I’ve heard this saying a million times, “Put on your oxygen mask first”. But, I never really got the magnitude of that statement until I became an entrepreneur and started my own business. Being an entrepreneur, I have to remind myself to do just that! Otherwise, I just won’t stop. Stopping means not being productive. Not being productive means I have to work harder, give up more time, sacrifice. I used to think this way, until I realized that when I didn’t take care of myself I was less productive, less present, more moody and more “stuck in my head”. I truly wasn’t showing up for anybody in that space, including myself. Maybe you can relate.
It seems like there is always a “to do list” three pages long, people needing attention and action, kids that have sports and activities- there’s no time to put on the mask. Right?
This is the harsh truth. If you don’t take care of yourself first you won’t be good for anyone. Eventually everything will catch up with you, the sleepless nights, the skipped meals, the missed doctor appointments. Your body has an incredible way of making you slow down- sometimes not how you intended. Sometimes you are out for days or even weeks.
Pay attention to the warning sighs, the chronic fatigue, moodiness, and even cravings. Your body is screaming for a break but we are wired to ignore our intuition. Think about your three stressors in life and think about your three relaxers. Learn to relax, learn to take time for yourself, learn to breathe. It’s not only important, it is also necessary. This may be a new habit that you have to learn. Don’t give up. Keep trying it out. Anything new is uncomfortable and it is until it isn’t!
I often ask myself this question: “Where am I running to?” The work will always be there, the kids will always have things going on and people will always need me. But, if I don’t put on my oxygen mask first I will not be good for anybody including myself. When we are always running we are not living. We are “surviving”. Let’s start living and enjoying the moments. Cherish the memories. Listen more fully and learn to just relax!