Self-care is a foreign concept in a fast-paced society like ours. We frequently get caught in our mundane, never-ending to-do list, while focusing on the completion of the task, and the next task after that. Far too often we forget to think about our own needs and fall short in planning to care for ourselves. So, what exactly is self-care and why is it important?
Self-care is taking time for yourself and doing things you like to do so you don't feel drained all the time. I like to visualize self-care as a cup of water. Every time we put energy into something like work, school, parenting, relationships, etc., we pour water out of our own cup and into someone else's cup. At the end of a busy day we can be left with an empty cup while looking longingly at everyone else’s full cups. On the days with an empty cup it can be exhausting and inefficient, as you can't fill someone else’s cup if your own is empty. So, how do you refill your cup while balancing life and still check the boxes on your to-do lists?
1. Notice what small things give you joy. Next time you find yourself smiling, take a second to remember what you are doing, no matter how small of a moment it may seem. Your cup will be a little fuller whenever you notice something that brings you joy.
2. Learn to say no. Sometimes, the people in your life might ask for a little too much, and that can leave your cup is as dry as an overcooked cake. Remember that it is okay to say no to take care of yourself. Spreading yourself too thin while not having self-care as a priority can leave you with little to no energy or motivation.
3. Be aware of your limit. If you find yourself feeling drained at a certain time each day, or when dealing with a certain person, be mindful of that and it's effects. When you notice a limit you can plan ahead to deal with the unpleasant time or person and/or engage in something that you know will put a little water back in your cup.
Everyone will refill their cups in a different way; the above tips can help you on your journey to figure out how to get the most water in your cup so that you have plenty to spare.