BY AMY DIXON, owner of Inner Strength Pilates, with Denise Heidel
2020 was supposed to be the year of focus and the year of vision. Basically, we started last year believing that anything was possible in 2020. And indeed, it was. But it kind of went the other direction with COVID. But let’s not go there – no one wants to talk about COVID anymore, right? After all, it’s 2021 now. We’ve already experienced a year of job losses, health scares, lockdowns, testing, masking, toilet paper shortages, and more. As one pastor put it, “You may emerge from 2020 as a monk, a hunk, a chunk, or a drunk.” Such results would completely depend on where one put their focus. And if there’s anything we’ve seen clearly from our time in 2020 – it’s that self-care is a priority.
We have all been forced to slow down and, in some cases, even stop. As we prepare for a new year, and you reflect on the last, what have you learned about yourself?
While we may be a little jaded from our last year and hesitant to believe in the possibility of hoping for good things for 2021, let’s stay open-minded and be committed to the necessity of self-care. We have to embrace the mindset that self-care isn’t a luxury. It’s an essential part of daily life. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of others. We won’t have the strength or energy to handle the daily challenges or obstacles we all face.
With all that said, let’s use 2021 to start fresh and prioritize self-care so, at the end of it, we come out with the healthiest, most balanced versions of ourselves.
First, focus on the calendar. What do we allow in our lives? What boundaries do we need to put in place? How do we manage our to-do list in a healthy way that leaves time to nourish our spirit, mind, and body? What can we say ‘Yes’ to, and as importantly, what do we say “No” to?
Second, focus on your temple. First Corinthians tells us that our body is a temple, given to us by God, for the Holy Spirit. That doesn’t mean we worship ourselves, but that we worship the One who created us. Caring about and taking care of the one body He gave us is a form of worship and appreciation to our Creator. Our bodies are miraculous, and God designed our immune systems to protect us and keep us healthy. So, we need to choose healthy foods and make sure we get plenty of rest, sunshine, and regular exercise while avoiding the things that drag our bodies down.
Third, focus on positive living. Look for joy in each day. Live by the principles of Philippians 4:8 and concentrate on the things that are good, noble, true, pure, lovely, and praiseworthy. Demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Boost your immune system. Socialize as much as you can. Journal. Be grateful. Learn new things. Pay it forward. Serve others. Take deep breaths. Pray.
Fourth, identify the things we need to let go of. What do you do with the bags filled with fear, loss of control, worry, and uncertainty? Give them to God. Jesus told us His yoke was easy, and His burdens were light (Matthew 11:30), and Peter reminded us to cast our worries on Jesus because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
The hardships of 2020 may leave scars for years, even decades to come, but we have learned much from it. And ultimately – those lessons come down to whether we move forward with a better balance and perspective…. Or if we continue to struggle and be held back by our refusal to care for ourselves as our Creator intended.
Remember – worry is when we ruminate over things that we should have given to God. Worry holds on. Prayer lets go.
Make self-care a priority in 2021, trusting in the strength God offers to all who lean on Him. At Inner Strength Pilates, our tagline asks the question, “Where does your inner strength come from?” Our business is based on Christian principles designed to nourish the lives of our clients. From Pilates, facials, massage, lymphatic detox, and postural work – we are working to help others from the inside out by choosing the best course of action for the individual – not making the person fit a routine.
Inner Strength Pilates is located at 4983 Martin View Lane, Harper Hill Commons, Winston-Salem, NC, literally just around the corner from Harris Teeter. For information on services, call 336-813-5320, visit innerstrengthpilatesnc.com or contact Amy Dixon at [email protected]. Classes and private sessions are by appointment only.