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Practicing Self-Care: Filling Your Own Cup First

Posted by Arona Martin on
Practicing Self-Care: Filling Your Own Cup First

Self-care is something we hear about often, but not always something we think about doing. We never put it high enough on our priority list, even though we need to. Loving others well is really hard if we aren’t loving ourselves first!

It is vital we practice self-care (or self-love) as supporters of those with cancer, or any other disease for that matter. In fact, self-care helps us be better humans in general! I know we’ve all heard the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup” that is so true. We can’t continue giving when we’re depleted, worn down, and running on fumes - that’s not the way we are meant to live anyway! But that’s what tends to happen when we focus on everyone and everything else and don’t take the time to focus on us.

Self-care is not selfish - it’s essential. It’s not something you should feel guilty about doing or something that should overwhelm you.

Caregivers can especially relate to lacking self-care! We tend to put ourselves on the back burner because everyone else comes before us. We are givers. We give everything we have to those we love and that is great. But without taking time to recharge, after a while we will feel exhausted, unappreciated, and sometimes without even realizing it, we can become resentful. Don’t wait for that to happen! Incorporate self-care into your routine now.

When we choose to make self-care a priority, we will flourish and thrive, instead of just survive.  

Self-care improves all aspects of our health - physically, mentally, and emotionally.  In return, we will be able to give more to others and not feel like we are totally spent when doing so.

Some benefits of practicing self-care:

  1. Less stress, anxiety, and depression
  2. Improved productivity
  3. Better sleep
  4. Improved physical health (exercise is definitely a mood-booster!)
  5. Strengthened relationships with others

Self-care isn’t necessarily about taking long bubble baths or diving into your favorite chocolates (although, if either of those sounds like your idea of self-care, go for it!)  Maybe you just want some quiet, uninterrupted time to enjoy a good book or favorite show, meet a friend for coffee, or work on that hobby you’ve long forgotten. Self-care comes in many different forms.  

One of the things I notice when my own self-care goes on the back-burner is how I talk to myself. I can be harsh, critical, and overall unkind with the words I use in my head. In our Love Heals Journal, there is a page to write a letter to yourself. Give yourself grace, give yourself some love. You are doing the best you can. 

A letter to yourself - journaling prompt

Join the because love. Facebook Group today to download your free letter template.

The beauty of it is it’s up to YOU!  As long as you’re prioritizing your needs, you’ll be able to effectively love and care for others. 

For more tips on self-care or to connect with others in similar situations as yours, join our Facebook Group: Because Love - Support for Supporters.

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