You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Let me explain. We give so much attention to others: our family, our work, our friends, our commitments that we forget to give a little attention to ourselves. We fill everyone’s cup around us and let ours become bone dry. Being everything to everyone isn’t sustainable.
How much TLC (tender loving care) do you show yourself? To some, the notion of self-care and filling “our own cup” is foreign. Where self-care can at times be a luxury it is, at all times, a necessity! Setting aside deliberate time for yourself, without feeling guilty, is a must!
To be quiet and focus on yourself in a world that never stops can be difficult. Many are homeschooling, working from home, chauffeuring children, and juggling all sorts of other plates.
Take deliberate moments to be kind to yourself. Lean into you. Taking time to fill your cup matters. Ask yourself this question: “if I had a few minutes or even an hour to do anything what would I do?” Ponder your answer and then decide to do something about it.
“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” – Unknown
Practical Cup Fillers
Don’t take yourself so seriously. Your world can run without you while you give yourself some much-needed TLC. Here are some simple ideas I’ve come up with to help you begin refilling your cup.
- Find some green space. Go outside. Find a park or any natural environment. Take a walk in the woods. The Japanese call this “forest bathing”. I love the picture it conjures up for me-you alone with nature.
- Take a walk-move your body! Walking is the ultimate anti-depressant. Not only is exercise good for your body and your cardiovascular system, but it’s great for your mental health too.
- Create a sanctuary. Find a spot for reflection. Maybe it’s a walk-in closet, a bathtub (remember “Calgon take me away”?), a sunroom, or a porch swing. Wind down, take stock of your emotions, breathe. Feeling uninspired? Getting away can help. When we close the door to the world we invite creativity in.
- Indulge. Live a little. Go to the movies. Get a massage. Read a book (click here for some of my favorites). Go shopping. Take a cooking class. Wear sweatpants or stay in your pj’s. Buy yourself some flowers. There are no rules-treat yourself like a queen or king for a few hours or, better yet, for a whole day.
- Take time off. Reconnect with your peers. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick or exhausted. Your friends will. Stay in touch with them.
- Feed yourself well. Enjoy a meal that’s good for you. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and less manufactured processed foods. Eat slowly and listen to your stomach “speak to you”. It will “tell” you when it’s full. While you’re at it, drink lots of water. The Mayo Clinic suggests that a reasonable amount is 8 glasses each day.
- Set boundaries. Without clear and firm boundaries you are setting yourself up for an inevitable empty cup. Take the time to set boundaries. This will show others that you respect your time and that they should too. Remember, everytime you say “yes” to something you are saying “no” to something else that may be more important.
- Meditate on how great you are. I’m serious. Take time to affirm yourself. Speak words of life over yourself. There are plenty of negative unsupportive people out there that will knock you down…don’t you dare be one of them!
Speaking affirming words to yourself is key! I recently created some beautiful Affirmation Cards that I’d like to share with you. If you want to make some positive changes in your life you can start with my cards and then create your own!
Mindset Cup Fillers
There are some cup fillers that aren’t as obvious as the ones I listed above. Sometimes it’s our mindset that can empty our cup. Negative thoughts and self-limiting beliefs can hold us back and make us a fraction of the person we should be. The following are some positive thoughts to help fill your cup.
- You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
- Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil your future.
- Try to make at least 3 people smile each day.
- You are too blessed to be stressed.
- No one is in charge of your happiness. You are.
- Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
- Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, revenge, issues of the past, negative thoughts, or things you cannot control.
- Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.
- You can’t make everyone happy (you’re not a jar of Nutella 😉)
- Laughter is great medicine.
- Actions speak louder than words.
- Don’t change so people will like you. Be your one-of-a-kind perfectly imperfect self!
- This too shall pass. Frame every so-called disaster with the words: “In five years will this matter?”
- Ask for help. You are not Wonder Woman or Superman!
Decide to stop the “noise” and devote some much-needed time to you. You will be much better for it and the people around you will notice the positive change in you.
Schedule “me time” and stick to it! Be intentional and deliberate or you won’t follow through. TLC isn’t an every once in a while thing either. You deserve “me time” on a regular basis. Once you have your self-care appointment scheduled, consider it sacred. It’s ultra-important…just like you are.
I’d love to know ways you fill your cup? Drop me a line or reply to this email and let me know. I’m always looking for more ways to give myself more TLC.