At A Glance – How we take care of ourselves is directly related to how we take care of our money. We cannot be the best version of ourselves if our bank accounts are empty. The same is true if our “health accounts” are empty.
Here are some wise words from my good friend, Brenda Koinis at www.smoothersailing.com.
On this site, stewardship usually refers to fiscal responsibility, to using money well for ourselves and, even more importantly, for others. But have you considered how well you steward your very self? Let me explain what I mean.
We all have purposes to fulfill: people to love, acts of service and kindness to perform, financial matters to which we must attend…But how well do we fulfill our purpose when we are sick? How many hours and dollars do we lose each year to subpar health?
When donuts and Netflix (or whatever your version of indulgence might be) are calling our names, do we evaluate the physical cost the way we would a financial investment or expenditure? It’s fine to spend some of our hard-earned cash on frivolity, but we budget—or we ought to. We think about how much to give, to save, and to spend.
Maybe it’s time to look at our “health accounts” in much the same way as we look at our bank accounts.
How We Fuel Our Body
You don’t need me to tell you that it matters what you eat. But sometimes we use the confusing diets described on the internet as an excuse to just give up and eat whatever sounds good at the moment. If you’re doing that, it’s costing you, even if you haven’t received the bill yet. Try this for starters:
- Eat a lot of produce (you know, plants—fruit and veggies) every day. Buy favorites on every shopping trip, and toss in a few new ones to try. Raw, steamed, roasted in the oven at 425 degrees—just find a way that works.
- Drink mostly water, and plenty of it.
- Limit junk food—sugary, greasy, processed stuff that can’t be good for any of us.
- Keep the meat lean and the grains “whole”. Better yet, give brown rice and baked sweet potatoes a try as substitutes for a bunch of sliced bread.
And that’s enough. Get those four habits firmly established, and you won’t have to think much about the latest diet craze. You’ll already be giving your body the boost it needs from good nutrition.
How We Move Our Body
Of course, there’s exercise to consider—another worthy investment. Gyms are great because once we show up, we’re likely to stick with our routine for the day. Work-out groups work because there’s some social pressure involved. But all we really have to do is find a way to move that makes us happy—or at least makes us willing to don our sneakers and do it again the day after tomorrow.
- Dance in the living room to favorite tunes.
- Take a fast walk somewhere beautiful or with someone delightful.
- Take up a sport, ride a bike, check out a few exercise video options…
Get sweaty for at least 30 minutes 3 times a week. When you’ve got that down, build on it. Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. It just has to be consistent.
How We Rest Our Body
Then we need to rest. (And rest comes more easily when we’ve exercised and avoided the heartburn of a double pepperoni pizza!) We live in a frenzied culture that seems to scream, “There’s no time to take a break!” Truth is, there’s not time to keep going, because we don’t have time to be sick or burned out. Rest doesn’t just happen for most of us. It has to be scheduled like regular additions to a savings account. The dividends paid in consistent energy and good health are terrific.
- Use a calendar that shows a month at a time. Find “white space” and guard it carefully.
- Before turning on the latest video, make sure it isn’t going to result in too little sleep.
- Learn that it’s okay to say “no” to worthy activities if they lead to a state of chronic exhaustion.
If all that looks impossible, it may be time to evaluate life. Look for places to trim the activity budget and rebalance the time portfolio.
How We Bring Peace To Our Mind And Body
Just one more point today: We talk about a life of financial peace, but how much is that worth if we don’t have peace in all the other areas of our lives? Living a worry-free life of trust in the Lord who loves us is one of the healthiest choices we can make. Easy? No, probably not. Simple? Actually, yes.
- Recognize that God made us, loves us, wants the best for us, and is perfectly able to meet all our needs. Start talking to Him. Start remembering that He is right there all the time.
- Stop listening to a steady diet of depressing news and entertainment. Those are permanent deposits. So where is it we want our thoughts to go? It’s time to start choosing our input accordingly.
- When anxious or worried, count your blessings. Old school? Sure, but I think you’ll find it works. As we begin to thank God for all the good things in our lives, for all the ways He’s taken care of us in the past, the present difficulties become less worrisome.
Stewardship is the job of taking care of something. Let’s keep taking care of our money, but let’s all do a good job of taking care of ourselves as well.
By Brenda Koinis
Key Takeaway – Stewardship is the job of taking care of something. Let’s keep taking care of our money, but let’s all do a good job of taking care of ourselves as well.
Assignment – Write down one thing you can do to improve each of the areas listed above. Fuel: Can you make a healthier choice at one meal today? Move: Can you walk for 30 minutes tomorrow? Rest: Try eliminating one hour of TV or consolidating errands. Peace: Spend 15 minutes with the Lord in the mornings. Now post your list where you can see it every day and enjoy the new deposits in your “health account”!
Coming Soon – Travel Rewards