“What do I need?”
This question can be hard to answer when you’re constantly trying to help others meet their needs. This makes it crucial to have wellness practices that allow us to pour into ourselves instead of depending on something or someone else to do it for us. Whether that be friendships, jobs, community, loved ones, or personal interests, I am pouring into many things and many people. That is a beautiful thing, and I am grateful to be able to serve my world, but when I’m not mindful of myself and what I need, I tend to get off balance. And when I feel off balance, I can not serve anything or anyone in a way that is 100%. Due to a considerable portion of my life being in service, I’ve had to find ways to balance myself without being dependent on material things or people. Here are five simple ways I serve myself, which bring me back center, and I hope they can do the same for you.
Note: Although it is important to be able to fuel your own cup, having people and a life that naturally do it for you is also important.
At first, this heading was “exercising,” but I didn’t want to scare anybody off (lol, this is a safe place). Although movement and exercise are cousins, movement is a little sweeter. I’m not here to give you a spill on why you need to exercise four days a week, but I am here to tell you that you need to move for yourself and not just to get out of bed to go to your job, school, or friends’ event. You should move because you are moving for you. That looks like stretching for eight minutes once you get out of bed in the morning, going for a walk around the block or track, working out for a healthy heart, or even cleaning your room. All of these forms of movement bring you back to serving yourself and pouring into your cup. All of these have helped me feel less on the go for everything else and more on the move for myself.
A Year ago, I was not the one to tell you to set a goal. Yes, I knew the idea of setting goals like everyone else, but I did not have a reason why goals were so vital for ME at the time.
In my junior year of high school, I had a lot of work like everybody else in my class. I also had older friends tell me that I was going to fail a couple of classes too. I decided I was not going for whatever hardship they went through, so that year, I started making school work to-do lists. As the year went on I became a lot less stressed than everyone else and, it was because I had a to-do list to keep me on track, and they didn’t. Once making a to-do list became natural, I started putting things outside of my school work on the list that I wanted to work towards, which is goal setting. I learned that if I wrote it down, it would happen. So I never stopped, and it became an everyday practice for me.
The takeaway? I want you all to understand that by goal setting, I had things that I could work toward for myself and no one else. This gave me a healthy sense of self-confidence, knowing that I have poured into myself and not just everything and everyone around me. I encourage you to experience this intentionally by goal setting.
Working on Inner Self
You can tell the quality of oranges by their peel. If the orange is good to eat, it has a healthy peel. But the quality of the orange is not a reflection of the peel on its own. It’s solely based on the inside of the orange.
We are like oranges; whatever is on the inside will reflect on the outside, so we must take care of what is on the inside so that our lives will mirror our highest selves on the outside.
Here are some ways to ensure that I am well from the inside out, making it possible for me to stay sound within myself and have a life I am happy to reflect on.
Self Work Practices:
- Work on faith: Have a daily devotion for your religious belief.
- Journal: Write about your day or things you are grateful about (writing based on self).
- Meditate: Focus on you in the present moment.
- Read: Spend time learning something new or read on something you love.
Dieting is one of my biggest struggles. I would rather not eat than eat something that is not healthy. This is not a good excuse for not eating; it’s just what happens and “It’s just what happens,” is what many of us tell ourselves. This saying stunts our growth. We have to be mindful of the reasons for our actions.
After writing my reason for not prioritizing my diet, I realize my explanation is not valid, so I will be preparing for that this week.
Extra tip: Try writing down your reasons for not doing something and see if the cause is an excuse or an excuse. I said excuse twice on purpose.
When I am intentional about my diet, I will meal-prep. Meal prepping takes about an hour a week to do. Could someone get by without a balanced diet? Yes, but getting by is not the way we should treat ourselves. And by having an intentional diet, we are nurturing ourselves in the way we deserve. Here are some of the easy meal preps I do when I decide to be intentional about my diet.
Meal Prep #1: Chicken Pasta
- Sauce of choice
Meal Prep #2: Chipotle Bowl From Home
- Adobe chicken
- Mexican rice
- Black beans
*With any meal I have at home, I typically have fruit as a side
Rest is something you can get too little or too much of. When you get too little, you can’t function properly, and when you get too much, it can become an unhealthy habit. There is no way to be perfect at anything, but you must be mindful of your rest, making sure that it is the right amount for you and your life. See how it feels when you get a certain number of hours of sleep versus others, and then move accordingly.
Tip for great sleep: Listen to Jhene Aiko’s “Sleep Soul Relaxing R&B Baby Sleep Music“
After reading my article, I hope you have acknowledged some things you need to do or change to fuel your cup correctly. We need ourselves just as much as the world needs us. This is why it is imperative that we are intentional about everything we do and how we treat ourselves in a world that will keep moving with or without fulfilling our needs.
Jojo loves you, and I hope you continue to love yourself as well 🙂