Energy is defined as the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity. For most of the women I know (including myself), having the energy to do ALL of the things that are expected of us and that we expect for ourselves is nearly impossible. Go to school, go to work, do your homework, go to practice, do laundry, keep your kids happy, keep your house clean…the list could, literally, go on forever. So how does one have the energy to do all of the things and take care of themselves in the process?
As women, we are, naturally, caretakers. We will often times put others needs ahead of our own in an effort to make them less uncomfortable. What that ends up doing is draining us (quite literally) so we don’t have the energy needed to take care of ourselves the way we should be.
I was watching this family on YouTube with my kids not long ago. The mom had a pitcher of water and, probably, 20 empty, small cups arranged on the table. She gathered her small herd of children and explained to them that every time she did something like cleaning the kitchen without help, broke up a fight between siblings, or had to run a million errands, it was like she was pouring out a little bit of her water (energy) into each cup. By the time she got to the end of her day her pitcher was empty. She had nothing left to give the people she loved or even think about doing something for herself. She then went on to explain that in order to be able to give more she had to have the time to refill her pitcher. For her that meant working out (pour some water back in), having a night out with her girlfriends (add more water), reading a good book/praying (H2O! H2O!). When her pitcher was filled up again she made the point that in order for her to be the best version of herself she had to make time to fill herself up again.
That thought has really stuck with me over the last few months and I’ve made a concerted effort to keep myself hydrated (metaphorically speaking). What I’ve found is that when I focused on myself more, I had more energy to take care of everything else that was important to me. So how can we replenish ourselves and our energy?
· Start saying no-You heard me. Just say no. As one of our ShineGirl role models, Jen Hatmaker, says, “If it’s not a HELL YES, it’s a no.” Don’t want to volunteer for the kids bake sale, say no. Not interested in going on another blind date, say no. Don’t want to meet up with energy sucking friends for another gripe session, JUST. SAY. NO. Trust me, it’s one of the most freeing things you’ll ever do for yourself.
· Carve out one hour a day that is just for you. Every day. Meditate, pray, read, catch up on Stranger Things, go to Starbucks and people watch. Do something that refills your water! If you can’t find one hour in a day that is just for you and doesn’t fall in the hours when you should be sleeping then you may want to take a look at how you are prioritizing what’s important to you.
· Ask for help-you can refer to my first blog post, “Be Like Bey.” Not everything has to be done by you. We’re not looking for superheroes here, ladies.
It’s a pretty simple concept. Take care of yourself and do things that make you happy. Your pitcher will end up flowing over in abundance for those around you. Water yourself you beautiful flower you.
Keep shining, ShineGirls!