Sometimes we are so busy taking care of others we forget to take care of ourselves. Maybe it is that we are trying so hard to grow in Christ and correct our faults we become overwhelmed.
That is time for self-care. We need to tend to ourselves in the midst of our stressful life. Zimmerman wants us to learn positive responses in coping with stress and to give us permission to care for ourselves. As Christians, we might think self-care is selfish and ungodly. But taking care of ourselves means we will have our best to offer others.
Zimmerman provides the steps to get started in our self-care. We begin with small steps. Following Merton, she offers ways to incorporate balance, order, rhythm, and harmony into our lives.
Topics she covers include mindset (what we tell ourselves), positive affirmations, what it means to have a healthy sense of self, boundaries, spiritual self-care, solitude, talking through our secrets, being open to the beauty around us, the benefits of play, the renewing effects of exercise, the health of forgiveness, creating a place for grief, the role and importance of counseling, the benefits of connecting with others and of being generous and having gratitude.
This is a very practical book. Zimmerman gives bulleted lists of practical ways to start the renewal process in each of the areas covered in the book.
I was really impressed with this book. I would highly recommend it to anyone who feels overwhelmed or pulled in too many directions at once. You will find permission to care for yourself and will find sensible and practical way to begin doing so.
On another note, Zimmerman hooked me on page seven: “There's a Dutch word that captures what I want to convey in this book. The term is gezellig (heh-SELL-ick). Dutch people will tell you that the word cannot be translated – its meaning is a combination of cozy, quaint, nice, friendly, comfortable, relaxing, enjoyable, and gregarious. I pray,” she writes, “that as a result of reading this book you will fill your life with gezellig moments.” (7)
Being of Dutch descent, I know Zimmerman is spot on about gezellig. It was a favorite word in our home.
And Zimmerman is spot on with this book. Read it and have more gezellig moments in your life.
Lucille Zimmerman is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has counseled hurting families and individuals through the Columbine High School shooting and the events of 9/11. An affiliate faculty member of Colorado Christian University, Lucille lives in Littleton with her husband and two adult children. Find out more about her workshops, resources, and more at www.lucillezimmerman.com.
Abingdon Press, 198 pages. Publisher's product page.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.