Pouring from an Empty Cup

When life feels hectic and as if the momentum to move forward is not surging as we would like. Or if at times it feels as if I am rushing while the world itself seems to be in slow motion. It reminds me that caring for myself is necessary – and warranted. That is why I take the following five simple steps to taking better care of myself.

Five Simple Ways to take better care of yourself. 

  1. Drink water – Dehydration is not only terrible for our skin and mood but it also can lead to ill health and lightheadedness. Taking time to be sure we’re drinking enough water and giving our bodies what they need is important.
  2. Focus internally – this can be done with meditation, yoga, or a few deep breaths. Whatever comes next will come, the only way we can meet challenges is by being and staying grounded in ourselves. 
  3. Get active – take a walk or do some light stretching. Any movement will do but getting into our bodies is the best way to know what we need next.
  4. Rest – It may be a quick nap, a break from calls so you can focus on a single task at a time, or maybe a day off. Recovery is the only way to heal and be fully healthful. Taking a break for rest is necessary and important.
  5. Be gentle – Whether we are dealing with someone else or ourselves, being kind and gentle makes us strong. We want to be the kindest person in the room – not the loudest. Therefore let that kindness begin at home and in your own head and heart.

What steps do you take to take better care of yourself? What gifts of love do you give yourself when you feel as if you’re wearing thin?

Build Your Dream

Be still and the Universe will bring the right people and the right opportunities into your life. Do your amazing work, bloom exactly where you are planted. Focus on yourself and your own calling. Do not be distracted as distraction is your test. You never know what opportunities will show up on your doorstep and the best way to prepare for these moments is to do your own work and mind your own business. Stay true to the work you are doing and build your dream. 

When you are doing the work that you are chosen and called to perform synchronicity clicks into place. Utilize your creativity. Work at the top of your intelligence. The universe conspires for your success. 

Like water our role is simply to follow the path of least resistance. Water flows to sea level following the easiest route it can find. Water does not run uphill but wears away obstacles with the patience of time. What a fantastic example for how to pursue your goals! Do what makes sense and what comes next. Simply do the the next right thing, whatever that is for you. By doing those things that you know rather than waiting for direction, or for some decree on high, you communicate to the universe that you are ready. You have found your vibration. 

Do not wait until someone instructs you or gives you permission, give yourself those gifts. Simply do what you already know comes next, take ownership and responsibility for your own work.

Building a dream can be challenging but it should never feel like you’re working against the grain – go with your gut and do your best. Pursue your dreams doggedly but do not give yourself or your power to someone else. Always put yourself, your goals, and your plans first.

If you do not pursue your own dreams there is always someone willing to pay you to help them achieve theirs. If you must work for someone else, do so with full knowledge that you are getting them and their goals ahead. And when you are ready to pursue your own projects give the same attention and effort to your own work. If possible give more, because your work deserves your best. After all your work is a representation of you out in the world. Build your dream. Show it. Shine a light on it. You are worthy of love and attention!

Give to Yourself First

We give so much of ourselves to the world – our families, friends, work, and extracurriculars. All of the obligations and opportunities we engage in demand our time, attention, and commitment. As we work to give the best of our capabilities and ourselves to these worthy projects and duties it is important to remember to give the best of yourself to yourself. 

In the trials of daily life – that may actually be trials, challenges and difficulties but may also be routines, opportunities, and responsibilities – we have the opportunity to give away all that we have to others and the world. Or we have the choice to intentionally nourish ourselves so that these regular or typical events do not drain us and leave us feeling winded or in need of a break.

When we rush to fulfill everyone else’s expectations first we can find ourself depleted and lacking energy because we have saved nothing for ourselves. However, when we serve ourselves first we create space and give ourselves room to be nurtured and supported. If we never stop for water we will die long before we finish the race. Like any trained marathoner we know that to pursue our goals, and show up in the world the way we want to, we have to feed ourselves and meet our needs first. This can include basic self-care like hydration or getting enough sleep. It can also look like taking a night off, giving yourself a weekend away, or a social media detox. 

Making time to care for yourself is not selfish, nor is it a luxury. Caring for yourself is your first responsibility – not to the world or your employer – but to yourself. The adage, you cannot pour from an empty cup, comes to mind. Or the idea that when you are spent you have nothing left to give. There is no sense in running yourself ragged. If you choose to overexert yourself you will be always operating on a deficit, which serves no one. In order to arrive each day excited and eager to engage with the world rather than exhausted and resentful we must take care of ourselves. I know this from experience and I suspect you do too. When we press ourselves beyond our abilities or function with less than what we need from others, ourselves, or without the basic nourishment and boundaries that keep us healthy, we are unhappy. We are short and frustrated and oftentimes we’re too tired to investigate why. 

Next time, instead of running yourself harder when you already feel tired, take a break. Get a sip of water and take some deep breaths. Give yourself the space and time you need to recalibrate and align yourself with your goals. Rather than running around in circles or showing up worse for the wear, take a break and stretch, focus on caring for yourself not because you wish to serve others but because you are worthy and deserving of love, care, and attention – all of those wonderful things you already give to the world.