You need to wear your oxygen mask first.
Have you ever flown and noticed that the captain and/or flight attendants makes this statement? It doesn’t matter who you are flying with, you should put on your oxygen mask before assisting others with their own masks.
Why would this be important enough to bring up in case of in-flight emergencies?
It boils down to one important point.
If you cannot help yourself, you can’t be of any help to others.
I think there is a greater and much more significant meaning to this guideline for flying.
I remember when I had my first daughter, how quickly I sacrificed everything to attend to her needs. If you’ve ever had a child (or a husband, pet, demanding career, etc.) you understand the dilemma all too well.
The housework quickly piles up, dishes are not taken care of, and laundry is in piles. You’re almost in survival mode, just trying to care for the basic needs of someone or something else. In fact, everyone else.
But something bigger happens.
You suddenly find that it is easy to procrastinate in taking care of yourself.
It starts with skipping the gym, or eating unhealthy, fast meals. Soon you gradually lose yourself and abandon the things you loved to do, like keeping a journal or talking to friends on the phone.
It doesn’t take long to realize that you feel like a mess. Emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Well, ladies, it’s time to put your well being first, over everything else.
This means that before you selflessly sacrifice for your work, before your partner, before your kids or other priorities, YOU need to make a mental list of ways to take care of yourself.
Because if you cannot take care of yourself, you can’t properly take care of others. Here’s what to do.
Don’t lose yourself in the day-to-day activities. Take time to express how you feel, and to reflect on where you are at. Share time with friends, even if it’s a quick call to vent. Make sure that you are being honest with yourself about the things you love and do not love about your life in order to prevent burning out.
This does not mean that you have to start running half-marathons.
Take a break from the stresses of the day in order to walk for 10-15 minutes. Lift a few weights. Stretch, dance, do yoga. It doesn’t matter how you choose to care for yourself physically, but this should be a priority. Eat healthy foods that make you feel good, filled with nutrients, like salmon or avocados.
Remember the things you used to LOVE doing? Start them back up, and be amazed by how it boosts your mental awareness. I highly recommend reading small chapters of a book or writing in a journal to reflect. Meditate in quietness for a few minutes, and fill your heart and environment with positivity.
Remember, above all else, that you are not able to care for others if you do not first care for yourself. Give yourself permission to honestly express your needs, and to skip the tasks that make you feel frazzled.
Now, Over to You
It’s time to act.
What areas of your life need a little extra prioritizing?
Do you need to journal, get a manicure, workout, or listen to your favorite music?
What’s that one thing you will commit to doing specifically for the next 21 days? Please let us know in the comments. You just might inspire someone.