You can’t pour from an empty cup. Do you intentionally fill up your cup?
As busy women with careers, businesses, and families, we’re high-performing achievers that always try to give our best to everything – and this takes a lot out of us!
Many of us understand that we need to fill our cup, but we don’t. Some of that comes down to the guilt that surrounds self-care. There’s a pervasive idea that it feels selfish or indulgent, or that you’re ignoring your responsibilities. It’s not, by the way – you are important too and you need to give yourself permission to decompress and have fun!
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Another reason is time. When trying to take care of your ever-mounting list of priorities, self-care often falls to the bottom.
Failing to take care of yourself hurts in the long run, for both health and productivity. Trying to deal with life’s challenges when your glass is empty runs you down physically and mentally, and makes you more vulnerable to illness (and yes, chronic stress is an illness).
You’re also not the only one who suffers. Ignoring your own self-care also hinders your ability to help the people you love in times of need, which can lead to strain in your relationships in the long term.
So how do you start filling your cup so that you can love others better? Here are three things you can do to begin your journey.
When negativity comes to play, it can make for a crummy day – if you let it.
A lot of us don’t realize just how much negative chatter is going on in our brains, even right now! The problem is, a lot of us listen to this chatter and internalize it as truth.
Change that self-talk by first being aware of the chatter in the first place. What are you saying to yourself on a daily basis? What do you tell yourself when you succeed? When you make a mistake?
If you notice that you’re telling yourself some ugly things, it’s time for that to change. Start with your successes. At the end of each day, reflect on your accomplishments and the hard work it took to get there. Don’t forget to give yourself credit!
There are bad things that can happen in the world and in your life, and there’s no getting around that. A big part of filling your cup is redirecting your energy towards constructive mindsets versus destructive mindsets. Instead of draining yourself by dwelling on the negative, you have the choice to reach a more energized and positive state of being that trickles down to the rest of your life.
It’s not that you’re ignoring the negative, either. With a grateful mindset, you become more quick to realize your true capabilities to deal with problems, and that those problems aren’t so bad when put into perspective.
Practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be difficult. You can take five minutes during your morning walk to go over everything in your life that you’re grateful for in that moment. If you meditate or journal, use a session to meditate on your gratitude, or write about something great that happened recently.
If you’re not sure what to be grateful for, start with something more general like “I have running water” or “I have a working car to get around”. Start simple and work your way up. Then you’ll find yourself booming with blessings!
Without clear boundaries in life, you are vulnerable to burnout simply because you’re less likely to realize that you are being overextended. By taking the time to solidify your boundaries and stick to them, you demonstrate to others that you respect your time and space and that they should too.
Boundary setting can include big-picture emotional boundaries, such as surrounding yourself with positive relationships and people that support your life mission, and distancing yourself from toxic individuals who do not want you to pursue happiness.
If you’re having difficulty determining your boundaries, journaling or seeking professional counsel can be a great way to start that process of self-discovery and put you on the right path for living your best life.
Self-care is also included here, whether that’s a mani/pedi, massage, me time, exercise, etc. Make it clear, to yourself and others, that those two hours are blocked out just for you! There is nothing wrong with taking that time to refresh yourself, especially when you come out the other end revitalized and ready to roll!
Danica Vince Cruz
Danica is the founder of Danica VC Media, a brand-forward marketing agency helping authentic businesses achieve clarity and showcase their real value. She developed a profound love for stories after living abroad in Monte Carlo, Monaco for 6 years, and visiting 15 countries along the way. When not helping companies build their brands, you can find her scuba diving with the sharks, practicing calligraphy, or debating with people that having a last name with two words is perfectly normal.