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  • Writer's pictureMadhurima Sappatti

Pouring Joy: A Tangible Approach to Self-Care and Stress Management

Fill Your Cup - An fun activity for Self Care and Stress Management!
Fill Your Cup - An fun activity for Self Care and Stress Management!

Finding yourself constantly pouring into the cups of others—whether it's your loved ones, your passions, or your work?

What happens when your cup is left empty, drained by the demands of life?

And what can you do to start filling your cup a bit more consciously?

This article introduces a playful yet powerful exercise to make your self-care practice not only effective but tangible.

The Overflowing Cup: Understanding the Energy Exchange

We start with the core concept that we have a cup that is constantly being filled with energy from the source, those we love, the universe, god, and whoever we believe in. This energy is then poured into different cups of those we love, our passions, our work, etc. Think of it like an energetic exchange.

Ideally you want to look at giving from the overflow as opposed to giving from your cup directly!

A lot of times, we experience stress when we feel like we are giving a lot and not receiving energy in return.

We are draining ourselves and our energy, pouring into those we love, our passions, and our work, and not receiving enough - imagine a cup that is constantly pouring into others without refilling to its fullest.

The exercise we are going to share aims to address that imbalance.

Turning Fun into Fulfillment: Creating Your Self-Care Activity Cards

The very first step of this activity is focused on making self-care practical and enjoyable. Start by grabbing a few paper cards and jotting down activities that bring you joy (one in each card).

Think of activities that essentially fill your cup. Aka, they bring you energy, and make you feel satisfied and fulfilled. Need ideas? Read on!

Incorporating the Love Languages: Adding a bit of Love to the mix!

The concept of the Five Love Languages was developed by Dr. Gary Chapman, a renowned relationship counsellor and author. According to Chapman, each person has a primary love language through which they express and receive love. Understanding and communicating in someone's love language is key to building and maintaining strong and meaningful relationships. The Five Love Languages are as follows:

1. Words of Affirmation:

Individuals with this love language value verbal expressions of love and appreciation. Compliments, words of encouragement, and positive affirmations make a significant impact on them. Simple phrases like "I love you," or acknowledging their efforts can deeply resonate.

2. Acts of Service:

For those whose primary love language is acts of service, actions speak louder than words. Performing helpful gestures or doing tasks for them shows love and consideration. This could be as simple as doing household chores, preparing a meal, or helping with a task.

3. Receiving Gifts:

Some people feel most loved when they receive tangible expressions of affection. These gifts don't need to be extravagant; it's the thought and effort behind the gift that matters. Even small, meaningful tokens can convey a strong sense of love and thoughtfulness.

4. Quality Time:

Quality time is the primary love language for those who value undivided attention. Spending meaningful, focused time together is crucial. This could involve engaging in activities, having deep conversations, or simply being present and attentive to each other without distractions.

5. Physical Touch:

Physical touch is the love language that centres around physical connection. Simple gestures like hugs, kisses, holding hands, or other forms of physical intimacy are essential for individuals with this love language. Physical touch communicates love, warmth, and closeness.

With a basic understanding of these five love languages, think of what these love languages look like when they are focused on you, aka, it is an activity done for you by you!

Incorporate elements from the five love languages—acts of service, quality time, gift-giving, words of affirmation, and physical touch, into your cards.

Take a hint from your hobbies: Fun makes from great self-care!

Some of the other activities can include indulging in your favorite hobbies.

Whether it's the joy of experimenting in the kitchen through cooking delightful meals, finding solace in the tranquillity of gardening and nurturing plants, immersing yourself in the captivating worlds of literature through reading, or cherishing quality moments with loved ones – be it family, friends, or pets.

These personal passions become integral components of your self-care toolkit, contributing to the overall fulfilment of your well-being.

Pouring Happiness: Making Self-Care Visible

The next step is quite easy. Grab a transparent vessel—a wine glass, beer mug, or anything that catches your eye. Don't pour any wine or beer into it though! (Come on! I am not being a spoilsport!)

During your morning routine, check in with yourself and assess your needs for the day and place corresponding activity cards into the container. This transparent cup serves as a visible reminder of your self-care goals.

You now have a glass full of handpicked (Pun intended!) self-care options that make sense for your day.

Handpicked Happiness: Bringing Your Cards to Life

Throughout the day, interact with your tangible self-care options. The activities you've handpicked are now at your fingertips, making it easy to choose moments of joy. This approach ensures that self-care is not relegated to the background but remains an active and intentional part of your day.


By making the practice of filling your cup tangible and visible, this exercise transforms self-care from an afterthought into a daily ritual. Give it a try and experience the joy of prioritizing your well-being.

Ready to take the plunge into a more intentional self-care routine? Grab a pre-prepared bunch of downloadable and printable prompt cards here and make self-care a daily delight!


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