In the New Testament, Jesus Christ was approached by a lawyer who asked him a trick question: which is the greatest commandment in the law of Moses? Since the law of Moses included several hundred points and commandments, this was a loaded question. His response was as follows: Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. –Matthew 22:37-40. So, the second most important commandment is to “love thy neighbor as thyself”. This means we need to not only love others around us, we need to love ourselves too. Loving ourselves includes good, positive, healthy self-care.
Ideas for Good Self-Care:
*Do not criticize yourself. Criticizing yourself involves putting yourself down, including calling yourself names. Usually this is done in an attempt to motivate yourself to try to change and improve. However, the effect is usually not positive change at all. Instead, the results of putting yourself down is lower confidence, energy, and esteem, resulting in little if any positive change occurring. In fact, usually criticizing yourself and tearing yourself down makes things worse.
*Do not scare yourself. When you imagine worst case scenarios, this usually just scares yourself and creates stress and anxiety. When asking yourself the worst possible “what ifs”, there is usually a positive intention to plan, prepare, and protect yourself against bad things happening in the future. Fine. However, it usually only takes a brief time to come up with a decent plan to deal with most issues in life. Beyond that point, scaring yourself is not effective and actually just makes life miserable. So as soon as you know what you will basically do about a threat or concern, please work to let it go and move on to more positive focuses.
*Treat yourself like a favorite person. When you think of the commandment to “love thy neighbor” and “love one another”, imagine a person in your life you love most and are especially close to. How do you treat him or her? Pretty well, I would assume. Practice treating yourself as well as you would this other person. The idea of “being your own best friend” might sound like a corny old saying, but there is great wisdom in the idea. Treating yourself like this will help you like and love yourself more, which builds self-esteem and value.
*Praise yourself. The opposite of criticizing yourself is to praise yourself. When you are successful at things—both big and little—and give yourself praise afterwards, you build up your self-esteem. With this increased energy, you are then better able to make improvements and positive changes elsewhere as well. Many are afraid of praising themselves, for fear of becoming “stuck up” or “narcissistic”. However, praising yourself does not need to include telling yourself that you are better than others. Good healthy praise just relates to you and your personal successes, period.
Humility is retained by healthy praise when it is combined with giving thanks and appreciation to the Lord for his role in your blessings as well. Remember the following scripture to help praise yourself properly: And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments. –Doctrine & Covenants 59:21. In sum, praise yourself, and thank the Lord as well.
*Reach out to others. When you need help, support, or assistance, ask for it. Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or associates as needed. As long as this request is periodic and not excessive, other people will probably help you. Don’t worry about “putting people out”. When you only reach out to others when you really need it, you actually give others the valuable chance to serve, help, and be charitable. Do not deprive them of this blessing. And remember, it is being strong to ask for help when you need it.
*Take care of your body. Healthy eating, sleeping, exercise, and weight maintenance is a gift given to yourself. Good physical self-care will improve your overall health. Other benefits include better moods, more energy, and improved appearance. And remember, caring for your body keeps you in line with the Word of Wisdom from Doctrine & Covenants 89.
By following the guidelines from the Word of Wisdom we are promised the following: And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint. And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen. –Doctrine & Covenants 89:18-21.
Healthy, positive self-care is a commandment, as well as a smart, practical approach to life. There is an old saying: “you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar”. When you give yourself “honey” (positive treatment), you enrich your life with health, happiness, and positive energy. Your mood and confidence will increase, and other positive changes and improvements will follow. Please remember to “love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:39), and that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).