You have to fill your cup before you can pour from it and give of yourself to others. Who comes up with this stuff? Is this even possible? I first heard those words about two years ago and the message really resonated with me. I was a stay-at-home mom to a 15-month-old, really tired, was going through a tough time, and my cup was feeling rather empty. I filed it away under “things I need to remember.”
I did not remember, though.
I didn’t think about consciously trying to fill my cup again until I heard the same message a few weeks ago from a motivational speaker. I love the sentiment: You have to take care of yourself before you can fully care for and nurture others. I mean, it makes sense, but how realistic is this? How can busy mothers, or busy people in general, achieve this weekly, let alone daily?
I think back to my days with a newborn when taking a shower every day was a treat. I think back to a couple weeks ago when that newborn who is now three wasn’t feeling well at 1:30 in the morning and didn’t get back to sleep until 4AM and I had to go to work a few hours later. We are pulled in so many directions. Is there really time to care for yourself or treat yourself everyday?
We are in the last couple weeks before the holidays, before costumes, decorating, turkeys, hiding that elf, shopping, wrapping, baking, traveling, getting cards out, or whatever we do to make the holidays special for our families. So, I thought now, in October, is a great time to put this reminder out in the universe. It’s as much for me as it is for you. Take some time to fill your cup.
What does it mean to fill your cup? It’s doing the little things for yourself that are actually big things that make you feel joyous, sane, complete, like an actual human being instead of a robot. I’m talking about selfish things that are just for you.
Do you remember those old Calgon commercials? The one where the frazzled woman would exasperatedly say “Calgon, take me away”? Then in the next scene, she was in a bubble bath, content, relieved, stress-free. It was exactly what she needed. So, what’s your bubble bath? Maybe it’s an actual bubble bath. We should all take stock once in a while and think about what fills our cups and then try to work those things into our days. Let’s see, what fills my cup? Do I even know anymore?
My top five list includes: Luxurious sleep (oh sleep, how I love thee), singing, date night with my husband, time or phone calls with my family and friends, exercise… and a bonus cup filler: writing
Next question is, how do we find time to fill our cups? You won’t get any help with this, unless you ask for it. If you don’t make it a priority, no one else will. Not your loved ones. Not your friends. Certainly not your kids. It’s all on you, sister. You have to identify your need for cup- filling time, enlist help when needed, and get it done! Filling your cup daily requires you to be present and lovingly demand it.
It has to become like brushing your teeth everyday and maybe it’s something small. For instance, calling a friend to go to lunch instead of eating quickly so you can run errands on your lunch hour. Grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner one night so you can get a work out in. Reading an awesome book. Watching Dirty Dancing on a week night. You get my point. Little things. We’re starting small here. Start with anything that puts a smile on your tired face.
I haven’t quite figured out how to do this everyday or even a couple times per week. I know, though, I can make it happen. I know amazing women with jobs and families who work out, go on vacation, and even have hobbies. It is possible to be fulfilled and not frazzled. I don’t have a “fill your cup” system to share with you or “how to work it in daily” tips. All I can offer is a gentle nudge and a reminder to fill it. Fill your cup! It’s important. You’re important. You have my permission to do something truly great and refreshing for yourself. Every. Single. Day.
So, I want to hear from you. How do you fill your cup? Do you think it’s possible to do it every day?