Pouring from an empty cup? Three ways to refill emotionally

Nurturing yourself in small ways can help ease burnout and exhaustion.

By Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter (January 26, 2023)

It’s hard to care about anything when you feel exhausted, burned out, or ragged around the edges. Your once-fiery enthusiasm may seem more like charred rubble due to overwhelming family responsibilities, a job that drains you, or financial struggles. Or maybe an illness, the uncertainty and disruptions of the age we live in, or a combination of factors has left you feeling as if you have precious little to give.

“What you’re experiencing is burnout. It’s real and it can lead to depression, anxiety, relationship damage, and an inability to function at home or at work,” says Dr. Marni Chanoff, an integrative psychiatrist with Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital.

Take heart: With time and effort, you can refill your cup, slowly adding back a bit of the energy and joie de vivre you’ve been missing. Here are three ways to start.

  1. Carve out time for yourself
    Taking time for yourself isn’t a luxury; it’s essential to self-care. “You need to slow down and give yourself the opportunity to rest and rejuvenate,” Dr. Chanoff says, “Schedule it if you have to, starting with 10 or 15 minutes, a couple of times a day.”

How can you reclaim precious minutes in an overly full schedule? “Look at your day, week, or month, and be discerning about how many things you say ‘yes’ to in one period of time. Give yourself permission to say ‘no thank you’ to things that deplete you or don’t serve you,” Dr. Chanoff says.

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Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/pouring-from-an-empty-cup-three-ways-to-refill-emotionally-202301262882

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