You cannot pour from an empty cup. We have all heard of that quote but we rarely act on what it is truly telling us. It is difficult to pour into the lives of others if we ourselves are empty. That is the importance of self-care.
For some, it is difficult to honor the practice of self-care because they are naturally givers and caretakers. To take care of others is something that comes naturally to them without any effort. I consider myself to be one of those “natural helpers”, after all, it is why I chose the field of social work as my career. Although, taking care of others is second nature to me, it has been a lifelong battle to take care of myself. I mean, I do the basics like low maintenance grooming of myself, proper hygiene and feeding myself but self-care extends much further than just the basic activities of daily living. Self-care is not only what you do for your body but it also what you do for your mind.
The practice of self-care is a conscious effort of loving and caring for every aspect of yourself. It is a practice that you must consistently engage in in order to become better at it.
To some, self-care is a natural practice that doesn’t require much effort on their part because it is something that are used to doing, but if you are like me, the practice of self-care can be much harder to grasp.
Whenever I use to hear the word self-care, I used to think of “intense pampering”, I would envision a spa, getting an expensive manicure or traveling to some exotic place for a while. While those things can definitely be great avenues to practice self-care, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to participate in the art of loving yourself. Self-care can be practiced in many ways. You can turn your phone off at a certain time at night so that you can ensure that your sleep isn’t interrupted. You can take a few minutes out of your day to meditate or listen to soothing music. You can engage in a weekly exercise regime to keep your body strong and healthy. You can also practice saying positive affirmations to yourself each morning before you start your day. Self-care can range from eating a balanced breakfast to having a night out with the girls or spending your weekend binge watching your favorite shows. The magic of “self-care” is that it is tailor made just for you.
There are many benefits of self-care. When you actively engage in self-care, you decrease your stress level, decrease your risk of burnout, increase the quality of your life and increase your enjoyment of life. On the flip side, there are negative effects for people who don’t take care of themselves. I can personally attest to the negative effects of not taking care of yourself. As a person who has struggled with my weight for the majority of my life and noticing the ups and downs of my weight. I noticed that I gain the most weight when I am stressed, burnt out and overloaded. I’ve noticed that when I am stressed, I begin to care less about what I am putting in my body and as a result, I start to gain weight.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve also noticed that my lack of self-care can cause additional problems in my body and I have started to make changes to protect, improve, and care for my temple.
As I have mentioned before, self-care is not just physical but it is mental, spiritual and emotional too. Self-care is about the betterment of the “whole” you. It is the thoughts that you feed your mind, the people that your surround yourself with, appreciating who you are, and knowing your value. Self-care embodies all of those things. Self-care is about no longer putting yourself on the “back burner” but ensuring that you are the best you that you can be. Self-care is about leaving that job that undervalues and underpays you. It is about leaving that man that emotionally or physically abuses you. It is about cutting off those people who drain and taint your essence and your energy. It is about letting go of those things and people who hinder your spiritual growth.
Self-care isn’t an act of selfishness, but it is an act of nurturing and preserving your glow. So go ahead and fill your cup.