The Selflessness of Putting Yourself First – To Help Others
“In case of a loss of cabin pressure masks will drop from the ceiling. Place the yellow cup over your nose and mouth and breath normally. Even though the bag may not inflate oxygen is flowing. Place your mask on first before helping others.”
If you have flown, you have heard this message. The line about putting your mask on first is there not just to help you, but so that you can help others. If you try to help others before yourself and come incapacitated not only can’t you help, but you may become a burden.
This is an important metaphor for those who spend a great deal of their time taking care of others. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can experience burnout, stress, fatigue, reduced mental effectiveness, health problems, anxiety, frustration, inability to sleep, etc.
If you truly want to help others you need to take care of yourself and “put your own mask on first.” Find things that can help you replenish your energy, such as:
- Getting enough rest
- Exercising regularly
- Eating properly
- Finding things that make YOU happy
Remember, it isn’t selfish to take care of yourself, it’s necessary! Life can be complicated and overwhelming, particularly in times of uncertainty. Somehow, some way, we have to make sure that we take care of ourselves in order for us to have something left to give to others. We need to put our own mask on first. This is not selfish but truly selfless.
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