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Fill Your Bucket: Self-Care and Performance

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

If you’re like me, you blinked and summer was gone and now we’re a few weeks away from “falling back” and more darkness. School and sports are back in full swing, and “free time” seems like a memory long forgotten. Back are the days of snacks on-the-run, quick changes in the car, and homework late into the evening. With each passing week, I notice more stress piling onto the shoulders of my athletes. There’s just so much to do, and so little time.

Activities are scheduled down to the minute. Homework gets more challenging with each year. …and the pressure to stay on top of it all can feel almost crippling.

How do you manage it all? Think of yourself like a bucket. Ideally, your bucket is filled while a whole bunch of good things. > Energy >> Optimism >>> Determination >>>> Perseverance >>>>> Adaptability >>>>>> Calmness >>>>>>> Passion

Stressors can poke holes in your bucket. Sometimes the holes are tiny and can be patched. But, sometimes, as an athlete once said to me, it can feel like your bucket is gushing water and beyond repair. The good stuff starts to drain. You’re feeling depleted.

Trying to perform at your best, whether in school or sport, from an already-depleted state is hard. Especially when you haven’t cut yourself a break, expectation-wise. You continue to demand the same quality of work, and yet, you’re running low on the qualities that strongly contribute to your success. Take time to refill your bucket.

First, brainstorm the things that regenerate the “good.” Make a list and keep it somewhere for reference. Then, find five minutes a day – yes, a whole five minutes! – to engage in one of your fillers.

Go for a walk with your dog. Eat ice cream with a friend. Sit still. Listen to music.

It may be stressful at first; it may even feel like you’re wasting precious time. But don’t give up on it without a fight. The more you tend to refilling your bucket, the better able you’ll be able to handle all that gets thrown at you. Success comes from a healthy you – mentally, physically, and emotionally. Don’t let all the “stuff” get in the way of your own self-care!

*The idea of BUCKET FILLING stretches back many years and can be applied across a range of situations for all ages. For more information, take a look at:

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