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      Most people have likely heard of the common metaphor: you can’t pour from an empty cup so take care of yourself first. Often it is a quote or phrase used in seminars or conferences about the importance of self-care and ensuring you take care of yourself before helping others. Sometimes the same message can be conveyed by visualizing an empty jar or glass and having someone indicate how “full” or “empty” they are feeling in relation to self-care.

      The reason I bring this up is because self-care is important for everyone, but especially those of us living with a life-threatening illness such as pulmonary fibrosis (PF). The impact of not taking care of ourselves and falling ill can be detrimental to our health, so it is important to keep that jar or cup full.

      As someone who enjoys caring for others, and “fixing everything” (as my friends say); putting my own needs first and practicing self-care can be a difficult task. That being said, it has certainly become easier since my diagnosis of IPF, however it is still something I preach more than I practice and I am starting to recognize this. I have established many ways to “re-fill” my jar or cup, and most of them are within the quiet and comfort of my own home without people around. However, I also recognize that there are a plethora of different ways to practice self-care and I am always interested in adding to my self-care “toolbox”.

      What are some of your self-care rituals since living with PF/IPF?

      Do you find you’re better able to “re-fill” your cup, or practice self-care when alone or with others? 

      How often do you practice these self-care rituals: daily, weekly or only in response to times of stress or need?

      Thank you in advance for sharing!

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