Self Care Sunday: Fill Your Cup

I am going to tell you something, and it may come as a surprise to you. You cannot help others, in fact you are useless to others, if you do not feel fulfilled. It tends to be difficult for us to take time for ourselves, especially if we’re the type of people who live to serve others. We may see this as being “selfish”or “irresponsible”, when in fact it is just “necessary”. Ironically, when I came up with the idea for this post, my cup was definitely approaching empty.  I really wanted to write this up, and give myself some renewed life. But you know what? That just didn’t work out. I ended up completely forgetting I had planned blog posts at all, let alone posting about something that simply wasn’t true to me at the moment. So, now this post can become a very recent personal account of how I turned that around and filled my cup so that I could come back stronger and better.

Image result for cup half full engineer

I’m sure you’re familiar with the cup half full/cup half empty debate. I had to include the engineering joke, because I’m an engineer, and I do not believe that the glass is of the optimal size. But that’s not the point, my point is that if the cup is half full/empty it’s still half. What can you do to make it the whole? Do you change your perspective to the other common joke that the other half is air and the cup is 100% full? Do you fill up the cup with more of the same? Do you fill up the cup with another liquid? Regardless of your approach, you have to do something in order to make up the other half. For me, I felt my cup draining. I felt all my happiness and energy slowly leaking out of the bottom, even as I tried to add more on the top. 

I tried to remind myself of all the reasons why I enjoy doing things. I tried to remind myself that if I didn’t show up to work, not only would I be missing out on everything I had planned, but I would also be extremely disappointed with myself if I let myself walk out. I had to remind myself that if I didn’t knit, that was more I had to work on later before I could do what I wanted to do. I had to tell myself that by not doing things, I was only creating a world when I had to do them later and they piled up. This helped, it was slow, but it helped.

I also thought about all of the things that I feel once I have accomplished a task. I reminded myself that the beginning of a workout is much harder than the end of the workout. I reminded myself how much I smile scrolling down my instagram feed because of all the accounts and hashtags I follow. I reminded myself what I feel when I hear the notification sound that somebody liked my blog post. I took a look at my vision board and reminded myself what my ultimate goals were and how life is filled with stepping stones. Even with all of this it still took me a while to get back to myself.

So what do you do? Whatever works. You need to forgive yourself if you just can’t be there for a day. You also need to accept that not every day is going to be absolutely perfect. You have to understand that you are human, and so are your friends, family, followers. Through a lot of investigations into my own life, I was able to give myself the juice to get back to blogging, and I am so happy for that. But until that juice came back, I just wasn’t able to be here for you and I accept that that’s okay. 


Published by She Got The PhD

A web-based soapbox of an Assistant Professor of color in Chemical Engineering; sharing my feelings on books, academia, and current events. I hope you enjoy reading :)

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