What Fills Your Tank?

Has anyone ever asked you that question?

We spend hours upon hours doing things that drain us… I love being a mom, but I can’t truly say that changing diapers, nursing, cleaning & cooking necessarily FILLS my tank.

My husband recently shared with me this concept he learned at a conference:
The more we do things that drain us, the LESS we tend to do things that actually fill us.

For example, let’s say that I have two weeks until a presentation for a grad school project. I inadvertently say to myself “I do not have time to do ‘other’ things… I need to spend all remaining time I have left on this project.”

What ends up happening is ALL of my time gets spent on something that drains me. So how am I being filled up?
When we are over-exerting ourselves on things that drain us, we must then do EVEN MORE things that fill us so that we’re not running on empty.

Ask yourself this question: “what fills my tank?”
What gives me energy? What fills me with joy? What gives me peace? What makes my day more exciting?

The more time I spend doing things that drain me, the more time I NEED to spend doing things that fill me.

As for my practice in healthy living, here are 10 things I’ve found that fill my tank:

  1. Hanging out with friends– Nothing fills my tank more than time with people I love and care about. I’ve learned that this is absolutely vital for me. Whether it’s in a large group or good quality one-on-one time… I treasure my friendship time.
  2. Yoga- My favorite type of workout. I love the building of my strength & flexibility through Vinyasa.
  3. Reading- I love all sorts of books… I love learning… I love being swept away in a fantastical story and leaving reality for a little bit.
  4. Writing– I’m an external processor. And supposedly, my number one strength is communication… so naturally, I love expressing myself & articulating thoughts/ideas… writing gives me an outlet for all of this.
  5. The Coffee Shop- I get to do the previous two here completely distraction-free. I highly prefer doing those two loves at the coffee shop rather than at home. Plus there’s that rich smell of coffee… mmmmmm
  6. The Beach- There’s something I find truly majestic & calming about the ocean and being right by the water. Walking by the water gives me immense peace.
  7. Languages & Travel– most people don’t know this about me, but I actually speak four languages. Well sort of… I’m fluent in English & Farsi (I learned Farsi first), and I’m conversational in French & Italian. I actually tutored students in Italian while I was a student at UC Davis. I absolutely love learning new languages. They are all so beautiful in their own way. And something really excites me about being able to converse with people of different tongues & cultures… If I could do anything else with my life, I would probably just spend it learning languages and travelling.
  8. Disney/Disneyland- Well… what can I say? I grew up going to Disneyland at least once a year since I was 4 years old. It’s my childhood love. The place is filled with happy families and incredibly joyful children. My favorite thing: During the firework show, while the finale is happening, turn around and look at all the faces in the crowd… HUGE SMILES and BEAMING faces… it’s heartwarming.
  9. Children- sounds creepy, but it’s not… children warm my heart. There’s something so innocent & beautiful about every single child. I just love them. And now that I have one of my own… I want so many more!
  10. Teaching- I’ve had little tastes of teaching here & there… I tutored in college. I spent a year as a teacher in a private high school. I spent a year teaching children’s ministry… I recently got an opportunity to teach the adults at church on Sunday. I think I’ve found a passion.


Try this exercise: List 10 things that drain your tank. Then list 10 things that fill your tank. Try to incorporate more “filling” activities into your routine.



2 thoughts on “What Fills Your Tank?

  1. a4smith says:

    I loved this session at Greek Staff Conference, we don’t talk about this enough in InterVarsity! Thanks for sharing this Natalia, almost all of your fillers are mine as well, I’m convinced we would be the best of friends if I lived near you 🙂 Blessings to you!

    • nataliakwok says:

      yes we WOULD be 🙂 our time would probably be filled with coffee drinking, blog writing & office watching 🙂

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