We’ve all sat on a plane and listened to the safety demonstration, haven’t we? Most of us barely even listen do we but it always ends with the piece about the oxygen masks and the air crew always say “put your own mask on before you help anybody else”
In one way it sounds selfish doesn’t it but in another it makes perfect sense, how can you help others before you have sorted yourself out? If the air is thin then you will be more effective and able to help others better once you have made sure that your own oxygen supply is sorted.
What an amazing metaphor for life that is!
There are lots of phrases around like, you can’t pour from an empty jug which essentially means that for us to effectively take care of others we must first take care of ourselves. This can actually be difficult to put into practice, we are brought up to feel selfish doing something for ourselves when we have long To Do Lists to complete providing for everybody else.
But, looking after yourself isn’t selfish, it allows to us remain healthy and happy, retaining the ability to help care or others. You wouldn’t expect machinery of any type, to work continuously without any level of care, filling up of fuel or lubrication so why do you expect that of yourself.
How full is your cup or fuel tank? What are the things that you enjoy doing for yourself that helps you feel re-invigorated and able to carry on energetically? What is the best way to ensure your jug remains topped up?
Self-care is different to different people and isn’t always obvious or the things we automatically think of. Self-care might be going to the pub for an hour with friends and talking through your week, it might be walking in the fresh air, it might be having a bath and half an hour of peace and quiet.
Whatever it is, make sure you look after yourself because how can you advise others to do that if you don’t follow your own advice!