Let’s drill down into what it takes to design a life you love, which brings you happiness every day. At the centre of it is yourself. Specifically a version of yourself where you spend time filling your cup.
I decided to explore this by inviting other enlightened mums to guest post. Those who have been the stressed mum, the overwhelmed mum, the unhappy mum, but have come out of the other side. I wanted to hear from them how they got there and what the benefits have been.
Meet my second guest blogger, Amy. She is Founder of Powerhoop NZ and has even created a group from her own journey of filling her cup! My HAPPY 100 is a place where she inspires and motivates more people to do more stuff for themselves.
What does filling your cup mean to you?
How much of a priority is your own self-care in your life?
It is something I am truly passionate about and of course it is a work in progress for me.
Care to elaborate?
There have been times when I see my own life passing me by and I am not grasping it enough and making the most of it. I was using being busy in my business and being a mother of three as a reason not to do a lot of things I would love to do. It left me feeling depleted. I was attending to the needs of everyone else before me.
Can you share an example?
I had been wanting to do things like take my kids away individually on a little holiday to create some memories together. This meant so much to me, but each year would pass and I just wasn’t making it happen. So, I decided enough was enough, I wrote a list of things I wanted to bring into my life this year. Not a TO DO list, more of a THINGS I WANT TO BRING INTO MY LIFE list. Because I wrote my list down, and shared it publicly, I felt really accountable for it. It is now half way through the year and I have already ticked off over 50% of my list. And there are 100 things on there! I can honestly say this has been my best year yet and taking my kids away was definitely one of the highlights for me. As a result of doing more things for me, I feel less stressed, way happier, and much more balanced in my life. My cup is so much fuller and I finally feel I am living MY best life. I am doing things for ME!!
Wow! So are you the only one who benefits from this?
Well of course I do benefit, but my kids also benefit from having a happier mum, my husband benefits from having a more balanced mum, my customers definitely get the best of me and my friends must see the difference too.
So, what’s your advice to mums out there who aren’t putting themselves first?
First I’d say, I get it. It is all too easy to wake up in the morning and rush out of bed only to find yourself zapping around at 100 miles an hour, getting everything organized for the day ahead. It is like a hurricane of packing school lunches, looking for lost socks, feeding the animals, walking the dog, messaging a colleague about something or another, catching up with world on social media, checking e mails, feeding the kids / family, pouring that first coffee down our necks and so on. And that just about covers the first hour of the day! The rest of the day can look equally as hectic if we allow it, just rush, rush and more rushing.
We rush to get to work, rush through the traffic, super busy at work, rush to get home to feed kids / family, outside activities to attend, and get everyone all organised for the next day. Coffee is the fuel that gets us through. Or maybe that is wine?
It seems like we never quite “get it all done”. We never quite get to tick off our entire lists. We might tick a few off, but we have added more and more. The end may feel like it is in sight, but it’s not, it’s just a mirage.
So, my advice is to turn around your thinking. Accept, it will never end. That’s the truth. There will ALWAYS be something left to do. And if we allow it, LIFE like this can take over and we can end up like FRAZZLED MARTYRS with no time really allocated to just US.
What do you think is the main obstruction to mum’s putting themselves first and taking care of themselves?
Time. We are far too busy looking after the needs of all of those around us to even consider taking time out for ourselves, there are far too many things to get done first. We often don’t value ourselves enough to invest the time to do more things that will bring us that joy. Everyone else comes first.
Has there been a time that you didn’t fill your cup?
Yes. Only a couple of years ago, I ended up in hospital. I had let stress get to me again and I felt done in. I had a lot going on at the time, emotionally, and I just put NO time into my own self care really. Yes I was exercising and eating well, which helped me so much, but I was having no down time. So yes, we can end up like a frazzled martyr if we fail to care for ourselves properly. I also think if we spend too much time making everyone else happy to our own detriment, then we end up resentful too. And of course that means those around us, get the brunt of that build up of resentment too! We end up lacking in energy, feeling wiped out, possibly a little depressed, and turning to narcotics to get us through! It did used to be like that for me.
So, how can the mums reading this start to fill their cups?
Do anything from exercise, to meditating, to going for a walk, to a massage, to spending time with a friend, or learning a new hobby. Truly something that brings YOU joy when you do it.
Being a parent is when you need to be the best version of yourself, which means it should be the best time to take more care of yourself. Because if you take care of YOUR needs then you are in a much better position to help others! It’s that simple. You will have more energy, more lust for life and be happier. If your cup is full, then, you can help everyone else.
Finally, this life is for living now, we are NOT guaranteed any time here, so I reckon we make the most of our time. And the more we can do for ourselves, the happier we are. And the more EVERYONE benefits from it.
To read more about Amy’s Happy List, visit her website.