It is said that you can’t fill from an empty cup, so how do you fill yours? It makes sense, but we are all programmed to take care of others before we take care of ourselves. How are we supposed to put ourselves ahead of others without feeling the guilt of being selfish? The answer comes back to first and foremost, being the very best that we can be to then be able to offer the best of ourselves to the ones we love and care for.
There is a tool called the Love Bank that we teach at the Marriage Boot Camp. We talk about how we have to make deposits into our partner’s account so they feel loved and cared for so when we need to make a withdrawal, we don’t emotionally bankrupt our partner. If you take that same tool and apply it to your own life, this is how it would work so you can fill your own account.
1. Make daily deposits. What do those deposits look like? They are the little things you need in your life that recharge your batteries. Things that make you laugh so hard you cry. Things that give you energy. Things that serve your purpose. I read, write, and sing. I dance and find ways to bring silliness into the moment. I nap! I spend time with people who uplift me and love me.
2. Get rid of any voluntary withdrawals. That means limiting your exposure to negativity. Both other people as well as your own thoughts. What is detracting from your well being? I had to cut out toxic friendships and limit my exposure to others I couldn’t get away from because either I worked with them or they were family. I paid attention to my mind to catch when a negative tape would start to play. Anytime I felt like I wasn’t good enough, I had to check myself. Was it true? Was I doing my best? If I could answer I was doing my best, I dismissed that thought.
3. Take care of your physical self. Eat good nutritious meals that are closer to nature with the least amount of processing. Drink plenty of water. Get some type of exercise every day, even if it’s a quick lap around your neighborhood or office. Sleep! I cannot express the importance of getting enough sleep.
4. Have Hope and Faith. Having Hope that this, too, shall pass and better days are ahead helps. Put your faith into something larger than yourself. I have my faith in God to carry my burdens, but you can choose to put your faith in whatever you believe. Believe in something greater that uplifts you.
5. Get connected! Find others who are more like who you want to be and spend time with them. As I’ve surrounded myself with others who had kinder and more generous hearts, I was able to grow into a kinder and more generous person. I spend time with those that fuel my passions and purposes, and each day leaves me feeling fulfilled.
6. Know your purpose. At the core of humanity, our purpose is to help one another. How we express it comes out in many ways. I have a purpose for each area of my life. I use a life wheel to help me define the categories: romantic love, friends and family, personal growth, physical space, business/career, financial, fun and recreation, and health. I have a different purpose for each one, and each deposit I make fills my personal Love Bank account!
7. Take action! After knowing your purpose for each area, you can then set steps to fulfilling each one. Today I am fulfilling my purpose in my area health by drinking 2 liters of water while at work and stopping every hour to be active for 5 minutes. I am fulfilling my purpose as a mother by getting home to cook dinner so we can spend time together as a family. I am fulfilling my financial purpose by returning an item that didn’t work and bringing my lunch instead of eating out. All steps to do my best for toda