and 10 Ways to Reverse That Fast!
Sign #1. You bit someone’s head off.
I was on the phone with my CPA yesterday asking him a couple basic questions about filing and he began to use an annoyed tone with me. The second time I heard that tone, I said, “Are you crabbing at me?” He said, “Well, yes! I’m busy!” I had a few simple and appropriate questions and was very relaxed when I asked, so I knew his mood wasn’t about me. It was about something else. (Tax season in general, perhaps!) I was mildly bothered, but again, I knew it wasn’t me. And after our call ended, I could feel him thinking about our conversation. Not to my surprise, he called me back and apologized 20 minutes later.
We’ve all done this—snapped at someone who didn’t deserve it. Why do we do it? Because our emotional cup is empty. And when it’s empty, our “tolerance fuse” is short. This leads to snapping at people who generally might not bother you much, if at all. Think about the times in your life when you were deeply relaxed and gratified. It seems a bomb could go off and you wouldn’t be affected. Traffic either doesn’t faze you at all, or it parts like the Red Sea. When you are in a relaxed and “my-cup-is-full” vibration, life works wonderfully.
On the other hand, think of the times someone bit your head off, and it wasn’t about you at all. How hurtful was that? And how might it have been prevented? Did you take it personally, or were you able to recognize it wasn’t about you at all?
Most of the time, we don’t regret what we did, but how we went about it. When our emotions get involved, we are not always “relaxed” and tend to lose objectivity. When we reflect on the “why,” it almost always leads back to an empty cup. You can’t give anything to anyone if you are exhausted, drained and depleted.
Sign #2. You’re exhausted, even though you had 8 hour of sleep.
If you find that you are drinking more and more caffeine, that you are tired all of the time, and that everything and everyone feel like a burden—you guessed it—you’re fried! You might find that friends, family and/or co-workers have to repeat themselves several times for you to hear them. Maybe you are hearing others, but not really listening. That is because you are overwhelmed and have nothing left to give. It might feel draining to have a normal conversation with others. You are NOT being your best you. And beyond that, you are likely becoming an energy vampire to the people in your life. If you have nothing left to give because your cup is empty, it might put you into a category that isn’t really who you are at all…a taker.
Sign #3. You cry at the drop of a hat.
If your emotions are triple their normal intensity, and you are sad, tired, drained, frustrated, annoyed, weepy, angry, edgy, not smiling, grinding you teeth, or “blah,” your cup is empty. You definitely aren’t your best you—that’s for certain.
Your mental health is important. If your body’s main computer system is fried (i.e., your mind), you are likely going to see overall operational issues with your communications, your perceptions of reality, your physical health, and more. This is all preventable with consistent monitoring of your “cup.” Ask yourself, “What percent of my cup is full today?” Is it 80-90% of your most optimal you? Or is it 20-30%? Pay attention to this, and use the following 10 suggestions to refill yourself as needed.
10 Ways to Refill Your Cup Fast!
1. Go for a walk outside immediately.
The Norwegians have a wonderful saying: “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.” If it’s raining, wear a rain coat or grab an umbrella. If it’s cold, put on snow pants and a scarf. Just a 10-minute walk outside will help you reset yourself fast. Plus, it often removes you from the energies that were draining you in the first place.
2. Take a bath with Epsom salts.
When I had my babies, I remember putting them in the bath tub when they were fussy. It worked 100% of the time. Water calms and shifts your mood. Epsom or sea salts remove lactic acid and help release negative energies from your body. Soak for at least 20 minutes and you’ll feel a world of a difference. I recommend Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution—Detoxify and Energize with Ginger and Clay.
I read once, “We believe everything in writing.” There is something about reading the written word that really anchors in our brain and emotions. Imagine reading your written words. Start a daily journal or a document on your computer. Just start typing. You will be amazed at how good you feel when you write down and track your successes and challenges. Tracking is a great way to create evidence within yourself that you are moving forward in life. Even if you never re-read the words you have captured, or share them with another, you have tracked them and removed them from your brain. This will allow you to clear your head faster. You’ll feel mentally calmer as a result.
