Please put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others

I was chatting to some friends the other night and this came up. The idea that we are so preoccupied with putting others before ourselves. I do it all the time. Go out to meet friends when I’m absolutely knackered and would rather get to bed early. There aren’t enough hours in the day. So we end up putting ourselves down the bottom of the list, we shrug our shoulders and just go with it! It’s crazy. When did we stop being our own top priorities? There seems to be so much pressure these days with what is expected of people that we have lost touch with our needs. I must say I hate saying no to people. I like to be able to say yes to whatever I can, however, it’s just not realistic. You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.

More recently my daily routine has changed. I tend to hold myself accountable for things on a day to day basis. Things that will benefit me and only me. I do get involved in things when I’m invited out, but I really ask myself if the after effects will be worth it. Sleep is so important to me. I cant function properly on insufficient sleep. I try to get 2 nights a week in with 10 hours sleep, then on subsequent days I try to average 7-8 hours. This is probably ridiculous for most people, but it’s how I function optimally. A lot of this has been trial and error. Sleeping longer and having longer breaks between meals, for me, is what keeps my energy levels highest. I’m more of a slow moving, low energy person, so exerting myself with a workout is never really my idea of a good time - but again, the after effects make it all worth it. I still have days where stepping onto the mat is the biggest effort ever and I want to give up after 10 minutes. I’ve trained myself to persevere through habit, I find once you form a habit you are far more likely to just get on with the task at hand - especially when you know how much you’ll benefit.

For a lot of people, they’re in a habit of jumping to other people’s wants and needs before tending to their own. It’s a lovely quality, but at the same time, that energy of giving won’t have the same quality unless you give to yourself first. Treating yourself as well as you treat your friends or family should be a priority, not an after thought.

Apparently it takes 3 weeks to form a habit. It’s so so easy to throw in the towel in that time, so really make a commitment to yourself to stick with it. Hold yourself accountable just the same way you would expect a friend you were meeting for a lunch date to hold you accountable. You owe it to yourself just as much as you owe it to your friends/partner/family. Some days you won’t want to make the commitment, these are the days when you need it the most, you need to prove to yourself that when you are finding it tough, that you can still maintain that dedication to your own growth. Not only does this improve your relationship with yourself, your confidence and self worth but also it will improve your relationship with the world around you.

Becoming self reliant in this way will limit your reliance on others, as well as relieving stress levels - something which naturally happens when you build a good relationship with yourself. Give yourself the time and attention you deserve, build yourself.

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