If you were asked about your self-care what would you say? Would you say you don’t have time for that? Would you say taking care of yourself is really being selfish? Or would you say self-care is a priority for you?
My experience has shown me that most people would say they are too busy caring for others to take care of themselves. And when pressed, they say that taking care of themselves before others is selfish. I would venture to guess that most people believe it is NOT OK to take care of ourselves before loved ones. Well, today, I am here to challenge this statement and give you a legitimate reason to put yourself first!
If you have ever flown on a plane, you have seen the flight attendants going through their safety protocol. One of those protocols they talk about is the use of oxygen masks. They say if there is a drop in cabin pressure, the oxygen masks will come down. They tell you to put your own mask on before helping others, including children. Have you ever stopped to think about why they would tell you to put yours on first? And have you ever stopped to think about whether you would follow their instructions? If you haven’t, now is the time. Ask yourself what would happen if you tried to help the person sitting next to you before helping yourself. The answer is simple…you would pass out before you could help. In your altruism, you would end up hurting both you and your fellow passenger. No one would be saved!
This notion can be applied in our every day lives. We often focus on making sure others are healthy and, in the process, we become sick. We let ourselves get run-down. We push ourselves to the brink. We do not set boundaries. How can we help others if we can’t get out of bed? Again, the answer is we can’t! So, by making ourselves a priority and keeping ourselves healthy, we are actually serving others. We are keeping ourselves in a condition that allows us to do for others as well as ourselves. When we are emotionally and physically healthy, we are better able to help those who need it. This is a win-win for everyone, including ourselves!
So, during this time of Thanksgiving, give thanks for who you are and what you do for those around you. Give them the gift of you by taking care of yourself!