Since an early age, many of us, especially females, are directly or indirectly taught to care for others and take others into consideration first. We are told that if we take care of our own needs, we are being "selfish." While some of us are able to navigate the fine line of being able to take care of others and ourselves at the same time, many of us find it difficult to do so. At this point, let me introduce to you the concept of being "Self-Full."
No, it is not a concept or word that I came up with myself. (That would've been awesome!). It was something that I heard/learned from professors and supervisors that stuck with me.
Imagine this: You are a well filled to the brim with water. As people come and go in your life, they ask things of you. Whether it be favors, time, money, effort, etc. With each request you fulfill, they take a bucket of water from your well. Over time, the amount of water in your well begins to decline. If you choose to continue to give of yourself and not replenish your water supply by engaging in things to make you feel fulfilled, you will eventually run dry. Then, when others come to you for help of any kind, and even if you want to assist them, you will not be able to. (This is just one of the MANY examples that can be given to demonstrate just how vital it is to take care of yourself. This one in particular is one of my favorites, and one in which I shamelessly admit to borrowing.)
With the holiday season quickly approaching, albeit it being a wonderful and joyous time, it can be a stressful time for many. The holidays can be physically, emotionally, and/or financially difficult, making it even harder to make the time to care for yourself. However, it is also the time when self-care is most needed.
Here are some ways to make sure you are "Self-Full" during this time and all year round:
*Engage in activities/hobbies (i.e. traveling, scrapbooking, playing an instrument, etc.) that makes you feel happy and fulfilled
*Exercise the way you prefer (i.e. dancing, running, swimming, hiking, playing sports, etc.) to relieve stress
*Set limits and boundaries with others by balancing your "Yes's" and "No's," so that your own needs can also be met
*Check-in with yourself to gauge where you are mentally and physically once in awhile
*Give yourself permission to take care of your own needs before taking care of the needs of others'
*Ask for help when needed, because doing so will only make you stronger, not weaker
*Be kind to yourself when you discover your own limitations, because no one is perfect and it is all a part of being human and alive
Just remember that you will not be able to care for others if you, yourself, is not well taken care of. It isn't being "selfish," it's being "Self-Full."
"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." -Buddha