One of my favorite therapy groups to do at work with patients is the Fill Your Bucket theme. This is an analogy for figuring out what “leaks” or stresses you have in your life and how to “fill” your bucket with things that rejuvenate you.
We live in a very stressed out society, with things that drain us each day, both physically and emotionally. These are what are the “leaks” in our buckets.
What kind of “leaks” do you have in your bucket? Some of these leaks are good things and things we enjoy, while others might be things we must tolerate and accept. Some leaks may be things we can eliminate.
Some examples of leaks are raising children, jobs, relationships, chronic illnesses, such as dealing with a child with type 1 Diabetes, dealing with a boss, and financial concerns. While we may enjoy some of these, they still may be draining and exhausting. Other things we may decide that we can change how we approach them or delegate or eliminate items.
“Filling” our bucket means doing things that keep our emotional bucket “full” when we have all these “leaks” each day draining us. If we run our bucket on empty, we become exhausted and less able to deal effectively with the world.
What are some things to “fill” your bucket? These can be simple ten to thirty minute items, such as take a moment and do some deep breathing several times a day to have a mini-escape, sit and read for a few minutes, say a prayer, do some meditation, do a yoga move, have a manicure or massage, take a hot bath, or journal. I love to just burn candles and watch the flame. These are my absolute favorite brand of candles because the scent lasts so long after burning and it really infuses into my home! Cinnamon Caramel Swirl Candle
Other things that fill our bucket need to be built into our schedules as non-negotiables. These are things that overall help keep us physically and mentally healthy, such as healthy eating, exercise, and getting enough sleep.
Other ways to fill our bucket include things that take longer and need to be scheduled, such as taking a vacation. We may need to learn new ways to deal with new ways to deal with people and with ourselves and our expectations.
For parents of children with diabetes, have a back-up babysitter who is trained in caring for diabetes, and take a regular break from the 24/7 care that diabetes requires.
Focus on keeping your buckets full, so that you can live fuller, more productive and enjoyable lives. And as we live more enjoyable lives, this spills over into our relationships and other aspects of our lives, making us happier and thus able to deal more effectively with life’s challenges.