“You cannot pour from an empty cup. You must fill your own cup first.”
Let’s talk about self-care. What is self-care? “Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” I feel that most of us forget item 1 (and sometimes item 2) and skip forward to item 3. We focus so much energy on keeping physically fit, eating right, and avoiding carcinogens, but we completely miss the boat on mental and emotional well-being.
If you called in emotionally unwell or mentally depleted, would your boss accept this as a sick day? If you had to cancel plans not because you have the flu, but because you felt anxious, depressed, or in need of personal time, would friends, relatives, and co-workers accept this reasoning? Let’s bottom line it: If you call in on a Monday morning, tell your boss you have a cold, and think it would be best to rest for the day, you are likely to be excused. If you call in because you have had an emotionally draining weekend with loved ones or feel as if you need to rest your mind and emotions for the day, more than likely you are not excused. BUT WHY?
Mental and emotional wellness are important to overall well-being, just as physical health. In fact, sometimes you can feel physically ill as a byproduct of being tired, emotionally drained, stressed, anxious, depressed, scared, or worried. Look at that definition again, all 3 intertwine and all 3 are important.
SO…how do we take better care of our mental and emotional wellness? I feel this can be different for everyone. What relaxes or decompresses one person may not necessarily do the trick for the next. But, here are some general ideas:
- Make time each week (or day if you can) to do something that is ONLY for YOURSELF. I realize this is blasphemy to some and I’m a mother of two, so I get that the struggle is real. But if you take time for that long lavender infused bath, pedicure, massage, or nap, you will feel recharged.
- Learn to say NO. If you are a people pleaser, this is a big ask. You don’t have to accept and take on everything that comes your way just because it crosses your path. Sometimes, you need to say no as a self-preservation move.
- Talk to yourself. I don’t mean create an imaginary friend or start looking crazy carrying on verbal conversations in public. I mean, listen to that gut check, hone in on how you are feeling and thinking within yourself, and give yourself grace or permission to feel things, do things, or act on things. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself. Is it kind or unkind? Maybe you need to revisit the self-talk blog.
In case you missed it the first time, “self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” Pay attention to all 3 of those components because they are all important. By all means, get in that workout and eat that salad, but take time for you, decompress, do things that feed you on levels other than physical, and listen to yourself. And if you are having a hard time, I’d love to listen for you.