There is a common saying, “fill your cup.” Ever wondered what it means? Fill your cup is taking care of your physical, spiritual, and mental well-being. It is an effective approach to redirecting your energy towards positive things that replenish your spiritual, emotional, and physical reserves. Generally, filling your cup implies taking care of yourself in all aspects of life.
Whether you are a parent, a teacher, or a healthcare provider, you often spend too much time caring for others. This is exhausting and can deplete your physical and mental energy, associated with stress, exhaustion, and burnout. The best solution is to take a short break and do something to break the routine and feeds your soul, body, mind, and spirit.
In this article we explore:
- How can you fill your cup?
- Why filling your cup is important?
- Signs that You Need to Fill Your Cup
How Can You Fill Your Cup
Selfcare sounds simple. Unfortunately, many people are ignorant about it or don’t know how to go about it. It is not uncommon to see a colleague or a friend being afraid to take a lunch break or a moment for themselves. Selfcare is not something we are taught, and many people don’t value its benefits. Yet there is strong evidence linking self-care with increased productivity, safety, and overall health of the individuals who do self-care.
One study revealed that nurses who practiced mindfulness, such as meditating and sharing their passion with others, reported a 28% decrease in stress levels. The survey further showed the 28% decrease in stress level enhanced nurses’ productivity saving about $3000 in health costs.
So how do we fill our cup? Here are a few simple ideas you can consider regardless of your profession or gender:
• Do activities that make you feel happy or trigger positive emotions. For example, take a walk, get a massage, or take a bath.
• Ensure you get enough quality sleep. The benefits of good sleep are as essential as exercise and diet. Sleep enhances your brain performance, mood and reduces the risks of diseases such as stroke, obesity, dementia, and heart diseases.
• Join a professional peer group. For example, if you are a new mother, network with other new or expectant mothers. This is important because you get a chance to hear and share experiences with peers, which can help overcome the emotional challenge you may be experiencing.
• Spend time with family and friends. Family and friends are a great pillar of social and emotional support, vital for psychological and physical health.
• Practice positive self-talk such as positive affirmation and gratitude, and shun negative thoughts.
• Always take a break. For example, use sick time when you are not feeling well.
Though all of the above ideas are some of the best ways to fill your cup, they will never be effective if you fail to set time for them and make it a routine. It is important to be committed, consistent, and resilient about self-care practice for you to realize the benefits.
So Why Filling Your Cup is Important?
The Ojibwe people, the Aboriginals present in the Great Lakes region of Canada and the US, used the filling your cup method to prevent and heal historical and cultural traumas. Ojibwe people acknowledge the vital roles of spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being in empowering the community and the individual by coming together, consultations, and positive inspirations.
The core benefit of filling your cup is replenishing your emotional, spiritual, and physical energy. Here are some of the positive experiences of filling your cup:
• Feeling connected with your spiritual side: Your spirituality reminds you that you are part of something bigger, reinforcing your connection to the world, universe, and humanity. Therefore, replenishing your spirituality can make you feel inspired to be the best version of yourself.
• Improve family bonds and friendship: The best way to improve your relationship and reduce stress is to spend time with your loved ones. New and expectant mothers, for example, with sufficient social support, have reduced risks of experiencing postpartum depression.
• Self-development and enablement: When you take care of yourself by keeping your cup full, you improve your sharpness and skills because you engage in activities that boost your performance and discard self-limiting attitudes or behaviors. Additionally, most people who practice self-care are always eager to help others.
• Robust health: Filling your cup keeps you focused on a quality lifestyle such as exercising and quality sleep. These activities are vital in reducing the risks of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, and psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression.
There are tools or apps that can help you fill up your cup. These tools are designed to present you with a solution that would at least make you 1% better every day.
Signs that You Need to Fill Your Cup
With the modern world programming us to pursue other people’s responsibilities, needs, and demands first, we tend to forget ourselves and neglect our well-being. It is important to note that it is difficult for you to cope if your cup is empty, and it becomes even hard to help others. Here are vital signs that your cup needs a refill:
• Difficult processing and controlling emotions: You find it hard to think and complete tasks that need simple rational decisions, and you snap easily when this happens or when questioned.
• Feeling of detachment or pessimism: You feel like nobody understands or cares about you. When this happens, you tend to isolate yourself, start experiencing negative thoughts and become gloomy.
• Arching muscles or muscle weakness: Muscle soreness and weakness are often side effects of putting too much stress on your body and are a good sign that you need rest to enhance your body recovery.
• Slowed reflexes and responses: You take time to react or respond to something than usual. Your slow reaction time could signify fatigue, and you need a break.
Fatigue, whether physical, mental, or spiritual, is the principal cause of the above-listed signs, and it leaves you feeling drained and exhausted.