Lisa Nichols- Motivational Speaker talks about “Your job is to fill your own cup, so it overflows. Then you can serve others, joyfully, from your saucer.”

I totally agree with this statement. I know from personal experience that when you try and provide support and care to others when you are feeling exhausted and tired, things don’t always go to plan. More often than not, you will say things you regret, you won’t be fully present and you certainly won’t be listening.

I spent the last five years providing care and support to my mother who required 24/7 care. I was juggling between running my own business, spending most weekends and weekdays travelling 120 miles (roundtrip) to look after both my parents and trying to live my own life. It was tough and tense at times, however I learned a lot about myself.

The times when I struggled the most was when I felt frustrated, I didn’t feel appreciated, I snapped and became irritated and on one occasion I found myself shouting and screaming at my dad. I recognised that these were the times when I hadn’t prioritised my own self care needs and was trying to give from a half full or empty cup.

I have come across so many people who will acknowledge that self-care is important and yet do not make it non-negotiable. This is also true whether you are an employee or run your own business.

There are many ways that you can build your inner battery of energy by ensuring that your self-care activities are balanced. The are 4 main areas also known as the domains of resilience which will provide you with an understanding of where you will either be depleting or renewing your energy levels.  The diagram below provides you with activities that will help you to renew and restore your energy levels.

 

PHYSICAL SELF-CARE
EMOTIONAL SELF-CARE
  • Get restorative sleep
  • Exercise
  • Eat well-balanced meals
  • Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Go for a walk in nature
  • Stretch
  • Practice breathing techniques
  • Reach out for support
  • Ask for help and talk to someone you trust
  • Spend time with friends, family and support networks
  • Engage with social activities
  • Laugh out loud
  • Seek out fun or relaxing activities
MENTAL SELF-CARE
EXISTENTIAL SELF-CARE
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Find time to meditate
  • Practice yoga
  • Find relaxation activities that work for you e.g. reading, crosswords, cooking
  • Listen to music that lifts your spirits
  • Engage socially to avoid feeling isolated
  • Set your personal boundaries
  • Establish healthy routines
  • Volunteer your time
  • Set yourself goals
  • Be clear about your personal values
  • Identify your purpose and passion
  • Practice gratitude
  • Pursue your favourite hobbies
  • Find creative ways to express yourself (i.e., drawing, painting, writing, etc.)

The reality is most of us know what we need to do to practice self-care. The problem arises when you don’t prioritise or make time for self-care actvities. If this applies to you then consider the following questions?

What beliefs do I hold about self-care?

What self-care activities am I already applying and doing consistently?

Which domain(s) am I least active in?

What habits have I allowed to get in the way of my self-care activities?

What small steps can I take to be more balanced in all 4 domains?

Please remember that during this period of self-isolation, it is important to stay safe. All the activities listed above need to be tailored to ensure you remain safe and protect others.

OVER TO YOU

I would be really interested in hearing more about your self-care practices in relation to the questions listed above. Please post your comments below.