You cannot pour from an empty cup

I feel like a have a million things to do, my energy is going everywhere but me. I could scream. Ever feel like that? Me too. Often. Too often.

When you’re someone who gives a lot it’s easy to forget about yourself and your needs. Do you sometimes feel like you’re barely treading water or perhaps you feel like you’re fighting for air? Maybe you get ill or feel like you can’t get up in the morning?

It’s easy to say yes to that project or to another activity that primarily benefits someone else. Sometimes we pick up others’ emotional baggage, particularly if we are in a caring or supportive role.

“You cannot pour from an empty vessel, you must take care of yourself first” – Eleanor Brown

I can’t remember when I first heard this quote but it’s one I often forget. Life gets in the way and suddenly I realise I’m shattered or snapping at the kids. I usually try and work out what’s going on (that takes a few days) then it hits me. I’m empty.

The thing is, you need to be physically, mentally and emotionally able in order to be fully available for others. You can’t listen if your mind is wandering, you can’t do anything if you’re so tired you can’t keep your eyes open and you can’t support someone through a crisis if you’re on the edge of one yourself. You need to take care of yourself.

When did you last do something just for you? Something you really love doing or something that brings the calm into the chaos. If you need to think for longer than about 30 seconds it was probably too long ago. I know many of you reading this won’t remember the last time.

Maybe it’s as simple as finishing your cup of tea whilst it’s hot, taking 15 mins to sit quietly or take half an hour for an activity you relish. It doesn’t have to be a big thing (but it could be). Taking time to refill your cup is not selfish, it’s essential.

My question to you is what do you love yourself enough to do? (I would love to hear what they are)

6 thoughts on “You cannot pour from an empty cup”

  1. Absolutely! My mum recently pointed out similar to me, after a tearful chat on the phone when I was feeling like a terrible mum. I was tired and run down and that was why my patience with the kids had deserted me.
    This last week I have rediscovered my love of reading…not that I had lost it but I didn’t feel I had time for it. One kindle, one baby to feed and a short time later I feel like I have done the necessary of feeding the baby but had a bit of escapism too. Not quite the total me time but it really helps to recharge my batteries and makes me feel like I am not just ‘doing for others’ all the time.
    Mummy multi tasking at its best!


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