Full or Empty

Self-reflection can often be the best teacher. It is important to take time for yourself, show yourself unwavering compassion, and recognize when you need encouragement and support.  We have done an activity at The WARM Place for many years, called “Full or Empty.” This activity creates self-awareness about what creates fulfillment and emptiness in our lives. This simple exercise can assist with self-regulation and care in our daily life.

In our peer support groups, we can use this activity to not only reflect but to identify commonalities and differences in our grief journeys. Our groups offer a unique opportunity to be around others who have experienced a death loss and provide a safe space to reflect on things we have learned about ourselves. Group members can share things that have been helping them with their grief and areas in their life that tend to drain them. Being honest, acknowledging your feelings, and giving yourself permission to feel what you feel can help you on the road to healing.

To try this activity at home, follow these instructions:

  • Put your name in the center of the circle
  • Write on the arrows going “out” the activities, experiences, people, circumstances, or feelings that leave you feeling drained.
  • Write on the arrows going “in” what nurtures, enriches, energizes, or just feels good to you.
  • You may add extra arrows if needed.

This exercise can be done on a large piece of paper, as a journal entry, at the top of your to-do list, in your planner, or even on a post-it. The idea is to take time to think about how you are doing and to put your thoughts on paper. It is powerful to see this written out and helps you recognize where you feel supported and areas you may want to adjust. Taking a moment to do this can give you the perspective you may have been needing. Give yourself grace in this process and know that it will look different on different days, and that is okay.

Dana Minor, M.S., LPC-S, CSC

Dana Minor, M.S., LPC-S, CSC

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