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Almost three years ago, I walked across the stage, gave a little squeal and grabbed my diploma from the dean. It was an exciting day to have family and friends celebrating the accomplishment with me. I finally completed my Master of Arts in Counseling and was excited to see how the Lord would use it.
A lot has happened since that day in December of 2012.
I taught my first class at a local undergraduate college.
I got married.
I lived through a house fire.
I worked 40 hours a week at one job and saw clients 10 hours a week at another in order to complete the 3,000 hours needed to receive my full license as a counselor.
I started a private practice to help individuals who have experienced trauma.
This season really has been exciting and very busy for me.
The most humbling lesson I’ve learned in the past three years is I cannot be completely present when caring for others if I am not also caring for myself. I learned that I had to prioritize my own self-care above serving and loving others.
I also learned this doesn’t mean I am being selfish.
Perhaps my story resonates with you. The Lord may have gifted you to effectively build relationships when others are drawn to you for advice, counsel and wisdom. This is a common trait for many counselors and ministry leaders. You have a great passion to serve and to help others, but you find yourself stretched too thin from over-committing to activities and people.
Here are some tips to implement this week that will keep you healthy as you counsel and serve others!
These disciplines have been essential for me to implement in this busy season of life. Taking the time to care for myself has allowed me to be fully present with my family, friends and clients. For further reading, I recommend:
What are some other tips you have for caring for yourself in order to care for others?