As a hardcore people-pleaser, I've strayed FAR away from anything remotely selfish, which I thought was great... until I realized it was leading me straight to burnout city repeatedly and forced my mind to numb out to keep up with everything going on in my life...
So, as a twenty-something who has spent her life in what she deemed service to others, how do I start to pivot away from these practices and lead a life that leaves me feeling fulfilled while being able to actually enjoy it?
Spoiler Alert: I still don't have the answer.
(Do we ever truly have the answers to concepts that are constantly shifting in our lives?)
However, I now know that trying to stay away from doing what feels good to you- whether that's not hanging out with friends in favor of rest or spending money on yourself instead of doing something "better" with it- isn't the way to go constantly. As with everything in this life, balance is key and it's vital to take care of yourself.
This is where the concept of being self-full comes in. Being self-full means you fill your cup to the point that it can overflow into others. It's doing what you know your mind and body need so you can experience the joy and peace in life you deserve every day regardless of what's going on beyond your control.
So, how do we toe the line between being selfish and self-full?
Recognize the Things That Bring You Comfort & Joy
It's so critical to know what your self-full activities are- those things that help you come back to yourself throughout your day. These things can be as simple as a cup of coffee (or chai- my favorite!) in the morning or as complex as an entire morning/evening routine.
The biggest component to pinpointing these activities is recognizing what you're doing for yourself. This is the pitfall that I fall into most! I do lots of things for myself (ex. I have a daily workout routine), but I never give myself credit for filling my cup. I attribute these activities to things I "have" to do or that I know I'm "supposed" to do. Therefore, I know firsthand that giving credit to yourself for doing for yourself is a huge piece of connecting with how full your cup is.
Carve Out Time for You!
Trust me, I get it- you're super busy. But if you don't take time for you, how can you expect yourself to keep giving to others? I've learned and I'm sure you have too- when you over give, your body takes back tenfold. Burnout is no joke and taking the time to do the preventative care is SO worth it.
This is where balance comes back into the equation. In order to prioritize yourself, you're going to have to put other pieces of your life on hold. That means saying no to family, friends, work, etc. Trust me, I know the FOMO is REAL, but it's worth the sacrifice to be truly connected to yourself and feel fulfilled in your needs.
So, if you're a planner person life me, physically schedule time and activities in for the soul purpose of self-care (see what I did there? 😉). And if you struggle with seeking out these activities (because I know it can't just be me 😅) plan them weeks in advance in a way that makes it difficult to back out. For example, when you get your nails done, schedule your next appointment there so you have the commitment of being there in a few weeks.
And last but not least...
Always Keep Working on Your Balance
Balance is never a consistent thing. What you need one day can be the opposite of what you need the next. That's completely normal! Similarly, what works for you in one phase of your life might not be your cup of tea anymore.
For example, I used to sit on the couch for HOURS curled up with a fiction book. I went through books like I went through water (once all my homework was done of course 💁🏻♀️). Today, it's very hard for me to find the time to read the way I used to love to. Therefore, it's hard for me to get into a book and I don't use it to fill my cup as much as I did back then. Now don't get me wrong, I did just blow through "It Ends With Us" and "It Starts With Us" by Colleen Hoover within the 4 days I traveled through and attended my cousin's wedding, so I still enjoy a good book 💁🏻♀️. However, that joy is looking a little different nowadays.
The major takeaway is that self-care NEEDS to be incorporated in our lives. No matter how hard we may try to deprive ourselves of it at times, it's key to not just staying away from burnout, but living a life that truly feels fulfilling.
I challenge you to take a look at your schedule this week- everything you've done and plan to do- and pick out the things you're doing truly for you. Then look inward and ask yourself, "is this enough? Am I feeling fulfilled?" If the answer is no, it's time to schedule yourself a little self-care date that I promise will go a long way ✨