You can’t pour from an empty cup,
Take care of yourself first.
It’s the beginning of February, holidays have passed, schedules are put back in place and resolutions are being practiced or abandoned the closer we make our way into Spring. I am finding myself getting caught up in nesting, baby prep and the responsibilities I’ve committed to. Don’t get me wrong, I love putting my son’s room together and preparing for his arrival and I enjoy the day-to-day commitments that make up life but sometimes I stop and wonder: “am I pouring from an empty cup?” Self care and finding joy in the mundane is so important for our mental health. Our relationships, marriages and spiritual growth all get affected when you don’t take proper care of yourself. Over the last year I have invested in self care and this is what it looks life for me.
- Stay in bed
I don’t know what it is about our bed … maybe it’s the puffy pillows, or because it’s one of the brightest rooms in our home or the coziness of one extra blanket but I crave time to lounge here. I’ll read, write, sip on something warm, listen to music, read my bible, journal or take a nap. If it’s 20 minutes or a few hours, I am so content here.
2. Joining a Class, Study Group or Workshop
I find it so helpful trying something new especially if I feel like it feeds my soul. An art class, a bible study group or a social event is something interactive and lets you connect with other like minded people.
3. Organizing the crazy
Taking 15 minutes out of my day to review my weekly calendar helps me feel less anxious of what my week has for me. I’m a list person. Everything that needs to get done is put in bullet form in my day planner and every appointment or social coffee date is scheduled with it. Some may think this is too organized, but for me this gives me peace- and that’s all about self care.
4. Exercising the Right Brain
Anything that is creative has a way of making me feel happy. Scribbles on a note pad, script writing in a journal, writing a letter for a friend, setting a table, planning a party or rearranging my home are all creative outlets for me. Without them, I go stir crazy and feel like I’m not expressing my true self.
I love going to antique shops and finding unique pieces. This is my idea of window shopping! I don’t have to spend a lot to have fun and reset my brain. There’s something beautiful that’s exposed when searching old and abandoned items that were once loved by someone else. I get insanely excited when I find such item for a really amazing price. I’ll brag about it and how I only spent $5 to anyone with a listening ear! I think doing activities or going to places that fill you up, are all part of self care.
6. Snuggling my fur babies
Animals are a good therapy session, seriously. I get homesick from my kitten and two pups whenever I’m gone for too long. I’ll gladly cuddle (suffocate) them with love and when I do, I feel my stress level going down about two notches.
7. Spending quality time with my husband
I’m learning to cherish whatever time we have together. If it’s seeing him on his 30 minute lunch break or spending the whole day together, I feel like it’s so needed. He makes me laugh, listens to me and reassures me with his love. That quality time is the best part of my days.
8. Take a walk
Going on a nature walk is one of the best feelings. I’m always humbled by God’s handy work and always taken back from the scenery. A few times, Nick and I have gone on long walks and ended up getting completely lost. What was supposed to be a 30 minute walk turned into over an hour, but we were laughing the whole time. In nature I feel lighter and able to focus on my surroundings and not on the running check list in my thoughts.
I get giddy anytime we are at someone’s house and they have their twinkle lights on. I crave the summer for the days that turn into nights seamlessly and effortlessly. Last summer I used to go out to my backyard balcony and lay down on my back and cloud watch. Once it turned into evening, I would turn on the string lights above and enjoy the simplicity of the night. Something so simple as a string of lights soothes my soul.
No matter what time of year it is, I can always appreciate being by the water. In the summer I’ll run in with the dogs, go for a swim with my nephew and niece or stick my toes in and walk in the sand. In the winter, I’ll watch the sun set and listen while the icey blue waves crash against the rocks. How beautifully soothing it is to see a pastel sky or listen to the water crashing into lullabies.