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:
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.
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I'm taking part in an Instagram Challenge called March Meet the Maker. Joanne Hawker started this challenge in 2016, but I only heard of it this year and jumped in late, just a couple days ago. Joanne set up each day with a different prompt, and makers share photos and stories related to that prompt. Today's prompt is "design process", and since this is my favorite part of my job, I wanted to share more than an Instagram post would allow.
Each type of product I make has a slightly different design process, depending on whether it's a lip balm and I'm creating new scents, or it's an aromatherapy blend where the ingredients are therapeutic, or it's a limited edition body product that is completely new. But they all start the same - an idea. Usually followed by the question, "how can I make this scent with just natural ingredients?"
Two years ago, I was browsing in a bookstore, and I picked up a book on their bestsellers table. I liked the way the book looked and felt in my hands, and I made a split second decision to buy it just before they closed, completely unaware that what I felt was what the book was about - an item sparking joy in myself. The book was Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Though the KonMari Method is about following your heart, not necessarily your instincts, I'm so glad I picked up that book!
I love stuff. I love to collect things, especially old things. I love the memories they hold, the connections they remind me of, and the history they contain. I am comforted by always having useful things around in case I need them. It's rare I ever leave my house without a bag (although I do try to challenge myself sometimes).
Over the last couple of months, I've been joining new groups and meeting a lot of new people, especially other women in business. When asked what I do for work, I usually end up stumbling over my words a bit, unable to decide between a few different ways to answer.
I make lip balm is a good, basic answer but not the whole story.
I'm a herbalist* and aromatherapist and I make products is a better description of what I do, but it feels like I'm selling my brand short.
I own a small natural skincare and aromatherapy company is my favorite straightforward answer, but it's often met with questions like these:
"Like day creams and night creams?"
"Do you make under eye serums?"
"Do you have something for these wrinkles, haha?"