Somewhere along the line we are taught that everyone else’s needs come before our own. That taking care of ourselves translates into being selfish. The thing we don’t realize is the more we forgo our own needs, the greater risk we run to negatively impact our lives and those we care for. As a wise man once said:
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affections.”
When you are Depleted, you have Nothing to Give
I believe everyone has what we shall call a “life cup.” You know when you are feeling good, top of the world, killed it at work, made someone’s day, that cup is full. However, on the flip side we also know when it seems like climbing out of bed is an ordeal, we cry at the drop of a hat, finding life’s spark seems impossible, that cup is empty. Now life is a balance between helping others fill up their cup and getting your own cup filled. When we constantly prioritize the needs of others above our own, it depletes us. And when you try to fill someone else’s cup up when yours is empty, guess what? Nothing happens!! When you dump an empty solo cup of beer into another cup, lightbulb moment, that cup stays empty as well. So, filling your own cup up, allows you to have the ability to fill up other people’s cups. Insert aha moment.
Five ways to Integrate Self-Care – Fill that Cup Up
1. Move that body
I’m not saying you have to become a gym rat, but it is a proven fact that moving your body releases dopamine and endorphins in your brain that make you feel happy. This can be simple things, taking your dog for a walk, playing with your kids, taking the stairs at work, blast fun music while cleaning the house making it a dance party or walk and talk on the phone. It is proven that 10 minutes of exercise can elevate depressed moods.
2. Take a break from the computer, phone and social media
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, but scrolling social media accounts all day can be brutal to your self-esteem. Watching everyone’s “perfect” lives whiz by, as though they don’t have a problem in the world. Now let’s think about that, whose life is perfect? The answer is NO ONE! People don’t post when life gets hard, when they have a fight with their spouse, or their kid has a meltdown in public. It would ruin the whole perfect life facade. Social media, whether we like it or not, causes us to compare ourselves with what we are seeing posted. And if you are comparing yourself to someone’s “perfect” life, it’s hard not to feel small. So, if you do scroll, take it with a grain of salt and take it for what it is, a snapshot of great moments and not all their moments.
3. Get Outside
Do it, leave the house, get some fresh air. Nature has been linked to a host of benefits, including decreased stress and anxiety. Nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, but it also contributes to your physical wellbeing by lowering blood pressure, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Get outside, inhale the fresh air and enjoy the change of scenery.
4. Find a Creative Outlet
Go ahead, start flexing that right side brain of yours. This doesn’t mean you need to be Picasso, but everyone has the ability to be creative in some way. A few examples, baking, writing, painting, a DIY project, knitting, photography, sewing, candle making, singing, dance, or even start a blog. The possibilities are endless. We use the left side of our brain nonstop, every day, all-day. Give the poor thing a break. We all have two sides to our brains, let’s start using them. Being creative gives us a break from the never-ending decision making, planning, solving problems, all the really fun stuff in life. Being creative gives your mind a break, to be free and relax. Give it a try, what do you have to lose?
5. Treat Yourself
What would you splurge on if you could? A manicure, a massage, that trendy purse. Sometimes giving yourself that little extra can feel so good. Maybe it’s a simple as ordering dessert after dinner, without thinking how many hours on the treadmill it will take you to burn those calories off. All of us deserve to have some indulgence, without feeling guilty afterwards. Go ahead, try it, I dare you.
In closing, let yourself be a priority. Everyone knows the safety rules of an airplane, what do they tell you? In case of an emergency put your OWN oxygen mask on first before helping others. Seems like such a simple concept, how about we try it. You were created to be in this world, so put yourself at the top of the list. Allowing yourself to be nurtured and cared for is not only the best gift you can give yourself, but also to everyone around you. It sounds like a win-win to me.
Here are a few of my favorite, make yourself feel special kind of books and cards. Check them out, they are fabulous.
- Crazy Sexy Love Notes : by Kris Carr
- Eat Pretty Every day: 365 Daily Inspirations for Nourishing Beauty, Inside and Out
- Brave Enough : by Cheryl Strayed