Updated: Jan 11, 2022
I'm sure we have all heard of the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. This quote is used to emphasise the importance of taking care of yourself, in order to best help and support others.
Humans are wired to care for and connect with each other, but if we feel exhausted and overwhelmed and are trying to pour from an empty cup, it can have negative effects on our own health and happiness.
It can be hard to take care of yourself and prioritise your own needs when it feels like you are running on empty. This is why self care is so important.
So how can you fill up your cup?
Create a self-care routine and be consistent.
Self-care doesn't have to be expensive or time consuming - in fact, it is more likely to be effective if you find something that can fit into your daily routine so you are able to practice self-care consistently. Here are some ideas:
1. Take some time in the morning to stretch your body
2. Aim to get some fresh air and sunshine every single day
3. Make it a priority to spend some time outdoors in nature
4. Move your body in a way that feels good for you
5. Use mindfulness techniques
6. Practice gratitude
Take moments to pause throughout the day.
When you notice yourself feeling stressed or overwhelmed, listen to your body and take 30 seconds to breathe and relax. You might also like to try repeating a positive affirmation or coping statement to yourself. This might sound like "I am strong and resilient" or "this too shall pass". You can do this as often as you need throughout the day.
Practice a sleep routine.
When you're feeling consistently exhausted, looking at your sleep pattern is a great place to start. Getting enough sleep is essential for both our physical health and mental wellbeing. You should be aiming to get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Food to boost your mood.
Fuel your body and mind by eating plenty of nutritious foods. Some healthy foods that may boost your mood are:
Food rich in omega 3's and good fats such as tuna or salmon
Dark chocolate is rich in compounds that may increase feel-good chemicals in your brain.
Fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut are rich in probiotics and good bacteria that support gut health.
Fruit like banana's are a great source of vitamin B6, prebiotic fiber and natural sugars.
Whole grains like oats are rich in iron and fiber.
Colourful fruits and veggies like berries or spinach are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Nuts and seeds are high in plant-based proteins and minerals that may support brain health.
Beans and lentils are rich in many mood-boosting nutrients, especially B family vitamins.
Coffee is a great source of caffeine which helps increase focus and attention. Not only that, it often makes us feel happier.
Aim to do one thing a day that fuels your tank.
The thought of committing to a self-care routine can be overwhelming. The idea is to feel less stressed, so instead of overthinking, planning, or trying to make any big changes, try something simple. What is something you enjoy that you could do today? Make time for yourself a non-negotiable, even if it's just 30 minutes a day.
Reach out to your support network.
Everyone needs a support network whether it be your partner, a friend, a family member or a therapist. It can be tough navigating the complexities and stressors of life by yourself. When you are struggling or need a listening ear, it's important to reach out and ask for help when you feel you need it.