Home Mental Health & Wellness Blog Pouring From An Empty Cup? How to start filling it back up.

Pouring From An Empty Cup? How to start filling it back up.

Mind & Mood 03 Oct, 2023

Many people feel exhausted, drained, angry, tired, and depressed by the end of the day. Fatigue can set in a few hours after getting up, and there isn’t enough coffee in the world to wake up fully. Everything you do is a struggle to complete and your once enthusiastic self doesn’t see joy in anything. 

You aren’t sure why you are suddenly so anxious, stressed, or even resentful.  Perhaps you are juggling a busy job with caring for others, dealing with illness, having relationship issues or financial struggles and they are getting in on you like never before.  Whatever the cause, you may be approaching burnout.

What Does Pouring from an Empty Cup Mean?

Pouring from an empty cup is where a person gives from a place of deficiency, sometimes called burnout.  What it means is that you are running on fumes all the time, and the engine is struggling to keep going.  You are too busy trying to keep up with everything and you feel too exhausted to try and fix it. Burnout is real and it can lead to depression, anxiety, relationship damage and an inability to function at home or work.

How to start Refilling your Cup

The good news is that you can refill your cup, one drop at a time and start getting some joy and happiness back into your day. It's all about self-care – looking after yourself the way you would try to help someone you love who was going through a tough time.

1.   Slow it down – work in all its forms – in the office, housework, obligations to others. Take time every day to self-care.  Block out 15 minutes on your phone twice every day and set an alert to remind yourself.  Choose whatever rests and relaxes your cup of tea, calming music, or a power nap.  Better yet, sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes for 10 minutes, focusing on breathing in for a count of four and out for a count of four.

2.   Invest in yourself – as with every challenge in life, it's easier when you are fighting fit.  So healthy eating, exercise and sleep are key.  Nothing new here -  eat lots of fresh fruit and veg, protein, eat limited fat and carbs, and try not to eat processed and junk food.  Exercise at least 25 minutes a day, even if that is just a brisk walk, and get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

3.   Do little things that make you happy every day.  Maybe that’s a walk in the park with a pal, a manicure, a new pair of cosy slippers, breakfast in bed,  making a daisy chain, singing a song in the shower, hugging a loved one unexpectedly (they might love it too!).  Make it your job to find out what makes you happy, then start doing it.

4.   Say ‘No’  – Listen to how you feel inside when someone asks you for a favour. If it is stretching you to the point of anxiety or if you truly don’t want to do it, then feel free to say no. This is a difficult lesson at first, but by not filling your day with other people's jobs, you get to stand back and do the things that are important to you.  The world will never say no to free labour, it is up to you to value yourself!

If you feel that you are pouring from an empty cup every day and would like to talk to one of our counsellors, reach out to Centric Mental Health today by emailing [email protected] or calling 01 611 1719. For more information, visit https://mentalhealth.ie.