This life is golden, and it is golden because we choose to take the time to make it shine. Our world shines because we have made it a priority to practice self-love through a regular self-care ritual. Making it a part of our daily lives to do something wonderful for ourselves is indeed the solution for providing that same love and attention for others.
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” – Eleanor Brown
Developing a self-care ritual is not an act of selfishness. It is actually rather selfless, and let me tell you why. As the quote states above, you cannot serve from an empty vessel. When you are always busy doing for others, giving to others, and you aren’t tending to your own needs, a disconnect forms over time. Waking up to that disconnection is unfulfilling and quite exhausting long-term. Giving to others is a true method of delivering good vibes, not only to those on the receiving end, but the good feelings envelope you as well.
In order to give to others our time and energy, we must excuse ourselves from the gatherings, the helping, and the sharing, just enough so that when we do give, we aren’t giving it all. When we give all that we have, it generally never feels as though we’ve indeed given enough. Do you see how this works?
Instead, when we give a small percentage of what we have to offer, we can, from time to time, give a little extra. Ultimately, when we create a habit out of spreading ourselves thin, we leave little to no reserve necessary to restore. Then, when it comes time to share our energy and resources, we have nothing more to give and we feel terrible. We feel guilty for not having enough to offer.
Developing a Self-care Ritual
The truth is, we have so much to offer. Even when time and resources seem in short supply, we find ways to muster up a little something more. No problem, right? Spending and giving feels good. Really good. But there comes a time, when you reach a certain level, in which you must say no to everyone and everything else, and say yes to you.
Carve out time
Carve out time each week to spend time with yourself. Put it on the calendar, write it in your planner. Schedule this time for yourself just as you would any other important appointment or responsibility. It is now your responsibility to show up every week, meet and greet yourself as if you will not have the chance to reschedule. This is vital, and you must be there on time.
Pick a time, and do not be late. When you get really good, you can start showing up every single day; but for now, weekly is perfect for just getting started. The time will not appear, so you must begin to prioritize your self-care ritual. Got your appointment-with-self written on your calendar? Okay, onto the next step.
Tell others about it
The people in your life want to take from you as much as you allow them to take. If you are constantly available to your family, your partner, your friends, or your boss, then they will happily keep you busy working for them. When you schedule a doctor’s appointment, you have no problem expressing how unavailable you are during that time. Well, now, you are unavailable every Saturday morning from the time you wake up (which is nobody’s business) until 2pm – or whenever your self-care time begins and ends.
Explain to those within your immediate circle (such as your spouse or a roommate) that you are carving out me-time. Tell them specifically when, including the day(s) and the hour(s) and tell them that you are not to be interrupted or disturbed or bothered in any way (unless the house is literally on fire). For those who are on the outside, yet still manage to keep you busy, give them the hours when you are available, and how to reach you in case of an urgent matter (should this be necessary depending on your job or other variable). Anything else is unimportant while you are filling your cup.
Organize your time
Decided how you wish to spend the time you’ve carved out for yourself. What is it you would really love to do? Perhaps you would like to get lost in a book, spend time writing or cooking, learn a new skill or tend to a project that you’ve forgotten about for some time. This is your time, and you can spend it in any way you wish. Maybe you go to a class or workshop on a certain day, and enjoy lunch with a friend (or by yourself!) afterwards.
Go out and get some fresh air, or if you’re one who’s always running around, reserve time in your house alone. Tell the people in your immediate circle that you would like to have the house to yourself for a few hours. Speak up, ask for what you want and don’t let guilt stand in the way of your self-care ritual.
Developing a self-care ritual may take some figuring out. You might go through weeks of experiments with what you enjoy doing. If you’re anything like me, then you might even do something different every time, just to keep things interesting. Throughout the week, you might have a daily ritual that is relaxing or energizing, depending on the time of day, but then on the weekends, you leave it up to your mood or your cravings. There doesn’t have to be a rhyme or reason as to what you do or why. Just sneak off and enjoy yourself.
Give yourself the time and space to dream and to wonder. Let the walls down and see what comes to mind. What would you do if you had no responsibilities at home, or at work, and you were finally free to explore? Where would you go, what would you do? Really use your imagination and put no limits on the possibilities. Allowing yourself to just be, be who you are, feel how you feel, is exactly what your body and your mind needs regularly. No more façades. No more logic. No more pleasing anyone except you.
You are responsible for filling your cup. From that which you sip, you can afford to share. When there is no more substance in your cup, you must take the time to refill, recharge, and return to the fountain for more. When you are satisfied and have had plenty, then you may pour unto others what is in abundance.
There will be time when you find that you cannot get enough to satisfy yourself. Do not feel guilty for this. Limitations come in many different shapes, and can show up in any season of life. What matters the most is that you recognize when you are able to give, and when you are not able. Knowing when to say no, kindly, to others is crucial for learning when to say yes to yourself.
You need you. And the only way you can give yourself what you truly need is by creating time every week to check back in and fill your cup. Give it a scrub and polish during this time. The overflow will come – it is inevitable, and powerful. You are powerful and giving when you give to yourself.
What actions will you take towards bringing more self-care in your life?
I would love to know how you spend time taking care of you. Let me know in the comments below & thanks for joining me!