In this episode of the Real Happy Mom Podcast, I’m talking to Kimberly Walton from Cherished Wives about the 4 cups for self care.
Kimberly is one of my favorite people to learn from about self-care because of her one of a kind perspective.
One of my first posts about self-care was inspired by her Power Hour Approach to self-care.
Kimberly has a unique view on self-care that will change your approach so that you can ultimately be a better mom and wife.
Are you ready? Let’s get started.
Kimberly is a wife to a fabulous man. She is also a mother to two grown children and a stepmother to two more grown children.
Kimberly is in private practice in Northern California helping women have wildly successful marriages by taking a whole-person approach through her system called the In Love approach.
She is single handled to making a difference in the divorce rate through her services and blog at Cherished Wives.
After her marriage of 15 years ended, Kimberly spent time researching and reflecting on what went wrong in her marriage.
“I made so many mistakes and nobody told me, nobody said, you know, you can’t, you should, what are you doing That’s not going to help? And so I said, you know, I can be that for other people. I can take this pain and this discomfort and everything that went along with getting divorced and I can maybe help other people not repeat my mistakes.”
What does self-care have to do with having a better marriage?
When Kimberly works with her clients she looks for patterns and causes for the problem in their marriage.
“And so we’re trying to figure out what’s causing this. Could we have said something different? How did your mate interpret what you said? How would they said something? How did you interpret it? And so I ask a lot of questions.”
Asking many questions and taking notice of patterns helped Kimberly to see that the problems are compounded by the physical. Her clients weren’t physically okay.
There was an underlying issue that these women were having that was making the problems become bigger than what they should be.
“It’s the idea of when you’re going for a long journey in a car, you don’t just go. You make sure the oil is in your car is topped off. You make sure you’ve got water. You make sure your tires are fully inflated and you pack some snacks.”
Kimberly explains that when a marriage is in trouble is work on self-care to prepare for the journey for a better marriage.
“Get somebody stronger so that they maybe don’t take things so personal or they’re not dealing with, I’m so tired and he said this and it just irritated me. And then you look back later and you go, why was I so cranky? And then you feel guilty. Then you have to apologize. It helps with my clients to not feel so defeated. And self-care is really the first step for me.”
4 cups for self care
Kimberly has a unique view of self-care. It goes back to the principle that you can’t pour from an empty cup.
As moms, in particular, we have a habit of spilling over every drop and then trying to give more when we are depleted.
You have to constantly make sure that you are pouring into our cup so that you can pour out.
This means that you have to take time to build yourself up in a way that nourishes you so that you can go out and be the best version of yourself every day.
Now, Kimberly doesn’t feel like we just have one big cup. Instead, there are four cups that we have to work to keep full. They are physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
Let’s walk through each one and how you can keep your cups full.
The physical cup is the easiest of the 4 cups for self care to fill. This requires doing things like:
- Getting enough sleep
- Drinking enough water
- Going to the bathroom instead of holding it
- Getting your body moving however you like – yoga, walking, dancing, coss fit
- Eating foods that nourish your body not just satisfy your tastebuds
Then there are what Kimberly calls the unglamorous side of self-care.
These are the things that nobody really likes to do, but you have to do it.
Like, having a mammogram and going to the dentist.
Physical is the easiest to fill because it is the least painful. Now let’s get to the more challenging parts of self-care.
This is the cup that is a little more challenging. That’s because we have to deal with some emotions that maybe undealt with from our past.
Kimberly starts out by saying that we need to start saying no to the things that don’t fuel our life or family.
Have a hard time saying no?
- I’ll get back to
- Let me think about it
You would think that Kimberly would say that saying no helps with boundaries. But Kimberly is a little anti-boundaries.
“But what I found, and it just hurts my heart, is that sometimes people are abusing the word boundaries.”
So be careful that you are not using boundaries as an excuse to bully or get what you want.
Also, within the emotional cup, we need to cry more.
Yes, I know. I hate crying.
I’m the queen of the ugly cry and I hate crying.
“Tears are very, very healing, you know, physically, chemically. But you know, crying sucks because we feel vulnerable.”
But there are actual benefits of crying.
There are physiological and emotional benefits of crying that will make you feel much better afterward.
Reaching out for support is another form of emotional self-care. Remember, you can’t do this alone. So ask for help.
Decluttering is another way to do emotional self-care.
Kimberly explains that when your house or office is a mess you start to criticize yourself and talk to yourself in a way that you would never do with a friend.
Challenging beliefs is another form of emotional self-care.
“We have beliefs that we picked up somewhere along the way. They don’t serve us. And sometimes we learned them because as we were a kid, we were heard, you know, things like money doesn’t grow on trees or don’t trust anyone or you know, those kinds of things that were told to us at a time where we were so open to that notion that we’ve grabbed onto it. And now it’s like an anchor and it keeps us from really living our life fully. “
So, what’s the way to break free from these beliefs?
One way is to use affirmations.
