Updated: Jan 18, 2020
Anytime I fly I hear the airline workers remind me that in case of a loss in air pressure, I should put my own oxygen mask on before putting on my kid's. I used to think, NO WAY. I'm going to take care of my kids, to hell with myself, they come first.
Now I realize that if I take care of myself, I will be able to take care of my family, and ultimately that's what I want.
We all have so much going on; work, kids, home, partner, and everything else life throws at us. It feels like I always have to be somewhere, be doing something, be responsible for someone. AHHHHHHHHH. It's exhausting. I get tired and overwhelmed. I've had enough. I can't take one more person asking me one more thing. The next person that asked me for something that is staring them in the face, I'm going to lose it. And I do.
When the dust settles and things are back in their place, I try to understand why I lost it. First, I know that it was all too much. Too much responsibly, too many questions, too much pressure. And I explode. And again I ask myself why? Things were coming at me fast, I didn't have time to respond. I was hangry, I hadn't eaten all day. So boom, I reacted by yelling. Once again, why? I realize that I was just reacting to the last straw, I wasn't thinking. I hadn't taken care of myself. I didn't eat earlier when I was hungry, I didn't take a moment when I needed some space, and I didn't take the time to breathe and think. Overall, I wasn't taking care of me so I couldn't take care of them.
And that's when it all makes sense. When I realize the importance of self-care. If earlier in the day when I was hungry, I took the time to eat, how would things be different? If I stepped away for a moment and took a breath, what would have changed? I know that the responsibilities would all still be there, I can't change that, but I would be different.
I would have a reserve of energy to think clearly about the answers that are needed, I'd have the breath to calmly address the important, right now, can't wait, things that need to get done. I'd have the extra space to take on the additional, whatever it is, without stress because I took that moment to let go of the past and I was in a good place now.
Self-care is about giving. Not only are you giving yourself time to regroup, reconnect and reinvigorate, but you are also giving your whole self back to others. You are making room within yourself to let others in.
So grab your oxygen mask, put it on and breathe.