Roadblocks to Self Care

You’ve been there…you had great intentions to take care of yourself…to stay on track…but then something happens and you end up off track.

It happens to you, and it happens to me. I know how to eat right, but I don’t always do it.  I know it is important to exercise, but I don’t always do it.  As a follower of Jesus, I know the importance of spending time in the Word and praying daily, but I don’t always do it.



As I have been learning and living out self care in my life, I have seen tremendous results in my personal life.  I am more patient.  I am able to be present with my kids.  I feel better.  I am better able to set and uphold my boundaries, which makes me feel safe.  I have more energy.  I am better at giving and receiving love, and I am accomplishing more in my personal and business life.  I can’t say enough about how self care has impacted my life in a positive way.

But even though I have seen some amazing results with implementing some small changes in my life, I still have days that I don’t want to take care of myself.  I have days that I want to sleep in and skip my morning routine.  I have days that I want to get one more thing done for work and have a difficult time engaging with my kids.  I have days that I get frustrated with my family.  I have days I want to be lazy and skip my workout.

So a few weeks ago, I was feeling pretty good about my self care and where I was physically, spiritually, emotionally and socially…so what did I do? I.Got.Lazy.

What do you think was the result?

All of the benefits of self care went out the window!  I was irritable and easily frustrated…I didn’t get much accomplished personally or in my business that week.  I didn’t sleep well…it was a compound effect of negative consequences both for me and my family.

This helped me realize, that we don’t need to only focus on the things we should be doing, but we need to also plan for the roadblocks that send us into the ditch of life.

We need to be attentive to the warning signs.

It’s similar to driving down the highway.  You know how to stay on the road, but every once in a while your car starts shaking violently because your tires went a tiny bit outside the line.  This warning jolts you back onto the road and keeps you out of the ditch.

So in part two of our self care plan, we need to take an honest inventory of the ditches in our lives.  What do we need and want to stay away from.

For me it is things like,

  • being overwhelmed
  • yelling at my kids
  • missing a week of working out
  • consistently skipping my time with Jesus
  • fighting with Carl
  • working late at night and then paying for it the next day

This is a small list of things I would like to avoid at all costs.  So as I built my self care plan, I took these into consideration. I made an longer list than this of things that I know aren’t good for me and that are “Ditch” activities, mindsets or behaviors.

Then I asked myself, “What happens right before this ditch list item?”

I went back through my list asking myself, “How will I know that I am about to enter the ditch?”  For instance, I know that being overwhelmed it not a good place for me.  When I am overwhelmed, I pretty much do everything else on my ditch list!  So staying out of the overwhelmed zone it SUPER important for me.  So I asked myself, “What do I feel BEFORE I feel completely overwhelmed?”

For me, I feel stressed.

So feeling stressed is a warning light for me.

Feeling stressed helps me know that I am about to be overwhelmed and feeling overwhelmed is not a good place for me.  So in my wellness plan, I have a ditch list, and a warning signs section.  And when a warning sign is triggered, I have a predetermined list of ways to correct and get back on the road.

For me, when I am stressed, I take time to stop, I first evaluate if I have engaged in my self care.  If not, I begin there.  After that, I look at my schedule.  I am a planner and when my planner is too full it stresses me out.  So when I grab my planner I look for things I can either take off my to do list completely, or things I can move to a different day, week or month.  I might cancel a meeting or postpone something a day or two.

This happened to me, just yesterday.

Typically, I have my blog ready to go a week in advance so that I can make sure I have all of the details just right.  Then I schedule it to post early Tuesday morning.  I create the emails in advance and schedule them to deploy and hit your inbox first thing Tuesday morning.

But last week was a little bit different.  I had a lot going on with family and then had a conference out of town over the weekend.  I had planned to finalize everything Monday afternoon after my counseling appointment in the morning.  But my counseling appointment ended up being amazing and eye-opening and overwhelming!  So yesterday afternoon, I needed to take time to process.

I began stressing out over not having my blog up first thing this morning, but I knew in my gut that I needed time to process, take a nap and spend time with Jesus yesterday.  I’ve learned the hard way, that when I don’t take care of myself, I am worthless to the world…beginning with myself and my family.

So yesterday, I took the afternoon to take care of myself.  That means, the blog is posted a few hours later than it usually is, but it is still here.  The perfectionist side of me had a very hard time letting me rest yesterday.  But my heart won that battle.

It isn’t an easy one, but an important one.

So here is the thing…you and I both know the importance of self care, but it isn’t always easy.  There will be things that trigger us, roadblocks along the way, and life events that can’t be avoided.  For years, I thought I just had to survive these challenges, but now I know that I can work through them and conquer them with grace and truth.

It begins with a little planning on the front end and then being aware or mindful of what it going on with your heart, soul, strength and mind. And when something is off, correcting it before it gets out of hand.  Again, it seems simple enough, but if you aren’t proactive in creating out ditch list, you are more likely to end up in the ditch.

So today’s activity it to create your ditch list and then ask yourself, “What is the warning sign that happens before I end up in the ditch?”

To help you with this, I’ve created a PDF download to walk you through this.  To request your free copy, click here: AVOID THE DITCH!

Jesus offers us a peace that passes all understanding.  We can experience this peace when we connect with Him daily.  Spending time in prayer and the Word are great ways to connect with Jesus.  As you spend time with Him, ask Him to reveal to you what areas you need to avoid in your life.  Ask Him to help you be more aware of the warning signs so that you can stay out of the ditch!

David prayed, Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” {Psalm 139:23-24, HSBC}  Will you join with David and ask God to examine your heart in order that He might lead you in the way everlasting? 

I pray you do!

Don’t forget to snag your free guide here!


I've been a follower of Jesus for over 30 years, and have been teaching God's Word to students and women for nearly 20 years! God has brought me through some difficult chapters in my own life, and now my passion is equipping women like you with tools to embrace your own unexpected chapters in life with grace and truth.

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