Refill Your Tank When You’re Out of Gas: Self Care

by | Oct 21, 2020 | Eating Disorder Recovery, Happiness, Mental Health, Personal Growth, Relationships, Self Care, Self Help, Self Love | 0 comments

“I feel like I siphoned out all of my gas, but I’m still a 3 hour drive from home.”

This is how I’ve felt for the last few days.

I’m a people pleaser. I’ve always wanted to make everyone happy ensure that the people I care about are okay. I distribute the gas to make sure everyone can get home safely. But then I find myself stranded in the middle of nowhere with no signal having to walk 150 miles back to my own sanctuary.

I talk a lot about self-love and making sure that you put yourself first. But it causes me to put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself. If I’m not walking the walk of caring for myself, then I’m a fraud.

But then I have to remember all the advice and thoughts I share with others when they come to me in distress.

It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. It’s not selfish to put yourself first. It’s not selfish to take time to refuel and regroup as needed.

So I pump the breaks. I step away from the screen. I hug my partner. I meditate in the morning. I focus on the rise and fall of each individual breath. I slow down. I refill my cup so I can once again feel full, able to be there for those who need it.

It’s hard to listen to your own advice a lot of the time. The whole “easier said than done” thing.

This last week I have managed to:

  • Give all of my love to other people leaving none for myself.

  • Receive an unwelcome head butt from my dog with a complimentary welt on my forehead.

  • Smash my ankle, again.

  • Cry, like straight up ugly cry, for a few hours.

  • Have an episode resulting in manic & depressive thoughts.

  • Mess up something simple on a business card.

  • Struggle with my eating disorder (but don’t worry, I’m still on top of my game).

  • Allow self-deprecating thoughts to pile on.

  • Doubt myself and the endeavors I’ve been pursuing.

  • Pick up the pieces, learn from them, and continue moving forward.

That last one is so important.

Lauren Dow is an author based in Denver, CO

I am a human being with issues, flaws, and faults. I am a human being that has feelings and illnesses that require attention and care. I am a human being with so much to give I forget myself sometimes along the way.

The moral of the story: I am a human.

I won’t ever be perfect or anything close to the definition. I don’t have it all together. But what I do have is a support system that reminds me of these things so I myself don’t forget.

The writers need to read, the lecturers need to be lectured, the educators need to be educated.

I’m continuing my journey just like everyone else. I’m navigating this world the best I know how just like everyone else. I am a human just like everyone else.

How I’m Taking Time to Refill My Cup:

  1. I’m removing the pressure off of myself to produce, produce, produce.

  2. I’m minimizing my screen time.

  3. I’m reading more.

  4. I’m not answering the phone unless I have the energy to.

  5. I’m meeting a friend for lunch and allowing myself to socialize.

  6. I’m slowing my body and mind down through self-guided meditation and hypnosis.

  7. I’m doing what feels good in each moment.

  8. I’m watching my favorite shows as I see fit without self judgement.

  9. I’m writing my thoughts with a pen and paper, not on a smart phone.

  10. I’m actively doing other hobbies that fill my heart with joy.

Taking a few days to do what is good for yourself is a necessity. Whether you need to snuggle on your couch in your favorite sweatpants and binge watch a show or pack a bag and head to the mountains, what you do for yourself to refill your own cup is just right. There is no rule book that says you need to do this or you have to do that.

Listen to your body. Listen to your heart. Listen to your mind and your soul. They won’t steer you wrong.

What I needed was to cry a big, heavy cry. What I needed was to binge watch Schitt’s Creek. What I needed was to do was talk to my loved ones. What I needed was to snuggle Luna. What I needed was to have Timmy wrap me up in his arms. What I needed was to do a whole lot of couch loving, TV watching, and book reading.

And guess what?

The world didn’t end. The world didn’t stop moving. Wednesday inevitably showed up.

The world kept turning while I kept rebuilding.


P.S.

I have two new features on Thought Catalog and She Rose Revolution! Check them out on the links below!

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Meet the Author

Hey, I’m Lauren Dow. Author, advocate, and feeler of the big feels. I’m here to provide a safe space to normalize the conversation about mental health and reinforce self-love. Thanks for joining me on this wild ride.

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