You hear it every time you fly, right after instructions about how to use your seat belt: “If there is a change in cabin pressure, oxygen masks will fall from the ceiling. If you are traveling with small children, place your mask on first, and then assist others.”
Are you kidding me? Take care of yourself first? That's selfish!
Hold that thought.
We help clients, family, friends, and personal groups - such as church or school associations. Not to mention that, while balancing all of those things, we strive to continuously improve professionally.
Even though we are juggling all of these commitments, no matter how well intended or positive they may be, there are times when you get to the end of a day or a week and wonder what the heck happened?!
You filled every moment with an activity and still feel as though you didn’t get enough done. Not to mention, you're now completely exhausted. When this occurs, you may even think that it doesn’t matter if you have succeeded or not because you literally can’t feel positive or negative emotions.
If you can relate to any of these situations, it’s time to take care of yourself and before you respond by thinking “I don't have time,” I have news for you - you don't have time to not take care of yourself.
Choose to do it now, or be forced to do it later. One way or another, you must do it. I hate to break this to some of you: (and constantly need a reminder myself) we’re only human. We cannot perform our best if we are exhausted and stressed.
For those of you who are new to this self care thing, start small and work your way up. Choose something simple that makes you feel rested and/or invigorated - carve out an evening to catch up on your favorite shows, go out to eat at your favorite restaurant, try a new class at the gym, buy a new pair of shoes, take a bath, play a game, work outside in the yard. Whatever you choose, make sure that it's something that makes you feel like you.
Now back to the plane.
Why do the flight attendants tell us to put on our masks first? It's simple: if we take care of ourselves and get the oxygen flowing, we are better equipped to help others.
It’s true, it may feel uncomfortable at first and you may need to let someone in on your plan so that they can continue to encourage you to choose yourself, but it will be worth it!
This week, put on the mask first and, then, go help others.