There's a saying, you cannot drink from an empty cup. It's used a lot to try and persuade women to give themselves some time, time to refill their own energy resources, their own heart, their own soul.
We need these reminders because as women we tend to place blocks around our own self care, always placing others before our own needs and eventually these blocks become so hard to climb over we find ourselves totally disconnected with what actually we enjoy doing that feels good for us!
I was walking along with my husband the other day and I asked him to tell be 10 things that he enjoys doing that are totally for his enjoyment and no-one else's gain. Even he found this a difficult task, 10 things in our lives that aren't to serve others. His initial answer was he enjoys cooking for me (yes I am THAT girl)! But I said that wasn't allowed as it was for my benefit, so we had to really dig deep, as we walked a long conversation opened as to what we both really enjoyed in life, the things that so easily have become swept to the side or changed so as to serve others more than ourselves, to fit in with the guilt that we feel if we're doing it just for us.
This is where I ask you to start too, grab your journal and list 10 things that you enjoy doing just for you. Don't worry about getting them wrong, as once you've written your list go back and scribble out all the ones that serve others too, then fill in the blanks with other things that you love to do. Keep checking yourself and your list, that there are not things on there because they make others feel good! This may take a few days, it's a really good conversation to have with loved ones too, and you may find you can add some things on as you think about it more.
Those things on that lost are what really fill your cup up, they don't take anything away from you they are just purely topping you up, its a bit like when you plug your phone in, if you plug it in but continue to use it, watching videos etc the battery doesn't really fully charge it just doesn't deplete, that's like doing something that makes you feel good but at the same time is also giving to others, i.e hosting parties, teaching yoga, playing with your children, cooking for loved ones, these kind of things do help us but they don't fully do the job needed to top us up.
But when you plug your phone in and leave it to just charge, it charges quicker and it fills up. These are the things that are just for you, doing yoga, going for a walk, drawing, eating!!! The list can be more than 10 but don't let it be less!!
Then its your job to try and weave one or two of those things into your week, obviously the more you get in the better you're going to feel, but don't make it a pressure thing. One or two things a week that are just for you is a good place to start.
Maybe if you talk it through with family members you all have some time in the week at different points to do things you each love.
Filling our cup up is so important, but when we've been running on empty for so long we can sometimes forget why, or what that feeling is!
When our own hearts are full, when our own souls are nourished we can be far more present for others, we can revel in their joy and have energy to care for and love the people we care about. But also, its just alot bloody nicer to not walk through life fucked!
So start with you list, 10 things that top you up, for no other reason than they make you feel good.
Let me know what you come up with.