“Attention passengers: Oxygen and the cabin air pressure are always being monitored. In the event of decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your own mask first, and then assist the other person. Keep your mask on until a uniformed crew member advises you to remove it.”
Self-care is the greatest gift you can give your loved ones and everyone you meet.
If you’re a Freedom Junkie™ like me, you have heard this safety announcement prior to take off on any and every flight. Our plane isn’t exactly crashing here, but you get the idea.
What does this have to do with you and your every day life?
I used to try to serve/help everyone in my life before making sure I was ok. This lead to exhaustion, burn out, sickness, stress, feeling overwhelmed and pretty much ending up at the end of my rope.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I believe 100% in being of value to others and serving the people that are important in your life. But my big mistake was that I had the equation backwards.
In order to care for, help, serve and be of value to those we love and cherish…we must first TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES. We must put our air masks on FIRST as the safely warning says. After all – what good are we to others if we don’t make it (or a less dramatic version: if we aren’t in our optimal condition to care for them)?
Yes, that’s right – you must put yourself FIRST.
This was a tough lesson for me to learn. As women especially (yes, men too), we are taught to help others before helping ourselves.
Growing up I watched my mom care for me and my 3 younger siblings, my dad, our pet dog, our cats, her friends, and her very success optometry practice all before caring for herself. She’s an AMAZING woman! But, her health was compromised to scary and dangerous limits as a result of her putting others first. I saw her in the worst mental and physical health of her life. The example it set for us kids was a hard one for me to let go of. I felt I always needed permission to care for me, and much of the time it I was worried it was considered selfish to put myself first.
As a daughter, sister, mother, friend, business partner, mentor and entrepreneur I have now found that it’s ONLY when I care for myself and care for myself consistently that I can give MY BEST to the people around me that matter most. I have now given myself permission to care for ME. In doing so I have been able to be a BETTER person to everyone around me.
As one of my most adored mentors says:
“I used to say, “If you will take care of me, I will take care of you.” Now I say, “I will take care of me for you if you will take care of you for me”” — Jim Rohn
I encourage you to take care of you. Self-care is the greatest gift you can give your loved ones and everyone you meet.
With air masks, love and self-care,