There’s a saying I like that perfectly sums up a problem we all have, both at home and in the office. “You can’t fill from an empty bucket.” When your own tank is low, you have no reserve to get you through the day, and nothing to give to others. We often get so caught up worrying about the needs and happiness of those around us that we fail to identify, acknowledge and support what we need.
This can be a difficult concept to wrap your head around, particularly if you are your family’s provider or caretaker. But it’s true. Think about it. There’s a reason the cabin crew tells you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. What good are you to anybody if you’re incapacitated? Loyalty is often a prized personality trait, particularly within the corporate world. However, a good company knows it’s only as strong as its workforce, and Finance of America values a healthy, happy, well-rounded FAMily.
It’s what you would want for your own family members, and it’s what we want for you. So be loyal to yourself first. This doesn’t mean throw your co-workers under the bus or bail on a client call in favor of a surf session. What it does mean is that you should think highly enough of yourself to pursue the things that make you happy, to have confidence in your abilities with your clients, and to know when you need to step back, ask for help and recharge. This could take the form of a quick walk, a morning yoga session, a sunset glass of wine with your spouse or reading a good book in silence.
Whatever it embodies for you, love yourself enough to put you on your radar. The dishes will still be there, the text alert will continue to shine and the world will not end. But the quick investment you make in your well-being will last far longer and mean much more than if you utilized that time to scroll through your inbox for the umpteenth session that day.
Time spent on the things and with the people we enjoy also allows us to get to know ourselves better. It lets us pursue the activities that truly bring us joy, while eliminating the ones we could do without. This has the added effect of self-realization, or getting to know ourselves better. The more we know, the more we can improve and, ultimately, the more we’ll like ourselves. When we’re happy internally, that light and confidence translate to all aspects of our lives – and tend to be contagious.
Take a little time this week to check in with yourself! A better version of you benefits everyone, most of all yourself.