An Empty Cup

November 19, 2018

ATG Writer - Abi Weston (@abiwestonnnn)

You see someone you haven't seen in years at the grocery store, and they say "Hey! How's life been?!" Have you ever noticed at this point, that yourself and almost anyone you ask will say, "Good! Very busy, but good!" When did we start associating busy, with doing well? 

Busy is so often times linked with success, that people feel the need to run themselves into the ground in order to feel as though they're on the right path. Even I fall immensely into this category, as every hour of my day is filled with something I have to do. When we don't have something on the schedule, like a meeting to attend, a class to be in, a club to run, or a job to be at, we'll 100% find something to fill that time with. But why? 

From a psychological stand point, we all have reward centers in our brain that give us a good feeling when we accomplish something. Ideally, this sounds pretty great, right? This good feeling can unfortunately come from things that may be running us into the ground, like being outrageously busy and stressed. This reward feeling pushes us to keep filling our schedules, but in all the wrong ways. We take on more roles in clubs, group projects, helping others, etc. All of these things are great things, but when it comes to a point that it leaves you with less than an hour a day for yourself, you end up with an empty cup. 

Self care, enjoyment, relaxation and overall value of life is suddenly drained, as we stay constantly on the go. Our cup is then emptied completely, and we are exhausted, drained, and cannot figure out why exactly we're so sad/stressed. With this empty cup that we have become, we continue to try to give and give to our daily activities. This is what makes staying so busy, so bad. You cannot pour into someone else's cup if yours is empty. Typically, people who are able to make time to "refill" are able to stay busy in the healthiest way possible, as they help others, be productive, and take care of themselves. But I think for most of the busy population, this is not the case. 

So, if being busy can be this unhealthy for you, (now that we know it is), why would we as a society keep running down such a dark road? It's something I like to call "The Glorified Busy Girl". Have you ever noticed that it's all over movies, shows, books, and in general conversion? The idea that the person who is 24/7 busy, with a fancy planner and color coded schedule is the successful one. The definition of success is brutally warped in this society. Instead of success being happiness, inner peace, and a good overall value of life, we have chosen to focus closer on success being defined as career stance, accomplishments and how much someone can fit into their schedule in order to help others. 

The next step is to address how we are able to break this norm. Obviously (as you can tell by Pinterest "Self Care" Lists) the easiest thing to do is take care of yourself. But here's the kicker, often times the people who fall into this category of being overly busy feel a ton of guilt surrounding taking time off to relax. To them, suddenly taking time off is essentially breaking the "success". 

We cannot give from an empty cup.

If we do not give to ourselves once in awhile, how can we expect to give to others when we are completely on empty? 

Stop for a few minutes, take in the world around you, and make sure you give back to yourself and your well being. 

Self care, time alone, and self exploration is a major key to happiness. I personally have found that overall life stresses become 100 times lighter when I take the time to breath, do something for myself, or appreciate where I am currently at in life. 

Ideas needed? I have recently added something to my schedule that is a huge part in me refilling my cup. Every Sunday, while I am out grocery shopping, I pick up fresh roses for my desk vase. All week long when I see them, I remember that I appreciate myself, can take care of myself, and that life has beautiful things to offer. 

Fill your soul with light, energy, self love, and reminders of the beauty of a current moment. 

We cannot give from an empty cup- give to yourself before pouring into others, a busy schedule, or stressful commitments 

Love yourself lovelies, and others will too. 


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