Up to not so long ago, I used to scoff at that “putting on your own oxygen mask first” saying because it was not my reality, nor how I was conditioned.
“If I don’t do it, how is it going to get done?” was the ongoing question in my head.
I couldn’t apply this concept, not even in the smallest of ways, without feeling guilty or even better, being considered “selfish” if I made the mistake of saying something to a less than positive person.
Then, I fractured my hand babysitting someone’s puppy for the day (long story) and that experience was the beginning of understanding just how true that concept was.
With only one hand at my disposal, I either had to ask for help, postpone things I had planned to get done or simply cancel them altogether.
And because I don’t like asking for help, do you know what happened when I chose to postpone and cancel a bunch of things on other people’s priorities?
The world kept turning without me.
For the first time, I realized just how much time I was spending on keep other people’s oxygen masks intact while being too busy to realize that mine was dangling dangerously around my neck.
I was forced to focus on myself and the small things I could accomplish within a limited scope of one hand and in my own household. With a fractured hand, there was no guilt to be had because I had no choice but to stop. And with a fractured hand, the label of “being selfish” had no choice but to disappear.
I’m still not great at it but I’ve come to realize that “putting on your own oxygen mask first” in stealth and even if it’s just for a few minutes, is the best way to take a little time for myself.
Just for a few minutes can be as simple as taking a 20 minute nap right after work or spending an extra 10 minutes in the shower with some old school R&B blaring in the background.
In stealth can be as simple as buying an overpriced coffee and sipping on it in the parking lot after doing your essential pandemic shopping.
All of this is just to remind you to put on your oxygen mask first whenever you get the smallest of opportunity.
Are you putting your oxygen mask on first?
I’m a podcast junkie so this quick post was inspired by “Hitting A Pandemic Wall? Remember To Show Up For Yourself” – Life Kit podcast. #NPRLifeKit @NPRLifeKit