You can not pour from an empty cup
It is widely quoted and accepted that you can not pour from an empty cup. But how many of us actively practice replenishing ourselves? The month of May has been a challenging month for me when i first found out that i had a lump on my left breast. I immediately went on a panic mode with tones of questions repeating unconsciously in my medulla. Suddenly i realized that my HEALTH was shaken. And now what! I deliberately went on a quiet mode trying to connect the dots of my life, my health and taking care of myself.
We especially women it seems, have difficulty taking time for ourselves and prioritizing self-care. For me this was wake-up call to stop and for a moment put everything a side and focus on my health. Although the results of my lump came out positive that was an alert for me and i am going to share more about this journey in another article.
In an article that i came across by Dr. Susan Biali in Psychology today, Biali describes feeling unwell, but continuing to push herself. She had an epiphany, that although she had been teaching people about stress management and self-care for over a decade, she had not been practicing what she preached. She explained that when she finally took time for herself, it felt like she had woken up after being asleep for a long time.
but its only when you wake up that you notice you were sleeping! When we are stressed out, self-care is first thing we let go of. Why is that? Barbara Markway, Phd explains in a different article in Psychology Today a few reasons that that is the case.
1. Our brains go into fight or flight mode and our perspective narrows.
2. we are so busy trying to solve problems that we are stuck in doing mode.
3. We may not have a go to list of self-care activities.
So how do we practice self-care, what can we put on our list of self-care activities. For those of us that can afford a retreat is a lovely way to have a time and space for self. But if that is not the option at the moment focus on the sensation around you. Sights, smells, sounds- this helps you be present in the moment.
Go for a walk and breath in the fresh air.
Listen to running water.
Take a hot shower or a warm bath.
Do something pleasurable for yourself.
Get creative! Do some art, journal or play some music.
Take yourself out for a nice meal.
Give yourself some spiritual space.
Practice gratitude. Journal about things you are grateful for.
Light a candle and meditate.
Walk in nature
Connecting with others is an important part of self-care.
Go on a lunch with a good friend.
Call a friend on the phone.
I love what Eleanor Brown says about self-care. “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel”
With love and kindness.