They say to fill your own cup first. Oh, wait..that’s not quite right. They say to put your oxygen mask on before helping others. But for the purpose of this post, we are going with the cup analogy.
Many of you who are drawn to my blog are caregivers by nature if not profession. You take care of kids, pets, parents, clients, students, patients, etc. You have a big heart and caring spirit. You are generous and kind. This makes you a cherished member of your family and your community. All of these beautiful qualities you have are the same qualities that can also lead to mental and/or physical exhaustion.
As someone who genuinely cares about other people, it can be hard to take time to nurture yourself. We tell ourselves there isn’t time or money. We tell ourselves our families can’t survive without us directing the traffic of the details in our daily lives.
Just like the analogy of putting the oxygen mask on first, if your cup is empty, you have nothing to give. Filling your own cup is essential. Think about it. How can you pour something out of an empty cup?
Taking care of yourself and filling your own cup is not selfish. It is a way to be more generous because you will have more to give. The photographs in this post were taken the last time I took a time-out. I took a time-out with dear friends in Northern California in January. Not only did being in California offer a glorious reprieve from the winter of Idaho, but being with dear friends filled my soul.
I came back to my daily life invigorated, inspired, refreshed, recharged and was reminded that life is bigger than the daily details. I made a commitment to do something like this every six months as part of my self-care.
People ask me how I juggle owning two businesses, teaching full time, writing a book and directing an honor choir. I am diligent about my self-care. I keep my own cup full.
Here are 5 ways you can keep your own cup full.
- Schedule one thing every week that is just for pure pleasure and joy for you. Reading a beautiful novel for a few hours, taking a yoga class, going on a hike, going to the movies, a barbecue with friends, cooking and eating a delicious and nutritious meal, looking up new recipes, spending no-guilt time on Pinterest or Facebook…. whatever makes you happy!
- Take some time alone every day. Even if it’s 10 minutes behind the bathroom door is all you can manage, that will make a big difference. When my daughter was little, I used to set the microwave timer for 10 minutes and then go into my room or my office to do whatever I wanted, even if it was just to lay down. I would tell her unless it was a 3-B (Bleeding, barfing or broken) she couldn’t interrupt. It has provided us both with a great way to recharge and instilled good self-care habits in her.
- Schedule a time to recharge yourself at least twice a year. Take yourself out of your normal daily life. Go on a long weekend. Or stay home and turn off your phone and computer for the weekend. Go camping. Take a stay-cation and go explore your own city (but leave the dishes until the stay-cation is over). Schedule a larger-scale trip with your friends and their partners. But make sure it is a way to recharge. (Don’t come home needing a vacation from your vacation.)
- Find some like-minded people to spend quality time with on a regular basis. When your friends just “get you”, it is an amazing feeling. These are the people you don’t even have to think about being around; it just feels easy and simple. If you haven’t found this kind of friend yet, keep looking. Set an intention to find them. They need you as much as you need them. Get out of the house and go do something you love. That’s how you’ll meet them.
- Allow yourself to rest when you are tired. It probably seems obvious. But I’ve been someone who went through years, literally years, sleep deprived. I made a commitment after a significant health scare that I would rest my body when I was tired. My life dramatically changed. Everything fell into place. My finances improved. My thinking cleared. I found like-minded friends. I discovered my passion. My teaching job changed into something that was a great fit. Literally everything fell into place when I started sleeping. Most of us are so practiced at being tired we don’t even recognize it.
- Set a timer for 7 minutes. Get your sit bones close to a wall that has some open space, lie down on your back and swing your legs so that you can prop your legs up on the wall. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. By doing this you calm your nervous system, nourish your brain with freshly oxygenated blood and rest your body. You’ll be immediately recharged and thinking more clearly.
Scroll down to see in the photos this was a magical weekend filled with friendship, laughter, beauty and peace. (P.S. This was the weekend I gave up gluten. It’s amazing to see the difference giving up gluten has made.)
Be sure to tune in next week. I have something very special for you: a guest blogger!! National best-selling author and playwright Sands Hall will be on the blog on Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day)!
My mission is to spread love and light far and wide. If you like this post, please share it. I’m grateful to you for reading this. Thank you for being a part of my journey and sharing this me.
I’ll be back on Thursday with your Thursday tip and on Saturday with your weekly angel card reading.
All my love!
Follow me on Facebook here.
Follow me on Twitter here.
Follow me on Instagram here.