I am tired. I am drained.
They say you can’t pour from an empty cup and I am feeling so very empty.
I want to spill out this knowledge I have within me. I want to share every detail of what I’ve learned. I want to learn more. I want to give as much as I can and I want to do as much as I can. However, I am so tired. I’m not physically tired, though. Sleeping doesn’t make it better. I’m emotionally and mentally tired. I have never grasped good coping skills. I can’t understand self-care. I get the fundamentals, but I don’t actually know that I’ve found what recharges me.
I’ve taken bubble baths, I’ve read books, I’ve laid in a hammock, I’ve drank tea, I’ve stretched, I’ve done yoga.
The thing is, I don’t do these things in conjuction with anything else. I don’t make self-care a pillar on which I stand daily and balance with the rest of my life. I wait to self-care until I am DONE.
I think this is where the flaw lies. Maybe you’re with me, or maybe you totally have this self-care thing under control but you just have no time. Either way, I want to encourage you (and myself) to see self-care as a necessity. Just like we nourish our bodies with food, water, and supplements, we have to nourish our minds with time and exercises that give us a break.
Did you know that we consume more than food? Of course you did. But do you ever think of everyday activities as consumption? I’m not even talking about from a “we are consumers” perspective where we see ads all day everyday. I’m talking about every app we play on, every minute we spend scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. I mean every Netflix show we binge and video game we play. Are any of these things inherently bad? Hell no. However, are you ever giving your mind a break?
Do yourself a favor: Take an afternoon and scroll through Facebook and Instagram. Any time you see something that makes you go “ughhhh. Are you serious? This is freaking ridiculous!” unfollow. Any time you question why you’re looking at something, remove it. Get in the habit of making a conscious decision to eliminate the “junk food” that is filling your brain.
I don’t mean to sound like a youth pastor. I still follow meme pages that make me laugh a shit ton and are some of the dumbest things around. But it brings me ZERO joy that I know the “156 top things you DIDN’T notice in T Swift’s new video!” or the fact that “Khloe and Kylie MAY BE PREGNANT AT THE SAME TIME” or the status update from that one guy that I met at that business lunch that I can’t even remember what it was for. UPDATE: He was single when I met him. Since then he has met a girl, gotten married, and had a baby, and I was updated for every part of it! Spoiler: We haven't spoken since that business lunch.
People. Every moment of content, every second of political mess, every pregnancy scare from the girl you knew in 3rd grade, is making our minds work.
Do a mental detox. Be mindful of what you’re putting in your head. Also, know that I am speaking to myself. If I clocked it, I probably check Facebook over 100 times a day. Not kidding. I go to check the time, unlock my phone, and before I know it, I’m scrolling. I have binge-watched more Netflix than I’m proud of. Does The Office change their episodes? No. But I still go through the entire series over and over again.
None of these things are bad, but I need to give my mind a break. I need to let it breathe. I need to allow myself an opportunity to cope with stress and identify what it is I’m numbing out when I use social media and TV this much.
Find what brings you joy. Eliminate what drains you and find what fills you.
Because, as we know, you can’t pour from an empty cup.