The old adage states,“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”
In as much as this makes sense, it also feels like it’s counterintuitive to the process of Giving Back. The idea of taking care of self first feels selfish and intrinsically egotistical. As caregivers. changemakers, volunteers and the like we shine our lights in service of others so often that we tend to forget about our needs and feel guilty when we do focus on ourselves.
I’m here to remind you that that way of thinking can be harmful to our health and can ultimately hinder how much good we ultimately do.
Please understand that I share this with you with the understanding that I am a work in progress myself and I am using this a reminder for myself as well as a reminder for you.
In fact, I received this lesson again this week as I dealt with an unexpected summer cold. I have been doing A LOT recently because I realize that I can’t grow Giving Back With Gail if I don’t put the work in. So I get up early now and I put in the work. Add to that the fact that I was hosting an out of town friend and I work and I have other projects and, and and….well you get the point. I was burning the candle at both ends. And eventually my body reminded me who was in charge.
So I spent the last few days in bed. I still posted every day and I still had to put a call to action out for a new segment. But those days were ultimately lost to me being sick. So I didn’t get to do as much as I wanted and I didn’t get to volunteer over the weekend as I’d planned to.
The easy remedy to all of this is that I should have listened to my body. The moment that I felt fatigue and the slightest tinge in my throat I should have taken a moment to slow down...not stop mind you...just slow down and listen.
I didn’t and now a week later I am still recovering but I am heeding the lesson. So now I will continue to live this great big purpose of mine via Giving Back With Gail and I will slow down each day to gauge just how my heart, body and soul feels.
I am not the best at self care...caregivers rarely are but I am working on it.
Right now self care looks like watching episodes of my favorite show that causes big, guttural laughs that ground me, cooking healing foods in my kitchen and visioning what’s next in my world. Soon it will include monthly massages, meetups with like minds and escapes to nature with a book in hand.
I am a work in progress when it comes to self care but I know that I’m not alone. I’d love to hear all of the ways that you take care of yourself. And I’m here to remind you that it’s ok to do so.
Let’s all remember to focus on the power in self care and in being gentle with ourselves when we forget. We need to keep our cups full so that we can continue to pour out great big cups of our love, kindness and Giving Back.
Gail Anderson, CGO
(Chief Giving Officer)
Giving Back With Gail
My newest segment on the Instagram page is called “Why I Give Back Wednesdays”. Each week, a new person will be highlighted as they tell us why they Give Back. I need your help to move it forward. If you’d like to share why you Give Back, please send a video 60 seconds or less to firstname.lastname@example.org. Secondly, please fill out the attached Google form so that I have permission to use your video. https://goo.gl/forms/tqX6aRmaHek5CQ9f2