If you’ve ever been on an airplane, you’ve heard the flight attendants say “Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others”. You’ve probably also heard this phrase applied to life in general.
But what does that really mean? It means that without taking care of yourself and making sure that all of your bits are operational, it is very hard, if not impossible, to take care of others.
This isn’t a wrong act, or something to feel guilty about. It IS selfish, because you are focusing on yourself, but at the same time, it is selfless because through the act of self care, you can better take care of others. So, let’s call it “self-focused” rather than being selfish.
If you ignore the importance of taking care of yourself and solely focus on taking care of others, the day will come when your health will catch up with you… and then you won’t be able to take care of yourself OR others.
In other words:
Self care is as essential as food or water.
Here’s how to do it: First, learn the basic tools of self care. That means holding space for yourself (and giving yourself plenty of time to emotionally process the day and ‘Be With It’).
Be patient. Take it slow and without urgency. Give yourself some nourishment through a simple act of gratitude or kindness to yourself. Even if this means taking the long way home because there is a better view, or waking up 30 minutes earlier so you can take a bath. Give yourself the time, space and attention you deserve.
Second, fall into a relaxation and self care routine that works for you. This could be a daily meditation. This could be working on getting yourself out of Defense Mode. This could be nourishing yourself through a delicious and highly nutritious meal. This could be taking a hot bath with some essential oils. Or simply drinking some hot tea.
Another great thing to do for yourself is establish a solid support system. Whether that is a weekly poker night, our AE+ online support community, or a community of friends and family, having people that are there to support you is one of the best ways to make self care a regular part of your daily life.
The more time, space and attention you give yourself, the more resilient and better equipped you’ll be to handle yourself AND others. The better you are, the better the people around you will be, because you’ll have more time to devote to what matters: The people in your life.
Want to know our entire self care routine? Join AE+ for just $1 today and get our entire self care routine and guidance on how to implement it in your own life!