Practicing self-care is filling your own cup.
It is important to remember that you cannot fill someone else’s cup without first filling your own.
Every time we fly the flight attendants provide a friendly reminder “Please put your oxygen mask on first.” In every day living how do we do this?
Is there enough time? Short answer…..yes.
Self-care can be as small as reading 10 pages of a book you’ve been wanting to read, walking past your favorite courtyard at work, treating yourself to a coffee, calling up a good friend.
In essence….reaching out.
Practicing self-care professionally and personally helps us to continue with our drive and focus. Thinking about what we need throughout our day (which is often different every day) helps us to become more self-aware reflective, and capable of regulating our emotions. What do you need before a big meeting? What do you need before going home to your family? It can be as simple as a 5 minute break listening to a favorite song, or even sitting in silence, reflecting on a powerfully positive memory.
Fill your cup throughout the day….all day.
Some days we need more brain breaks than others….
This is true for people of all ages.
We can teach our children self-care and self-reflection by teaching them things they can do or ask for to help fill their own cups. We can also provide verbal feedback that helps them fill their own cups.
- Have healthy snacks where they can reach. Helping them to understand that when they are feeling hungry or tired they can solve that feeling (in a healthy way) on their own.
- Children thrive on structure, but also need down time to help them to regulate their ever changing systems. Schedule unstructured down time. Have an impromptu dance party, act out a favorite book, paint, build a fort, share a book. Give them time to exercise their imagination.
- When your child has excess energy avoid telling them to stop, and give them strategies for calming down instead. Go for a walk or scooter ride, incorporate movement breaks into homework, have them help you carry things while at the store.
- Point out the positive! When your child tries something new, shares, or works through a problem help them fill their cup! Give them specific compliments, “You worked really hard and stuck with it to finish that puzzle!”, “You are so caring and thoughtful of others when you share.” Give them words that they can identify themselves as in their self talk and identity. “I am hard working, I am kind.”
Big picture: take time for self-care! The time you spend on yourself is your most important investment. Schedule 5-10 minutes 5 to 10 times a day to practice self-care, or take 30 minutes to yourself 2 times a day. The little moments that we allow ourselves to meet our needs, and fill our cups, result in a larger appreciation of ourselves, and a greater ability to help others.