Have you put yourself in your diary? Or are all the places filled up with other people and other things? There’s a well-known phrase – well-known because it’s true. “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Look after yourself first.” You can’t serve others if you haven’t looked after yourself. Yet, many of us don’t allow time in our overly busy lives to replenish ourselves and recharge the batteries.
This is a super-quick reminder of how important it is to make time for yourself this season. I know it already seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day. You hardly take a break and you can’t remember the last day that wasn’t intensely busy from start to finish. It’s draining and you know it will be like that until the end of the season. There’s no more space in the diary – I hear you saying.
The truth is that we get so caught up in getting things done, in getting through the to-do list, that we forget about ourselves. We don’t prioritize looking after ourselves. We focus on just keeping going. There will be time to rest later, we tell ourselves.
What are our priorities? Many people confuse these with values, thinking our priorities are the things we feel are important in life. In fact, our priorities are the things we spend most time on. For most people, work is a priority – that’s where we spend a large proportion of our available time. For some, exercise is a priority – there’s a non-negotiable space in the diary every day for physical exertion. For others, time with friends and family is a priority and a large proportion of time in the week is spent with them. You get the point. If you have not reserved time in your day or week for yourself to replenish, you simply are not a priority for yourself. And if you can’t look after yourself, eventually it comes really tough to look after others.
The difficult thing is that it is exactly when we are stressed out or busy that we are most likely to ditch our self-care activities. This is because our brains go into fight-or-flight mode and our perspective gets narrow. We get really wrapped up in ‘getting things done’ mode and can’t pull back to see a bigger picture. Another reason this happens is that we don’t have a go-to list of self-care activities or times that remind us to factor ourselves in.
One way to counteract this is to schedule time for yourself in the diary. This puts you on your To-Do List. This makes you a priority. Here are five ways that you can make time for yourself this season, time to replenish the cup, to recharge your body and spirit.
“Self-care is not self-indulgence, it’s self-preservation.” (Audre Lourde).
At the end of the day, it’s your job to look after yourself. Put yourself in the diary. Make yourself a priority. Allow time to replenish your body and your spirit this season. You can use the overflow to serve your customers and team better.