Fill your bucket. It is a metaphor, and a darn fine one. Picture every person having a bucket. Some buckets are full (usually happy, calm folks). Some buckets are empty (the cranky, stressed-out people). Whenever you take time for yourself, meet your needs, enjoy a hobby or free time, do something fun, or relax, you fill your bucket. There are also things that dip out of your bucket such as stress, work, people . . . anything that drains you. So, it is important to keep an eye on your “bucket” and ideally keep it full or fill it when it is getting low so you don’t get to the point of feeling empty.
A wise friend once told me that you can’t serve from an empty platter. Same idea as the bucket. Fill your emotional platter. Take time for yourself. Take care of yourself. Because, you can’t give anything to others if you don’t have anything to give.
It is not selfish to first take care of your needs before you help others. It’s the whole oxygen-mask-on-the-airplane principle. Put on your own oxygen mask first so then you can help those around you; otherwise, you’ll be unconscious and of no use to anyone. It may feel selfish, but there is a big difference between selfish and self care.
So fill up your bucket before you start dipping out of it. Fill your platter before you serve from it. Go ahead and put on your own oxygen mask first. (Yes, I know, enough with the metaphors!) You’ll be better for those in your life if you do. And you’ll be happier.