4. Eat something nourishing and nutritious.
I quit sugar five years ago. While this may seem extreme, sugar has a very toxic effect on me mentally—it makes me very sad. I cry and/or beat myself up mentally. It’s just not worth it to me. During my food journey, I discovered eating nutritional and nourishing foods, such as crunchy apples or raw almonds, or organic vegetables, made me feel more alive and happy. A physical endorphin release comes from eating the right foods at the right time. I suggest straying from emotional eating, but if you have to, snack on the right foods vs. junk food. You’ll feel better in the long run. I suggest eating organic and Paleo Vegan foods. Check out Danielle Walkers, “Against all Grain”. She has some lovely choices (and not just vegan). Hopefully some of her recipes inspire you! www.againstallgrain.com/category/recipes/vegan-2/
5. Get a Reiki/Cranial Sacral/Essential Oil/ or Massage Therapy Treatment.
Body work is powerful. Throughout our day, we both create and collect energy. It clings to us like lint, and unless we remove it, it can make us feel heavy and drained. I was a licensed massage therapist for over 20 years and the repeated comments from my clients after each session were, “Lisa, I feel 10 pounds lighter after your treatment!” Personally, I am a HUGE advocate of Reiki. If you can get Reiki combined with any other modality, you’re golden.
6. Get some alone time.
Moms, dads, and single parents especially, this one is for you. It’s so hard to justify a night out with your friends, or a pedicure, a workout, or even a bath sometimes! Life never ceases to be busy and it might not feel appropriate to say, “Would you mind if I took the night off and took care of myself?” But the truth is, if you want to be the best parent, the best spouse, the best co-worker, the best friend, the best daughter/son, person, your cup NEEDS to be full. And if you aren’t taking active steps to fill it, no one else will. You’ll go around giving wisps of attention to people in situations that require more. I suggest creating a room in the house that is just yours. Maybe it’s your bathroom or porch. Put your candles, music, essential oils, blankets, magazine, or whatever else is all-about-you in there. If you can’t create a space that is your own, try allocating 30 min. a day to yourself when no one is home, awake, or around. Make this time to listen to a meditation, journal, workout, or read. Make this your much-needed “all-about-me time.” It will be much easier to give to others when you’ve first given to yourself.
7. Go play.
OK, you might laugh at this. When I first started dating again, I was asked, “What do you do for fun, Lisa?” I said, “Um…I work. I’m a mom. I have pets.” LOL! Yes, it was really that bad! If that sounds like you, get a hobby and make time for it. If you are a parent, remember, hobbies add interest to your life. And you model to your children to have healthy outlets for stress. If Mom and Dad make a hobby a priority, your children will follow in this way of thinking.
If you hate winter, adopt a winter sport. If you’ve always wanted to learn flower arranging, try taking a class through your local Recreational Department. Start out by asking yourself, “What have I always wanted to do?” If you do have people to play with and hobbies to follow, then make them a priority. Fill your calendar with consistent events. Life will continue to happen around you. But it’s the sweet moments and memories that enrich our lives—not the day-to-day mundane. You are responsible for creating as many of these moments as you can. Adding “make play time” on your daily to-do list will lighten your day and give you something to look forward to. I suggest checking out www.meetup.com for some hobby groups and ideas.
8. Have sex.
Yeah, I’m saying it. It’s God’s cure for stress! Connecting with the right person in the right way can be profoundly healing and inspiring. You might just need to connect, be held, or release. Whatever your exact need, the act of sex has so many benefits. You’ll be relaxed, get out of your head, and create an in-the-moment experience. And nothing cures and empty cup like pleasure! So get at it and enjoy yourself in a big way!
There is a lot of talk about the need to meditate. I have had several clients stress over this because there is a stigma that meditation is supposed to be done a certain way. Years ago, I remember hearing that meditating meant focusing on one object like an orange peel, for 30 min. Umm…I can’t do that. Nor do I want to. BORING! Meditation can be anything you want it to be, as long as it’s allocated, calming, all-about-me time.
I suggest choosing a playlist that is only for this exercise, such as flute music. I enjoy R. Carlos Nakai daily. If you know Reiki, try doing some on your body when you lie there, just focusing on the music and your breathing. I suggest ending and/or starting your day this way. It’s SO important to clear and clean your head space. You’ll wake up more refreshed, and you’ll fall asleep more peacefully. This is an excellent way to keep your cup consistently full.
10. Laugh out loud.
Of all the ways the body has created to purge old and stagnant energies, laughter is one of the most enjoyable. Try renting a funny movie, listening to a comedy channel on internet radio, or watching a YouTube video to get yourself giggling. Maybe you can inadvertently help friends or co-workers refill their cups with your infectious laughter.