Find Your Oxygen Mask
The last few weeks have whizzed by in a blur. The time has been filled with a haze of fear, action, and reaction. January is always a busy month thanks to the vim and vigor transitioning to a new year tends to bring, and this year had the extra layer of all of the national and international events. One thing I encounter every time I connect with people, in-person or via social media, is an overwhelming sense of being spread too thin. We see it, we feel it, and most of us struggle to fight against it.
What can you do to REALISTICALLY practice self-care? How important is it when so much is happening at home and in the world?
We all know the oxygen mask analogy – we have to put on our own mask before helping the person next to us. This is so heavily used because it speaks the truth. We need – NEED – to move our self-care into a place of priority in order to be able to do good for our family, our neighbors, and the world.
What is your mask made of? Have you identified it yet? Here are a few suggestions that work for me:
- DANCE (of course, top of my list)
- 30-60 minutes of in-person friend time
- 20-60 minutes of working up a sweat
- 15 minutes of thumb-typing with a friend
- 30 minutes of reading a book
- 10-60 minutes of Yoga
- Sing at the top of my lungs (just one song does the trick)
- 15-30 minutes of lifting weights
- 30-minutes of stretching
- 5-15 minutes of meditation
- 30-minutes of sitting on the couch with my husband, with the Netflix fireplace crackling in the background, possibly with a glass of wine in-hand
I work some of these things (dance, yoga, reading) into my everyday, and save others for when I need an extra boost. The studio exists to provide some of these things to women. Women who generally are the first to put themselves last in terms of this kind of care.
The key is to work towards a balance. If all you do is take care of others you will, eventually, run out of resources for yourself (and them). Prioritize your self care, write it down, put in on your schedule.
And, let me be just one voice telling you – YOU ARE WORTH IT. Your self-care is important. You are important.