lemon essential oil to your roller. Fill to the top with coconut oil and replace the roller cap. Roll this blend onto your wrists or over your heart whenever your brain needs help deciding to fight, fly, or chill.