Are you putting on your oxygen mask first?
When you get on a plane and the stewardess goes through her spiel about where the emergency exits are and how to fasten your seat belt, do you remember what she/he says about the oxygen masks?
It goes something like this:
In the event that the cabin loses pressure, oxygen masks will automatically drop from the ceiling in front of you…Place the mask over your nose and mouth BEFORE assisting others.
Notice they tell you to help yourself first ~ WHY?
If you don’t have oxygen, you can’t breath, and therefore YOU can’t help your child, husband, mother, father, the people around you, or whomever is flying with you.
My theme for you today is “take care of you first” ~ put on your oxygen mask first.
Self-Care For Women
First who am I?
I was a HS teacher for 21 years, at which time I was fortunate to be able to quit teaching to figure out what else I wanted to do with my life.
When I quit teaching I was 20 lbs overweight, tired, frustrated, depressed, critical of everyone and everything, and just not a real happy person.
When I was teaching, I used to get up around 5:30am and get myself ready, then I’d go get the boys up and get them down for some type of breakfast. Which usually consisted of pop tarts and toaster strudel!
I went to school and had kids waiting at my door for help at 8:00am. I taught all day, had 20 mins for lunch by the time I got the kids out of my room, ran to the restroom, and sat down to my salad. Then I had meetings or kids after school.
I went home to more homework, dinner, clean up, homework, my homework – papers to grade, lessons to plan, laundry, house cleaning, meal planning, after school activities – I’m tired just thinking about it all.
My happy tank was totally on empty, it was most likely in the negative double digits, maybe in the triple digits. I was totally last on the priority list? I put my kids, husband, and pets above me. Do you find yourself doing this?
I used to be that person also. It took me until the age of 50 to realize that we need to take care of ourselves first – we need to fill up our happy tanks first – and if we do that – then we have WAY more to give to others.
Let me explain.
I felt really guilty if I wanted to go get a pedicure, or go shopping for me or by myself or with friends.
Or if I just wanted to read a book or take a bath uninterrupted. I felt like I had to put the kids and everyone else before me.
I would never have told my kids that I was going to take 30 mins and they weren’t allowed to bother me.
I would never have thought to train them or that it would be a great role model for them to see me taking time to take care of myself.
What I never realized was, that when you put yourself first, it makes YOU better.
You feel better, your outlook is better, your mindset is better, you’re happier, you’re more focused, you’re a better mom, you’re a better wife or partner, you’re a better listener, you have more patience, the list goes on and it’s all because you’ve filled up your happy tank FIRST.
Self-Care For Women
Women are mainly nurturers, givers, we love to help others. But we often won’t take care of ourselves, invest in ourselves, or put ourselves first.
What we don’t realize is that if we go down, who’s going to do all the things we do?
I’m sure a lot of you have been there, the laundry doesn’t get done, the kids homework might not get done, all the household managing you do even though you work, gets put aside. So we’re really not allowed sick days ☺!
That’s all the more reason to fill up your happy tank FIRST!
So what does this mean? It means that you learn and take the time, everyday, every week to practice self care.
Self-care means you do things that make you better, make you healthier, make you happier, make you stronger, or just make you feel good.
Self-Care For Women Ideas
Feed yourself better. Food is the first step in self care because it has such a strong impact on our mood, our focus, our clarity, and how we feel physically.
When you’re eating a bunch of processed sugar, you might feel good and be happy for the first 10 mins, but then you start to feel sluggish, bloated, fat, you feel guilty that you ate all that junk, and it just goes down hill from there. So it doesn’t really improve your mood in the long run, it actually makes it worse.
Be mindful of what you’re eating and choose nutrient dense – that will energize your body and your mind.
Take at least 30 mins a day to exercise. Exercise keeps you young, keeps the organs happy, and the blood flowing. Your body doesn’t want to sit, it actually wants to move.
Don’t stick to the same thing, mix it up. So if all you do is cardio, do some strength training. Your body loves muscle – muscle burns fat – muscle looks better in your body – muscle burns more calories because it’s more active than fat.
Find different things that you enjoy and do them, everyday, for the rest of your life!
Meditate. Meditation helps your mind become more joyful, gives you more clarity, helps your ability to make decisions, helps you be less fearful, and helps you to be more peaceful and balanced.
Who could use more peace and balance in their life?
We all could right?
If this isn’t something you’ve practiced, it’s hard at first. Your mind wonders off, you think about what you should be doing. But if you stick with it, it’s a great start or end to your day – it helps you de-stress, and you can do it anywhere.
Like Dr. Seuss says – you can do it in box or on an ox ☺
Just try deep breathing next time you start to get stressed while sitting in traffic. It truly calms you. There’s the 4-7-8 breath method where you breath in for a count of 4, hold for 7, and breath out forcefully for 8 counts repeat for 4 cycles – try it next time you’re stuck in traffic.
Get outside. Go be one with nature. Go for a walk, ride your bike, take some outside you time. Notice the beauty in the trees, flowers, plants. Notice the squirrels and the birds.
We often just feel happier when we’re in nature, in the sun, or under a tree. Sit outside and eat your lunch and enjoy the scenery, or take that book that you’ve been meaning to read to the nearest park bench.
Totally disconnect from your electronics and just BE in nature – daily, or at least weekly. It will make you feel peaceful, relaxed, and calm.
I know some families that do a whole day without electronics. Try it – you might find that you like it ☺
Do what makes you happy at least once a week.
Maybe that’s window shopping, maybe that’s locking yourself in your bathroom and taking a relaxing bath with essential oils.
Maybe it’s cooking something new in the kitchen with music on and a glass of wine, maybe it’s trying a new activity that you’ve been putting off, maybe it’s playing with your pets, maybe it’s doodling or painting or drawing, or playing the piano, or just doing nothing but daydreaming for 30 mins.
Find what makes you smile, joyful, and happy. And whatever that is, do more of it.
Don’t cram your calendar with tons of activities, make time for you. Make time to take care of you. Because there really is no price that you can put on your health.
Wishing you HEALTH and HAPPINESS!
PS: Want to work with me? Apply for a 10min chat here to gain clarity on YOUR health goals!