This is not a bartending post! (that will come another day).
This is a well-being/inspirational post of sorts.
Each day we see multiple posts circulating on Facebook about mental health struggles, and we wanted to share our own experiences and some ways we work on ourselves to keep our own cups full. We hope this will inspire you to “fill your own cup first” and bring much positive energy and lightness into your life.
You are not alone if you feel like you’re always giving your time and energy to others. You may feel depleted and drained at the end of each day. Your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy sources take a hit and you struggle to fill them back up before they’re being taken from again.
Then it becomes hard to give to others, because you’re giving to them from your empty cup. You may become resentful, unsympathetic and bitter. You may become angry that people are taking from you and you have nothing to give. Don’t they know that you’re depleted?
The long and short of it is no. It isn’t up to others to know that your cup is empty. No, they shouldn’t be taking your energy to fill their own, but you can’t control others. It is up to you to fill your own cup first, and give to others from your overflow.
One of the most important lessons we ever learned as a couple was to “fill our own cups first.” Both of us worked in service – John as a physiotherapist and Nicole as an early childhood teacher. Both careers were highly demanding in the amount of energies we needed to give to others each day. It wasn’t long before we learned that we were both depleting ourselves and had very little energy left to give to each other in the evenings.
We began learning more about how to restore and replenish our own energies without expecting our partner to give to us, or from just taking energy from others. It is one thing that has helped make our partnership healthy and strong. We support each other, but we do not depend on each other for our own happiness. We give to each other, but not at our own detriment.
Working to fill your own cup first is not only for people in relationships, it is for everyone. When you learn to do this, it will strengthen your sense of self, and all of the relationships and human interactions in your life.
The internet can be a blessing and a curse. It is full of wonderful techniques and information on how to fill your energy stores. But be cautious of all of the posts and memes on Facebook that send out negativity. Sometimes, even the ‘self-help’ posts are actually negative. After reading a post, ask yourself, are you feeling validated in your struggles and are now more frustrated, annoyed or apathetic with people or situations in your life? Or do you feel inspired, light, free and excited to become a better, healthier version of yourself?
Try your best to decipher between the two, and share and give attention to only to the posts that answer ‘yes’ to the latter.
Hopefully by now, you understand why it is so important to learn to fill your own cup first. Where to start? Well, it will be individual. Each person has their own emotional, physical, mental and spiritual energy stores and some are depleted more than others.
Each of you will need to find your own ways to fill your own cup, without taking energy from others, but we’ve got some simple (and free) ways that we would love for you to try, to take time for yourself and begin to replenish your energy.
Remember, you’re doing this for YOU.
Once you start refilling, you’ll easily be able to find more ways to keep it going up on your own, and you’ll learn a lot about yourself along the way.
1. Exercise! It doesn’t have to be hours on the treadmill, just get off the couch and get your body moving! When your blood is pumping and your endorphins are flowing you will begin to fill that cup.
We enjoy the high intensity/short time Tabata workouts. Here is a beginner’s video if you want to try. The whole video from start to finish is 14:46 minutes, I’m sure you can find that time in your busy day!
Beginner Tabata Workout
2. Turn off your cellphone. Don’t just put it on silent, turn it completely off for an hour or two during the day – maybe longer! Learn to detach yourself from it. Texts and calls can wait a few hours, people will not worry if you do not get back to them instantly. And it isn’t about their needs, it’s about yours. It isn’t selfish, it’s taking care of yourself, so that when you do reply you are fully attentive to replying, and not being drained by it. Being present, focusing on where you are and what you’re doing will replenish your energy rapidly. Find family times to be unplugged together. It’s a lot easier than it sounds, and you’ll love it.
3. Sitting quietly on your own. Also known as meditation. Often when people hear the M word, they think “I can’t do that, only hippies and monks can.” Not true. But start small. Try sitting quietly for 5 minutes, focusing on your breathing and any time your mind starts to race, bring it back to your breath again. The best way we’ve heard it put – it’s like bicep curls for the brain. You won’t reach enlightenment in one go, so forget about trying to clear your mind and just try to be present with yourself. Ensure your shoulders are relaxed and you’re breathing into your stomach. You can do this at any time of the day and it is incredibly recharging. Follow the link below for a nice and easy breathing exercise.
5 Minute Breathing Exercise
4. A hot bath before bedtime. Some people hate baths, but it’s only because they’re doing it wrong! You may want to find some natural oils, a bubble bath or a candle with a smell you like (nobody is judging, guys). Turn on your favourite music, or get a book, and just lay back and relax. The hot water relaxes your muscles and increases your body temperature, making sleep time a lot easier.
5. A cold shower. This sounds crazy, but the benefits of a cold shower are incredible! First, if you can maintain a calm breath during a cold shower, you really can combat anything! The cold will increase alertness in you and your cells and improve your circulation. Cold showers have been linked to speedy muscle recovery, stimulating weight loss, hair growth and healthy skin regeneration, and easing and relieving stress and depression.
6. Cooking your favourite meal. Sometimes a restaurant, or your Mom cooks your favourite meal the best, and you won’t be able to beat it. But that’s ok! There is something so special about putting in the time and energy into cooking on your own. It may take a bit of your time, so choose an evening or a Sunday afternoon to dedicate to you and your meal. Find the recipe and have fun with it! You will enjoy the meal so much more knowing how much time and love is put into the creation of it. (And make sure to wash the dishes as you go, so you don’t have a huge pile at the end of it all! Too many dishes are draining!)
7. Listen to your favourite song on loud and sing along. Whether you’re in the car, on a run, in the shower or just in your living room, turn your song on and pretend it is just you on stage singing to a bunch of your fans! (If you’re in the car, be safe!). There is something extremely liberating about singing your favourite song. You will feel like a kid again, free of experiencing judgement, and filling your cup with energy generated all from within.
8. Try yoga. Just like meditation, yoga can be daunting to people who have never tried it. Once you do though, you will love it! It is emotional, spiritual, physical and mental exercise, all in one. Learning to hold poses while keeping your mind quiet translates beautifully into daily life. And the beauty of today is you don’t need to join a studio to practice! Having an instructor in front of you is a great idea if you find that you love yoga, but for beginners, try 20 Minute Yoga for Complete Beginners by Yoga with Adriene. She’s incredible and has many more videos for when you want to take it further.
9. Go to the library. Getting a library card is free, and then you can go on a journey around the universe in an afternoon, flipping through books and picking the best ones to bring home. Reading the books when you’re at home are just as replenishing, but there is something special about being in a library, surrounded by books of every topic, and all of them at your disposal to learn and research things that make you tick. Check with your library about which online app they use for their eBooks! We use Overdrive with the Auckland Library, and we can download eBooks from anywhere in the world at any time of the day!
10. Garnish your real cup with fresh fruit. There’s something so pretty about a slice of fresh lime or pineapple on your glass. Whether it’s just water, soda/pop/fizzy drink, or an alcoholic beverage, decorating it gives you vacation vibes, and is instantly relaxing and rejuvenating. It’s simple, but try it! It will make your cup feel special and worthy of the fill.
If you liked this post, have any questions, or want to share more ways to “fill your own cup first,” please leave your comments below, or contact us here!
We would love to hear from you. Happy filling!