You can’t pour from an empty cup

Let’s do a little visualisation exercise.

Imagine yourself as a device, let’s say a phone…

When your battery is at 100%, you are able to function fully. The brightness is up, and all the apps perform at their best! The people around you are happy with you, and you feel the love.

Then, as your battery goes low, you start feeling worn out. Suddenly you can’t do everything that you would at level 100. The people around you start to get frustrated by your slowness, and if they don’t plug you in to charge in good time, you’ll simply shut down.

If you are only charged in small increments and don’t fully recharge, your battery becomes damaged, sometimes permanently.

Our bodies aren’t that much different…

And towards the end of the year, we can all admit that we start to feel pretty exhausted, and like our cups, are becoming empty.

We start clinging on until Christmas by our fingernails, and the break can’t come soon enough.

Can you relate?

Just like a cup cannot pour water if there is no water in it, a human being cannot produce quality work when there is not enough energy in them. When you are running low on these reserves, then you cannot possibly give to others, or to your work.

Taking time to recharge and break away from work is vital.

We can’t underplay the importance of a good breather. In fact, it’s just as important as working hard at your job in the first place. If we work ourselves to exhaustion, it only hurts us in the long run. 

While most business owners go into business for a “quality of life”  lots of us will admit that we end up working harder, and the “flexible” hours we work means that we go back to work after the kids are in bed…

Well deserved ‘me’ time is vital for our productivity. Nothing good comes from burning out. You’ll soon realise that it’s impossible to pour from an empty cup. So remember to take a little time and do something special for yourself. 

How to fill your cup

You might think that recharging means having to take a week away in the sun. The reality is that sometimes when people start dreaming of week-long holidays in the distant future,  it can have a negative effect. How can they ever find the time to do that? How long have I got to wait….

Though taking a holiday is necessary and fun, recharging your batteries can happen much more quickly and simply than that. 

Here are 6 ways to refill your cup:

1. Exercise

An Outside idea - POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP

Have you ever been too tired to go to the gym, or for a walk, and when you finally pull yourself to do it, you have sudden bursts of energy?

You feel refreshed, like you’re ready to take over the world…It’s ironic, isn’t it? I’m no scientist, but from my understanding, exercise sends blood and nutrients to the body which helps the heart pump blood easier, giving you more energy.

Consider taking walks, bike rides, or even swims. Whatever it is, make sure to get up and move around. Get that blood pumping!



2. Quality time with loved ones

Our entire business is built around the premise of spending more time with our son, family and loved ones.

It’s so important to us to get that work-life balance, and as part of filling our cup, quality time is vital!An-Outside-idea-pour-from-empty-cup

I would recommend that you set times daily where you all put your phones and laptops away so that you are in the moment.

This will help you to spend uninterrupted time with your family members. By doing so, you’ll find that you have more psyche to tackle the work that you’ve been dreading.

3. Take time away from technology

There’s just something about social media…It can keep you scrolling for hours! Before you know it, you’ve consumed endless amounts of content, some unhealthy.

Social media can make you lose yourself. You can lose sight of your opinions, faith, and belief system. 

So whenever you feel like your cup is full, delete those apps for a few days. Challenge yourself. Do your brain a favour and give it a break from the endless input.

There are several apps or even settings that can able you to stay on track. They monitor your screen time and lock you out once you reach your limit. Some of the apps I would recommend are Social Fever, Screen Time, and Stay Free – Stay Focused.

I promise, you won’t really miss out on much, if anything.

4. Schedule some alone time

I can’t emphasize enough just how important alone time is.

The way our world is set up nowadays, it’s a miracle to ever spend time alone with our thoughts. One way or the other, we are constantly consuming.

Since you can’t pour from an empty cup, you also have to refill your own cup by yourself.

How can you change this? Spend time in nature, maybe under the sun or in a forest. Walk around, and pay attention to the tiny things which we never notice. Like the sound of the birds or the shape of the sun. Or, just go and get a massage.

Whatever it is, remember that you can only pour into other people’s cups if yours is full in the first place. So, as you schedule your meetings and other ‘important’ activities, remember to schedule time for you.

5. Get enough sleep

How many hours do you sleep on a daily basis?

Notice your sleep patterns. Do you just wing it, or do you have set times when you have to go to bed and wake up?

If you’re a parent, you’re probably really strict about when your kids go to bed. But do you put that same pressure on yourself? Because you need to. That extra episode is never worth it the next morning when you’re struggling to get out of bed.

Getting adequate sleep helps lower stress levels, can alleviate depression and anxiety and keep your immune system strong. This makes you work better.

Remember Maslow’s hierarchy? Physiological needs are placed at the bottom, and most important. Meaning, the simple act of sleeping adequately is a biological component for human survival. To advance higher-level needs in Maslow’s hierarchy, physiological needs such as sleep must be met first.

6. Self care

Sometimes pouring into an empty cup is as simple as intentionally taking care of yourself.

It’s not always this big deal. Make sure to eat all three meals a day, and get all the necessary nutrients. Say a couple of affirmations daily, meditate, read a good book, leave an hour early, get a takeaway, visit the cinema…the list is endless.

Whatever makes you feel more rejuvenated, do that! 


Over the last few weeks, I’ve brought myself back from the brink with the help of some daily rituals that I’ve brought in for me. As much it’s important to prioritise, we have to also set aside time to refill our cup.An Outside idea - You can't pour from an empty cup

They include a daily dose of affirmations, exercise and a bit of yoga. Typically it takes me about an hour but it doesn’t even have to be that strenuous… All it takes is to put work away for a bit and make a little time for you. 

It’s no doubt that you can’t pour from an empty cup, so here are 5 ways that you can ‘refill your cup’:

  1. Exercise
  2. Quality time with loved ones
  3. Take time away from technology
  4. Schedule some alone time
  5. Get enough sleep
  6. Self-care

If you need support with finding more time for you, I’d be happy to have a chat, get in touch.


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