Have you ever had one of those days when the thought of adding one more thing to your list was overwhelming and made you feel sick to your stomach?
Have you ever found yourself running around, taking care of the people around you, your loved ones and your family, and then it hits you like a steam train—you realize that there’s nothing left for you to give?
It all gets to be too much and it feels like it’s hard to get through the day; you might wake up at night in a cold sweat, you might hear yourself breathing quickly and you can’t see a way out.
If you’ve been in this position, then you’re not the only one. I have too.
I had a huge wake up call, one that I’ll share with you right now to help you, just as it helped me.
It happened right at the time it needed to, right at the time when work/life and the concept of balance in my life were mere passing acquaintances. I was about to fall face first into my own exhaustion and just before I spontaneously combusted with confusion and anxiety, it happened.
During a short flight, I tuned in and listened to the words of the cabin crew with “fresh ears.” As I listened to the pre-flight safety instructions, I heard,
“In the event of decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally.”
Here’s the bit that made me pay attention that day,
“If you’re travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.”
It was then that I realized that in order for me to be a better brain trainer, partner, and daughter, it was important that I put my own oxygen mask on first.
I finally realized that in order for me to be around for a long long time, able to take care and help others, I had to take full responsibility for my own well being.
That day I started to put my own needs first, tend to them, and then, from a position of health, rest, and strength, I was better able to help those around me.
My tip to you is this: In the event of a drop in ease and happiness, opportunities to take better care of yourself will become available to you. Take life by the hand and lead it firmly and gently to a place where you can breathe normally. If you’re travelling this life with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your breath first, and then assist the other person.
The learning from today made it as an action step in the book 101 Short Steps to Radiance.
Remember that the best way to take care of others is to take the greatest care of yourself. Each time you take better care of yourself, you improve your state of mind, and this has a positive impact on how you perceive the world around you. Today create a better world by taking gentle and excellent care of yourself.