A message we hear on every flight we take, one so repetitive we almost ignore it.
“Place the mask 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 mask on first, and then assist the other person.”
We all know why we are supposed to do this right? We cannot properly care for others if we don’t get a clear flow of oxygen to our own lungs first.
Why don’t we apply this type of self-care philosophy to our everyday lives?
The stress and anxiety we experience on a daily basis may not equal a mid-air emergency, but it can make us equally short of breath. Women in particular are bad at this, always putting everyone else first. The kids, your job and your partners wellbeing seem to be far more important than your own.
As well as affecting your own wellbeing, our level of anxiety can impact those around us, in particular our families. A report from the American Psychological Association states:
“Children model their parents’ behaviours, including those related to managing stress. Parents who deal with stress in unhealthy ways risk passing those behaviours on to their children. Alternatively, parents who cope with stress in healthy ways can not only promote better adjustment and happiness for themselves, but also promote the formation of critically important habits and skills in children.”
Even if you’re not a parent, like me, your own wellbeing (or lack of) impacts whomever you come into contact with. Have you ever had one of those friends who is always sick, tired or stressed? Their energy can be exhausting and you may ultimately find yourself not asking how they are feeling because you don’t want your own energy resources drained – is that you?
What kind of lives are we really living if we are not taking time to care for ourselves, pulling on the oxygen mask first!
It is not selfish to take care of yourself first. Take some time each day to slow things down, sit down for some ‘me-time’. You are then better able to fully engage in life, and give good energy to your friends, children, partner and co-workers.