An effective technique for affixing your own air mask

Recently I had an experience at dinner. Although I’ve never met an oyster I liked, our group was getting appetizers at this fantastic steak and seafood restaurant and a few people who had eaten there before were insistent about the excellent oysters. I decided to be a sport and give them another try. I still feel a little queasy thinking about it, but I’m happy to report my narrow escape from vomiting on the white linen table cloth. When I reflected on just why in the world I made that choice, it occurred to me that the entire situation serves as a great reminder.

Many of us, especially women, fall into the trap of ignoring our own feelings and needs. We take care of everyone else first, leaving our own care to chance, and diminish our life experience in the process. As a result, we often end up stressed out, constantly on the edge of overwhelm from over-responsibility for others. We feel stuck and frustrated. Why wouldn’t we? Even an infant knows if no one is listening to core needs it’s time to cry!

Time to grab your air mask, people.

Life is a creation of our own purposeful making. We are in charge and fully equipped with the inner resources necessary to shift the cycle of stress-exhaustion-overwhelm. Not many people really get this, but when you break away from the pack and put self-care FIRST on the list of todos, you will find a completely surprising reality: the quality of your life improves, you experience greater levels of success at work and you actually have more to offer the people around you. When we give from a place of depletion, we’re never as strong as when we give from a place of abundance.

The next time you notice you’re getting lost in your own life, follow this simple process:

  1. Take a slow, deep breath
  2. Invoke your inner best friend. What kind, loving things is she saying to you right now?
  3. Take one small action that shows you are listening to that voice of inner wisdom and putting your self-care first.

It may seem simple, but this small moment can be a profoundly effective. Let your stress level really hear that you are a priority worthy of your own time… and see what happens next.

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