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In 2023, a video was shared across social media platforms highlighting the fact that when flamingos become mothers, their pink color fades as their bodies are depleted from caring for their children. Women around the world found themselves relating to these light pink flamingos, feeling similar mental and physical depletion as they put their own needs to the side in order to care for their children.
It is not just moms who become worn down. Feeling depleted is widespread. Modern life is busy and full. Job demands, family obligations and social expectations dominate our time and attention, leaving little time for tending to our own needs. This cycle of overscheduling our lives and ignoring our needs depletes us. What once brought us joy and satisfaction now feels stressful and burdensome. To put it in flamingo terms, you start to lose your “pink”. All these signs point to the need for us to consider self care.

What is self care?
Self care involves establishing behaviors that promote overall health and well-being and reduce stress. A good self care routine takes a holistic view of health that helps to decrease vulnerability to physical and mental illness. Self care is daily maintenance that helps to lower stress levels and protect us from burn out. A wide variety of behaviors can be considered in establishing a healthy self care routine including proper nutrition, regular exercise, healthy sleep habits, deep breathing exercises, reading, journaling, and engagement in other activities that you enjoy.
Engaging in regular self care activities assists us in emotional regulation. When our stress response system is consistently activated, our brains start to respond to life’s demands as a crisis. Our brains can become dysregulated, causing situations that would have normally felt slightly annoying or inconvenient to feel overwhelming and disastrous. We become highly reactive and may feel emotionally out of control. Regular self care gives our stress response system the opportunity to rest and recover.
Many adults struggle to take the time for self care as we feel that self care sounds selfish. We may feel that taking time for ourselves means we are taking time away from others who need us. However, proper self care ensures that we will have the time, energy and emotional capacity to serve those around us.

How to start a self care routine
If the concept of self care is new to you, you may wonder where to start. Consider taking some time to reflect on what aspects of your life consume the most of your time. Are you able to restructure your daily schedule to allow space for self care? Do you have any underlying beliefs about yourself that prevent you from establishing a healthy self care routine? What needs to change in order for you to feel permission to take some time for yourself?
Once you are mentally on board, start small. Take a few minutes to go for a walk, using that time to notice and reflect on your surroundings rather than making a mental “to do” list. Call a friend. Play a game with your kids. Read a book. Notice the tension that you carry in your body and relax it away. Breathe.

Biblical perspective
When God created the world, He modeled healthy self care by resting on the seventh day. God himself is all powerful. He doesn’t get tired. Yet He knew that His creation would need rest so He modeled it for us. Humans are a part of His creation who struggle against our Creator’s design for healthy life as lived out in submission to Him, often wishing we were in control or all powerful ourselves.
Throughout the Bible, God gives his people reminders to rest and to submit ourselves to the One who never tires. During His earthly ministry, Jesus repeatedly takes time away from the crowds and from His disciples to rest and to pray, acknowledging the limits of human flesh. Notice how Jesus turned to our Heavenly Father for rest, and He offers us the same opportunity to seek rest and encouragement from Him as he shares, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:29).

Have you lost your “pink”? Are you feeling burnt out? If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping, a loss of interest in what you used to find enjoyable, irritability, or a constant sense of feeling overwhelmed, consider engaging in more self care. Acknowledge your God-given limitations and allow yourself to find rest. If the idea of self care feels unrealistic or unattainable, ask for support. If you are not sure who to ask, call or email our counseling center at [email protected]