We’ve all heard the phrase, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”
You can’t keep giving, giving, giving… and never taking anything for yourself.
We have this idea that putting our selves, our needs, our wants, before other things in our lives is selfish. There seems to be a misconception in our world: there’s no way that we can take care of others, while simultaneously taking care of ourselves. Most of us think we have to choose between the two.
You shouldn’t have that voice in your head that stops you every time you get the idea to do something for yourself. You’re not being a hero by being self-less all the time. What you’re actually doing, is burning yourself out.
When I say “self-care”… I don’t necessarily mean taking yourself on a shopping spree, or getting your nails done, or going on a vacation, or rewarding yourself with your favorite food. I’m talking about mental self-care: things that make your soul happy, give you purpose, get you in touch with your feelings.
Have you ever found yourself getting angry or upset and lashing out on someone, and realizing later that it wasn’t them that upset you, that you were actually angry about something else? Have you ever felt so stressed out and started crying about something insignificant, then to realize it’s because you were absolutely exhausted?
When you aren’t in touch with our feelings, you tend to project them on others. This can obviously cause problems in relationships and cause you to lash out at those around you. Self-care, real self-care, begins with opening up to yourself about your feelings, your wants, and your needs. What do you want? What do you need? What calms you down? What keeps you sane?
I want to train 6x a week. I need to cook all my meals. Stretching and drinking wine calms me down. Relaxing on the couch, with my dog, catching up on some TV keeps me sane. These are the things I do to take care of myself.
Answer these questions, honestly. Now… are you making time for the answers to those questions? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But that’s what you should be doing.
Yes I get it, it’s easy for me to say. I’m a single 25-year old with no kids or anything like that. But listen to me… “I don’t have time” is not an excuse. There is someone out there, with a busier schedule than you, who is “making time.” If it is important to you, you will make time. And I hope I’m convincing to you right now, that it should be important to you.
I work 2 jobs, 50+ hours a week… nights, some early mornings, and weekends. I’m not complaining about my schedule, but every free second I get, I use. I use any free few hours to get the things done that keep me sane. I prep all my meals on Monday morning, it’s therapeutic and relaxing and makes me happy because I know it’s helping me towards my goals. When I can, I sit down and write because I enjoy getting my thoughts and ramblings on paper. If I have any downtime or a night off, I’m usually curling up on the couch and catching up on a TV show, only if it’s for an hour before I go to bed. After a long, hectic double at work, I love to come home, whip out a yoga mat, stretch and drink wine while watching a TV show.
Self-care also means learning how to say no. You don’t have to pick up that shift for that person. You don’t have to take on that extra project. You don’t have to keep making other people’s wishes and requests priorities over other things in your life.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to your priorities. If you are not properly taking care of yourself, it means that you are not considering yourself a priority. How f*cked up is that?
So I challenge you, to prioritize. Make self-care one of your goals going into the new year. Put yourself first… FOR ONCE! Get rid of that nasty voice in your head telling you to stop being selfish. Because you’re not being selfish, you’re being smart. Your mind, your body, your soul… it’s the only one ya got. So take care of it. And you will reap benefits in all other aspects of your life. ❤