And don’t just say the affirmations a few times a day. Kimberly says you have to take it the next step and write these affirmations out on post-it notes and put them in places that you look at every day.
Some of the common places to put these affirmations are:
- The bathroom mirror
- On the front door
- In your car
- On the clocks in the house
The mental cup is about being creative and being disciplined.
“And this is about stimulating your brain. And the idea of stimulating your brain is important because you know things, it’s the idea of the object in motion and things either going forward or backward at any given time. And if you’re not moving forward, then you’re basically going backward.”
So what are some ways to stimulate your brain?
- Words with Friends
There is also another side to the mental cup. Kimberly explains that if there’s anything that saps your energy it should be dealt with to preserve your mental cup.
For instance, the negative co-worker with a toxic attitude needs to be given some distance. Anyone that is negatively impacting your energy, you need to minimize their impact on you.
Kimberly even puts handling your money and spending time with girlfriends under mental self-care.
Don’t forget to yes more to the things that bring you joy.
The last cup is the spiritual cup in the 4 cups for self care. This cup has to do with your soul.
Sometimes this involves being creative. But is also involves birthing something and connecting to a higher power.
What are some ways to connect and fill your spiritual cup?
- Get out in nature
One of Kimberly’s favorite exercises to help with the spiritual cup is the Reverse Bucket List.
Instead of writing down a list of things that you hope to achieve one day, write down a list of things that you have already accomplished.
Kimberly challenges all of her clients to come up with 100 items on this list.
Doing this exercise shifts your mindset so that you see how far you have come and what you have accomplished so far.
“We forget to look back and see how far we’ve come. I mean, and I have people at the top of the mountain, they’ve only got a little bit left and they look back and like, Oh Dang, look how far I’ve come. But they were focused on how far they still have to go. And when we’re only focused on how far we have to go or not, how far we’ve come, we lose part of the journey.”
Kimberly challenges you to make a reverse bucket list with 100 items.
I know you can do it.
Your spiritual cup also involves taking a look at your identity.
More specifically the things that have happened in your life that you identify yourself as.
For instance, if you used to have a drinking problem in the past you might identify yourself as an alcoholic. But this is not really who you are.
Also included in the spiritual cup is forgiveness. I talked to Karen all about forgiveness in episode 42.
Kimberly echos the same message that forgiveness is not for the person that has hurt you or has done something wrong to you.
Forgiveness is for you.
“People, they don’t want to forgive because they feel like they’re letting people off the hook. They don’t want to forgive because they feel like, well that means it was okay and it’s not. It’s not about that”
Kimberly has a forgiveness exercise that will help if you are having a hard time forgiving someone.
“Where I tell people whoever has wronged you, and even if it’s something horrible, then imagine them shrunk down as a small child. And a lot of times imagining them and like as a five-year-old, it’s easier to forgive them. Yes. Because as a grown adult you should know better. But to often, the things that people do are things that they do because when they were five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, they were wounded. They were wounded big time. And now they’re still carrying that wound around in there. They’re acting out in ways that are not appropriate.”
You not only want to forgive others, but you want to forgive yourself too.
We all have things that we are not proud of.
We’ve done things based on the information that we have. Sometimes the things we’ve done were out of ignorance or making sure a need met. And this makes things worst.
It’s okay. You are still an awesome mom. Forgive yourself so that you can move on.
This is where you should start today
So you may be thinking that Kimberly shared some great stuff, but you have no idea where to start with the 4 cups for self care.
“I want you to look at where you have the greatest need. So if you were to take those four cups and you give them a scale of one to 10 ask yourself, you know, where are you at in each one of those? And then the one that is the lowest is the one you need to focus on. And I say that because it’s probably the one you’re pouring from the most and that’s why it’s the lowest. So we need to get that one filled up.”
Remember, the physical cup is the easiest to get filled. If you still don’t know where to start, start with the physical cup.
And be honest with yourself. Are the things you’re doing really filling your cup?
Take time to really think about what you really need.
Did that pedicure really make you feel better? Or did you do it because that what you think self-care is supposed to look like?
To learn more about Kimberly and to schedule, a FREE 15-minute chat with her, go to her website at Cherished Wives.
Make sure that you mentioned that heard about her on the Real Happy Mom Podcast on the episode on the 4 cups for self care.
You can also find Kemberly on Facebook.
Kimberly is new to Instagram so make sure you follow her and say hello.
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- You can’t pour from an empty cup.
- If you’re having difficulty in your marriage, try implementing self-care first.
- The 4 cups for self care are physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
- The physical cup is typically the easiest to fill. The emotional cup is the more challenging one.
- Rate where you are for each cup to determine which area you need to focus on now.
Links mentioned in this episode
- Kimberly’s blog post that inspired me to write one of my popular posts
- My popular post inspired by Kimberly
- Kimberly’s post that talks about the benefits of crying
- Cherished Wives
- Kimberly on Facebook
- Kimberly on Instagram