Safety instructions offered by flight attendants before take-off are, for the most part, ignored. Their words are heard but not really listened to. The directions are to “Affix your oxygen mask first, before helping others. Even if the mask does not inflate, air is flowing.” Thankfully, most of us haven’t had to heed the warning, but we should. Emergency situations aren’t the only time we can help one another. The logic to take care of ourselves first makes sense in the air and on the ground.
Each day, there are opportunities to lend a hand to someone in need. Prioritizing personal physical, mental, and emotional health before assisting others is essential. Think about it: if you’re gasping for air or down and out, you’re not able to reliably help anyone else. Being depleted leaves us with little left to offer. Give yourself the oxygen you need to maintain a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Take time for yourself. Nurture your soul. Listen to your heart. Know when you can and can’t be generous. Remember to let others help you from time to time, too. Avoid plugging along and trying to convince yourself you can do it all. It’s a disservice to you and those around you.
Listen to the wise words of the flight attendants. “Affix your oxygen mask first before helping others. Even if the mask does not inflate, air is flowing.” When your turn comes to assist, you’ll be ready. Little gestures of help are like the unseen flow of oxygen. You might not be saving someone’s life, but what they need is making its way to them. The more conscientious you are with your own needs, the more generous you can be in filling the needs of others. Just be sure to leave some mojo for yourself.