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Put Your Oxygen Mask On First

If you've ever been on an airplane, you know the safety speech. 

The emergency exits are at the sides, there are life jackets under the seats, and in case of pressure changes in the cabin, the oxygen masks in compartments over your head will automatically fall to you.

You are instructed to first put on your own mask, then help anyone else you're with. This is to ensure that you have enough oxygen to survive. You can then help anyone else in need.

This can be used as a metaphor for all aspects of your life. You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.

Put your oxygen mask on first.

You may think you are being selfish for wanting to put yourself first.

You are not being selfish.

If you don't take care of yourself first, you will eventually run out of "oxygen", and you will be unable to take care of your family, or friends, or anyone else who needs you. 

Caring for others is noble, but it is a very old-fashioned and unhealthy way of thinking to believe that you have to give everything of yourself in order to be devout to the ones you love. If you take care of yourself first, you have more to give to others. 

So give yourself a break and do something nice for yourself that will make you feel rested and refreshed. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it makes you feel good. 

Here are some ideas:

  • Read a book
  • Watch a movie
  • Go on a hike
  • Binge on Netflix
  • Take a yoga or meditation class
  • Get a manicure/pedicure
  • Grab a coffee and people watch
  • Get a massage
  • Take a scenic drive
  • Go to a museum
  • Get a facial

Don't make the excuse that you don't have time. Make time for yourself. It's important. Create a schedule that includes time for yourself to decompress and re-energize. 

Put your oxygen mask on first.