The oxygen mask rule

Please give me your attention while I complete this brief but important safety demonstration! Put your seat belt on, put your bags away in the overhead lockers or under the seat in front of you and if an oxygen mask should appear above you, place it over your nose and mouth. Please ensure you fit yours before helping others.

It seems fairly obvious why you would do this in an emergency situation. If you don’t apply your mask first, chances are you’ll pass out while trying to help everyone around you, and then what use are you?

How often in day to day life do you actually do it though? I’m a Mum, I’m a wife, I’m an employee, I’m a sister, I’m a daughter, I’m a friend and so many other roles, and they all come with expectations. They may be the expectations of others but they may also be expectations you’ve placed on yourself. Whatever the source of those expectations, management of them is key.

The oxygen mask rule is all about ensuring you have self-care time as a priority. And self-care can take any shape or form and be for as long as you can spare. If you’re a new parent and lost in the throes of the 4th trimester, it might be a trip to the store solo. If you have a bit more capacity, it might be spending some time learning a new craft, being outdoors or lying in the tub with a good book. Whatever it may be, the point is that you choose it, it should re-oxygenate your blood and make you feel better afterwards.

Now here is the real trick… leave the guilt at the door! Easier said than done but just try it.  There really is no point in taking the time out to get self-care and then berating yourself about it.  It kind of defeats the purpose.  So go on, take the time and revel in it.  You deserve it.

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