This post is mainly for women and I say that because I am one (and I don’t see men doing a lot of these things though I totally support it). We as women are givers. And givers, and givers and givers (GASP FOR AIR) and givers and givers… Not just within our families and friends but in our professional lives as well. We have a desire to be liked, to feel needed and often do so without any recognition. And the majority of the time we are okay with that. But slowly you will notice yourself feeling exhausted, maybe sad, and a term my friend Jaime calls “punky”. During stressful times whether that is planning a big event in your life (or someone else’s) or just days upon days of running yourself ragged, you have to fill your cup! I use this phrase for talking about relationships too but in this post I want to focus on how you can do very small things amongst the chaos in your life to your fill your cup.
First, acknowledge these things.
1. You are smart, kind and generous. Nothing changes that. You don’t need someone else to tell you these things. You, yourself, KNOW this.
2. You can and will keep going. Yep. That sun will rise and your alarm will go off. You do have to go to work. You do have X, Y and even Z that needs to be done tomorrow. And you can do it. You always do, right? It isn’t the end of the world and there is an end in sight. If there isn’t one now, there will be.
3. There will be joy in your life this week. Maybe today sucked. Like really, really sucked. But you know that at some point in the next 7 days you will laugh or smile at something. You will see something that makes your heart happy. There will be moments this week that always propel you into next week. Keep looking for those moments and use them to your advantage.
OKAY! Now we have those three things in our brains here are 7 things that you can do this week to fill your cup. This is all about YOU! Doing things for others will make you feel good but I didn’t include those in this list. It is time to be selfish (that’s a terrible word for this but its the only one that works).
Note: These may seem like “duh” things to do but I know that my life is so busy that taking the time to do one of these in a given week sometimes is more of a hassle than quality “me time”. But at the end of the week when my cup is empty and I am exhausted, I know I should have taken 20 minutes here and there to keep my cup full.
1. Take a bath. I’m serious. Hot water, at least 30 minutes of NO ONE (don’t take your phone in there, girl!), a book perhaps? A candle? Maybe the Garden State Soundtrack? Absolutely.
2. Go for a walk during lunch. This is YOUR time today. It is important to take your lunch break (if you are a stay-at-home-mom, pack up those kids in the double wide stroller and hand them sippy cups) to clear your head. Breathe fresh air, look around, think about fun things like an unplanned vacation (stop thinking about how much it will cost! You aren’t to that point yet).
3. Get your makeup done at the mall. If I am feeling blah I like to head to the MAC counter at the mall and have them play around with makeup. Try a lipstick you would never try normally. Ask if the makeup artist will do one eye then see if you can replicate on the other. Yay for a makeover AND you learned how to do smoky eyes (finally).
4. Dance. I know you have that favorite song you dance to in the car. Whatever you are in the mood for, close the blinds and let loose. If I am really feeling like I need to blow off steam I will put on sweat pants and roll them up like a real hip hop dancer.
5. Paint your nails. You may be one of those women that have a set day that you paint your nails every week. Or you may be a mom that is washing bottles all the time and it will chip within 24 hours. Doesn’t matter. Put on your favorite Friends episode and take time to paint your nails. It can be therapeutic. And make sure no one is around to distract you because this is about YOU.
6. Read a book before bed. Put down the Candy Crush. I repeat, put down the Candy Crush. After your nightly routine of getting ready for bed, put your phone on silent (and upside down so you can’t see it light up) and read a book. Silence is key. Tell your roommate, husband or kids that you are going to bed and spend the last 20 minutes before slumber with your nose in a book.
7. Sleep. Ohh, sweet sleep. We never get enough of it. Even before I had a baby I never slept enough. Make an effort to go to bed earlier OR sleep in one day this week. Have your husband take the baby in the morning, schedule brunch an hour later, go to the late service of church on Sunday. Whatever you have to do make sleep a priority at least one day this week.
Taking the time for yourself allows you to be more present with the important people in your life. It may take baby steps for you to not feel like you’re being selfish. But start with these small uninterrupted things. Keep that cup full this week. Or as full as you have time to get it 😉