Keeping Your “Cup Full” in Today’s Crazy World

Juliene Hefter, Executive Director/CEO, Association of Aquatic Professionals

What does it mean to fill your cup?

To fill your cup means to replenish those stores of mental, emotional, and physical energy. It means that you need to stop and recharge your batteries (

For the past 6 months we have been living in what some people are calling “an alternative universe”.  Although we all know that is not true, it is hard to comprehend what has all happened and changed during the past 6 months for most aquatic professionals and, everyone else for that matter.  I can honestly say that this time in our lives will be looked at by me as a time to reflect and remember what is truly important in life.  For those of us that are extreme extroverts it has proven to be a challenge to not do the “normal” day to day activities: meet up with friends, go to an establishment for food and/or beverages, work out in a gym, etc.  This can also be said for introverts as well.  We are all getting through it the very best that we are capable of and I see that taking a toll on everyone, including myself. 

In addition to our normal work requirements we have now been inundated with additional, or, all together new, tasks and requirements to continue to accomplish what we have in the past, as well as stay on top of the new things that have been placed on us.  I, for one, can tell you that it has not been an easy task.  With all of the new committees, workgroups, zoom conference calls, development of policies and procedures, educating staff virtually, or, in person using specific safety guidelines, etc, in addition to what was already a busy work schedule, and our personal life challenges it is sometimes extremely overwhelming. 

So, I decided to make sure that I took the time to “fill my cup”.  I started by looking at how all of this was affecting me emotionally, physically and personally. My first goal was to get back in the gym.  So, I masked up, as soon as they re-opened, and hit it hard working with a personal trainer 3 times per week and working on cardio and endurance on my own the other 4 days a week. Wow, what a difference that has made.  It got me thinking about the many times that we plan and develop programs and activities for others, but, a lot of time, put our own physical and well-being on the back burner.  Let’s all take this time to remember that in order to be there for others we have to first take care of ourselves. 

Other activities that have helped me to navigate the stress and uncertainty have been: reading, taking walks, meditating and talking to others about the challenges that we have all been faced with.  It’s amazing how just talking to someone can and does make a huge difference with the additional stress that has come along with all of these challenges.  Stress is a fact of life; there is no way to avoid it altogether. Sometimes we anticipate its arrival while other times, such as now, it is thrust upon us without warning. The best thing we can do for ourselves in the face of stress is to ensure we know how to manage our response to it. Thinking about this in the present can help prevent misfortune or missteps now and in the future.  And, remember, there are so many professionals out there that you may talk to in order to assist you with mitigating the effects of stress within your lives.  Please do not hesitate to contact one if you are feeling the effects of stress and are having a difficult time dealing with it.  You will truly thank yourself for it!

Taking care of yourself = keeping your cup full. If you don’t do things to keep your cup full, you have nothing left to give or share with others.  So, take some time for yourself to replenish those stores of mental, emotional, and physical energy, stop and recharge your batteries!  Trust me, you, and those around you will truly benefit from it.

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Juliene Hefter

Juliene is the Executive Director/CEO of AOAP. She has a background in running and operating diverse aquatic facilities and venues and is a national and international speaker on a variety of topics. She is also an expert witness/consultant.

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