How the Coronavirus Has Reminded Me To Fill My Own Cup


I recently connected with a friend and at the end of the phone call, she said to me, thank you so much, you have filled my cup.

I have heard this expression before, but with my recent higher levels of stress this remark really stuck with me this time.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my own cup these past few days. In my mind, it’s a big coffee mug with “World’s Best Mom” engraved on it, the words faded from many uses. I like to imagine it’s full of warm (not scalding) deliciously bold java with a splash of whipping cream.

As the day goes on, I take sips from my mug and inevitably it gets cold or the cup is empty way too soon. I get sad, and I find myself going back to the kitchen to make a second cup. I’m temporarily refreshed and happy again.

In this analogy, there are many things that deplete my coffee mug. Unending work emails, forgetting the passwords to my kids’ online school websites, my patients who are struggling, uncertainty about the future, my kids’ emotional well being…the list goes on.

I’m working on accepting the fact that many of these things are outside of my control.

The past few days, I have been focusing on the one thing I do have control over: how I refill my cup when it’s empty. I have been focusing on what I can do to feel restored, refreshed, and re-energized.

On the days I don’t pause to do these things, it catches up to me. I feel it in my neck and shoulders, with headaches and muscle tightness. I feel it when I bark at my kids, snap at the puppy, and inevitably pour that extra glass of wine.

So I’m making it my goal for these next few weeks to intentionally fill up my cup as often as I can.

I’m forcing myself to step away from my computer to take a break. Whenever I can, I take a walk on conference calls or at least sit outside. I’m trying to disconnect from technology whenever possible, especially during family time. I practice deep breathing several times a day, feeling lighter with each inhale. I’m trying to go to bed earlier so I get a good night’s sleep. I’m calling my friends to touch base, even when I don’t feel like it. I’m checking on my family and sending surprise gifts to cheer them up.

Above all, I’m cutting myself some slack. My coffee may not always be perfectly brewed and my cup might be only half full, but it helps to remind myself that I’m doing the best I can. And even if today is far from perfect and not what I would have ever imagined, there’s always tomorrow, where a new cup of delicious brew is waiting for me.


Previous articleTracy’s Crafty Recipes for Home Art Projects
Next articleHow Schitt’s Creek Prepared Us for Quarantine
Meredith is a transplant to the Bay Area and has fallen in love with the weather, gorgeous scenery, and plethora of local wineries. A wife and mother of two, she works part-time as a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. She hails from Texas, where she attended the University of Texas and will always bleed orange. She then moved to Washington DC to attend Georgetown's School of Medicine, where she fell in love with her future husband, a fellow student, and has been happily married for almost a decade. She and her husband lived in Cincinnati, Ohio for several years for their medical training and found it the perfect place to start a family. She relocated to the Bay Area a few years ago and has quickly adapted to West Coast living. Meredith enjoys the balance of part-time working and full-time parenting and loves to write about this ongoing struggle. In her persistent drive to find more "me time", she actively pursues her interests in reading, running, soccer, baking, and wine tasting.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here