How often do you take the time to nurture yourself?
This question has come to the forefront for me lately. I find that when I’m in a particularly busy phase, I put “time for me” at the bottom of the list. For some reason, the work ethic I’ve absorbed says that I should take time to recharge only once all my other work is done. That’s not really helpful. In this model, by the time the day is done, I’m exhausted and just want to collapse into bed. Then I get up and start it all over again. It’s stressful.
When you’re busy and trying to get a lot done, it’s easier to be productive if your own needs and wants are being met. Sure, there are the basics, like getting enough sleep and eating nourishing foods. But even beyond that, check in with yourself – how are you feeling emotionally? mentally? spiritually? What do you need to do to replenish yourself on those levels?
If you rely on a partner or friend to help you, it’s important to be clear. I find myself in a grey area, wishing for help but not wanting to ask for it. I get envious of others in my life who I see being nourished by their loved ones. Yes, it’s perhaps more rewarding when someone does something for you because they see the need and take compassionate action without waiting to be asked. But realistically, others are busy with their own tasks and concerns. If you want some help, ask for it, kindly and directly.
Relying on a daily spiritual practice is also a great way to be sure you’re nourished. Try to do your practice early in the day. Let it be a time for connection and self-love. On the days when I do my journal-writing practice before even getting out of bed, I’m much more centered and ready for whatever the day brings.
When you take responsibility for filling your own cup on a regular basis, you’ll be of greater service to others and to your community. Your work will be more likely to bring you joy, rather than resentment. Take a break, go within, nurture yourself, and only then turn outward once again.