Sometimes I feel worried and anxious about doing something for myself or turning down an opportunity to help someone. I feel selfish when I take care of myself. On an airplane they tell you if the oxygen masks drop, put yours on before helping others. I can see why this is important and I realize that I need to fill my own bucket to have the resources to help others.
I don’t like feeling tired, worn out and negative. I realized one day that I was not doing very well at taking care of myself. I was reading my scriptures and praying every day, but I was putting all my time and energy into helping others and had become exhausted. I can keep my bucket full by just a little shift of attitude and being careful to give some time to myself.
When I want to volunteer or someone asks me to do something, I can tell them I’ll call them right back, or I need some time to look at my calendar. I can stop and think for minute. What am I doing this week and what have I already done? How am I feeling? Have I remembered to go to the temple? Have I taken time to do something creative this week that makes me feel happy and fulfilled? Have I taken care of my responsibilities? It’s OK to say “No, I cannot do that this time”. It’s OK to put something on my calendar for next week and not try to fit it in now.
I feel contentment, happiness and peace when my own bucket is full. I have energy and enthusiasm for helping others when I take care of myself first.