Make sure to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others!
Anyone who has ever traveled by plane will have heard this phrase. Flight attendants rattle it off before every flight and we all nod and agree but do we really think about what it means?
The truth is that you can’t take care of anyone else if you’re not first taking care of yourself. Over the past two weeks this has been a leading theme for my classes. One of my students prompted me to concentrate on this when she told me how hard it had been to carve out the time that day to come to class. She said she felt guilty leaving her in laws taking care of her kids but knew that she needed to take a break and an hour at yoga was going to make her a ‘better‘ person for the rest of the week.
Recognizing when you need to step away from your responsibilities to take care of yourself can be almost as hard as fighting off the guilt. Too often we feel we need to handle all of our other tasks and take care of everyone else’s needs before we can even consider looking after our own.
One tip I often share with my students is to ask yourself ‘What would you say to a good friend if he or she was in this situation?’ Why do so many of us find it hard to treat ourselves with as much compassion as we would offer to a friend?
So this week, why not try allowing yourself a little time and space just for you? Maybe come to a yoga class; maybe go for a walk; maybe drink a delicious cup of tea while watching the sunrise.
Do you know that 1 hour equates to just 0.6% of your week? Surely you deserve to take at least 2% of the week to do what makes you happy? Three hours and change! Go on, as the lovely ladies of L’Oreal would say ‘You’re worth it!’