As nonprofit professionals, we pour ourselves into our work to fulfill our organizations’ missions, help others, and make a difference in this world. Chances are you’ve heard the saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first.” I used to loathe this saying, thinking to myself, “How selfish is that, I just want to help others!” But through my health promotion training and professional development, I have found this statement to never be truer. It is hard to give it your all when there is nothing to give. Luckily, there are a few tips to follow to help refill your cup.
Tip 1: Eat Well
This doesn’t mean give up everything you eat that is bad for you. It means making small changes that will gradually lead to a well-rounded diet. For example, when given the option, choose healthy sides such as fruits or vegetables to accompany your lunch. You will be amazed at how much better this small change will make you feel over time. Your mood and energy will improve and you will be likely to take less sick days.
Tip 2: Be Active
Again, small changes make big differences. If it is hard for you to find time to be physically active try doing little bursts of physical activity throughout the day which will add up. For example, park further away from the door when you come in to the office, go to the restroom on the other side of the hall, pack a walking lunch and take a couple of laps around the building while eating. The options are endless! Also, keep an eye out for free group fitness opportunities. Metro Technology Center - Springlake Campus offers free community MetroFit classes.
Tip 3: Get Some Zzzzs
When trying to save the world through nonprofit work, while also making time for family, friends, and other responsibilities, sleep tends to be the first thing to go off our priority list. But this is one thing we should not be skipping out on! Sleeping refreshes the brain and makes the attention, memory, and creativity needed for nonprofit work possible. It also helps our bodies maintain weight and can help to lessen stress.
Tip 4: Make Room For Me Time
This is the toughest one but also one of the most necessary for refilling your cup. “Me Time” is your time to relax and take care of yourself so you can help others. Try incorporating the above tips into your “Me Time.” Cook a healthy meal you’ve always been wanting to try, walk or run a 5K over the weekend, get in that extra hour of sleep. My favorite me time activity is walking outside on a beautiful day. Coloring books are also recommended to relieve stress. Come color and unwind at YNPN’s Coloring and Craft (Beer) event on February 25!
Try incorporating these tips into your life gradually to help refill your cup. Remember, small changes make big differences!
Jade Owen, MPH, CHES, CPH
Project Community Outreach Specialist
Oklahoma Nutrition Information and Education Project
YNPN of OKC Professional Development Committee Member