How do you get your own bucket filled so you can pour into your family when you’re feeling like there isn’t much left to pour out?
Below I share a few ideas for quick pick-me-ups to help when you’re running on empty. But I am fully aware that there can be such a deep dark pit that it takes more than just a few quick bucket-filling ideas to make much difference. Please do not give up hope and do not give up searching and reaching for the help that you need. It’s there. Keep looking and keep looking up (to God and his help and ginormous love for you)!
I found some things were not so helpful before things began to be noticeably different. Some things were helpful, but it took a while. If you are interested in more of what helped me rise up out of the deep, dark pit I found myself in not too long ago, please reach out. I know not everyone’s situation is the same and there will be different needs. So I don’t presume to know exactly what your situation or needs are. I’m certainly not a medical person so nothing I say here is intended to diagnose, treat or cure.
But I do know everyone needs Jesus. And he is the great healer. He can use all manner of resources or none at all! That said, here are some quick and easy ideas for bucket-filling on days you need a little pick-me-up.
Self-care “Bucket List”
Dawn’s TOP Ideas for Re-filling a Poured-out Parent’s Bucket
As a mom of seven, I am familiar with the constant need for parents to pour themselves out for their families. I’m also familiar with the feeling that you are running on fumes. That bucket is feeling pretty dry at times.
We sometimes tend to feel like we are being selfish to do something for ourselves that is more than tending to basic needs. I’ve felt that way myself at times. But I’m learning that I am my own best resource. And taking care of me as a good steward of my resources is necessary to offer the best I can to those I hold most dear. When taking care of yourself means taking better care of your family, I don’t think that’s selfish or self-centered.
What exactly is Stewardship?
“stewardship expresses our obedience regarding the administration of everything God has placed under our control, which is all-encompassing. Stewardship is the commitment of one’s self and possessions to God’s service, recognizing that we do not have the right of control over our property or ourselves.” ~ Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics
When our self-care is from a motive and perspective of stewardship rather than selfishness we can then understand that taking good care of ourselves is our responsibility. As a Christian, I know that I am not my own. I belong to God and have a responsibility to him to do the best with what he has given me. If I am an emotional wreck or sleep-deprived shell of myself, I may need to do some adjusting.
Without further ado, here are a few of my top ideas for getting that parent bucket filled. You can use this as a jumping off point to add more ideas of your own that will likely be even better as they are personal to you. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
#1 Connect with a (non-judgmental) friend.
If you can do it it’s great to connect face to face; otherwise take a few minutes to connect in the best way you can whether that be a call, text or video chat.
#2 Let something go so you can get more/better sleep.
However you do it whether you go to bed a bit earlier, sleep a bit later or slip in an afternoon nap it’s ok to get some rest! Do you know that sleep time is very important for certain hormone production?
At night, I like to use essential oils to help me relax and get some shut-eye: One of my favorite sleep blends is Cedarwood, Vetiver, and Lavender together in a diffuser or roller bottle topped with a carrier oil like olive oil or in a bedside cool mist diffuser.
#3 Read or watch something lighthearted.
Laughter is good medicine and can be just the thing to lighten your perspective. Watching a fun movie with the family can be a good way to soften built up tensions with a shared experience.
#4 Indulge in a special snack.
It doesn’t have to be the most calorific snack or anything guilt-laden. But just as a snack can diffuse the “hangry” in kids, it might help us too!
#5 Deep Breathing.
At one point, during a particularly stressful time, I set alarms on my phone to take a few moments and do some deep breathing throughout the day. . . . In 2, 3, 4 . . . out 2, 3, 4 . . .
#6 Take a luxurious bath (or at least a long shower break)!
Self-care may be getting back to the basics if you’ve been in survival mode. Using delightfully scented soaps, shampoos, and bath salts and following up with a light lotion or skin oil can make you feel pretty pampered.
I like to use toxin-free soaps and shampoos infused with essential oils.
#7 Get Moving!
Perhaps it’s not resting you need as much as to get moving. Exercise, even just a little, can be a good pick-me-up. Plus, as an added bonus, exercise can even help you to sleep better — provided it’s not too close to bedtime.
#8 Drink something.
Even slight dehydration can get you feeling yucky. So drink water or another hydrating beverage to stay hydrated. *One of my favorites is Ningxia Zing!
#9 Go Outdoors!
For eons, parents have known to send their kiddos outside for better health all over the world. Guess what? It goes for adults, too! Fresh air and the sunshine vitamin (vitamin D) are necessary for each of us.
#9 – Listen to Happy Music!
Alone or better yet – – with the kiddos – – listening to music (and even sing and dance along) is a great way to bring on the smiles.
#10 Take time to read a Bible passage and pray.
This is important to me as a Christian. The Holy Bible is God’s Word, his messages to us. I speak to him through prayer and he speaks to me through his Word.
Would you like to know more? I’d love to share how you can become a Christian and have this personal relationship with one-on-one communication with The God of all Creation!
And if you are interested in finding out more about how you can get started with essential oils and related products, let me know. The ones I use and recommend have the Seed to Seal commitment that is an important quality control measure that puts them head and shoulders above the rest.
See my Virtual Business Card for ways you can contact me for more.