PUT YOUR OXYGEN MASK ON: DEBUNKING 3 SELF-CARE EXCUSES
I am excited to announce that Monica Pitek-Fugedi from (link: http://mindgal.com) mindgal.com has guest posted on my blog this week! Check it out!
Self-care seems like a foreign concept to many of us; reserved for people who have the means to hire butlers and nannies and go out to lunch in the middle of a Tuesday.
The rest of us are too busy scrambling from one activity to another. Our world revolves around other’s needs, whether they be family, co-workers or friends. There is not enough time in the day to think about ourselves.
Besides, it would be selfish for us to avoid someone else’s needs so that we can serve our own, right?
PUT YOUR OXYGEN MASK ON FIRST
Most of us have been on an airplane and heard the Steward or Stewardess go over the safety procedures. We are instructed to put on our oxygen mask before assisting others.
At first, this suggestion sounds absurd. Don’t we want to make sure that other people are safe
before we care for ourselves? But let’s look at it from a logical perspective.
Sure, we might be able to help one person before our oxygen supply dwindles, rendering us
useless to anyone else. Or worse, our oxygen supply is cut off completely. I’ll let you fill in the blanks as to what the consequences of that would be.
In an airplane emergency, the first step to being helpful to anyone else is your ability to breathe.
Putting your oxygen mask on before helping anyone else will allow you to support twice the
amount of people.
This concept is no different in real life. Think about it. When you are run down, are you at your best? I know I am not. I am probably at my worst. I feel lethargic, grumpy and short tempered.
THE EXCUSES AND REALITIES ABOUT SELF-CARE
#1. The Excuse – Nothing will get done if I don’t do it myself.
This is known as catastrophizing. We tell ourselves the story that we are the only person capable
of doing all the things. If we don’t do them, they won’t get done.
#1. The Reality – You are not the only one capable!
Why do we think that we have to be the person doing all the things? Not only does this put an excessive amount of pressure on us, but it also gives messages to those around us that they are incapable of helping. It’s like the mom that does everything for her child. She thinks she is
helpful, but she is silently telling her child that she is not capable of doing for herself.
#2. The Excuse – Self-care is selfish.
If I take time for ourselves, it means I care more about myself than I care about other people.
#2. The Reality – Self-Care is Necessary.
Taking time for yourself and taking time for other people are not mutually exclusive. Caring for yourself is essential to your ability to care for other people adequately.
#3. The Excuse – There is Not Enough Time in the Day
You are a busy person. You are up with the sun and don’t go to sleep until at least 11 PM. The
time in between is spent working, doing chores, running children from activity to activity, making dinner, volunteering, making doctor’s appointments, reminding people of doctor’s
appointments, making sure the calendar is up-to-date. The list goes on, am I right?
#3. The Reality – If You Want to Do Something, You Will Find a Way
We all have the same 24 hours in the day. If we wanted to take time for ourselves throughout the day, we would. Instead, we lean on the excuse of being too busy. Somewhere along the line, we have given ourselves a warped message that the busier we are, the more valuable we are. The truth of the matter is, when we take time for ourselves we are more useful to everyone else, and more at peace with ourselves.
YOU HAVE TIME TO PRACTICE SELF-CARE
So now you know why self-care is essential, but you are still struggling with finding the time.
The good news is that you do not have to devote hours at a time practicing self-care.
Short, Simple Self-Care Solutions
5-minute morning meditation
A lunchtime walk
Getting up 20 minutes early to exercise
Mid-day mindfulness exercises
If you have 5 minutes, you have time to practice self-care.
The biggest battle is recognizing that you are worth it. This requires a shift in mindset from fixed (if I take time for myself then it means I won’t have time for other people), to growth (taking time for myself is necessary to my mental health and increases my productivity).
Maya Angelou once said that when people know better they do better. Now that you know why caring for yourself is important, and you know that you can do it in short bursts throughout the day, you can do better. It will take time to change your behavior, but I promise that it is worth it.
So go put on your oxygen mask!
YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE
Since you enjoyed this post you might want to check out this one also by
Since you enjoyed this post you might want to check out this one by Monica Pitek-Fugedi. Check it out!
One Reason You Feel Like a Failure and Three Ways to Stop
I love how she goes deeper into facing painful thoughts we can have about ourselves. Great work!
“The bar is set in our heads. Being “good enough” is arbitrary and subjective. We tell ourselves that we are only enough if we are able to cross off 300 items on our list (okay, I exaggerate….kind of). We do this subconsciously because we know we will not be successful.” Monica Pitek-Fugedi
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Monica Pitek-Fugedi is the owner of MindGal, a website dedicated to helping people manage stress and anxiety so that they can live the life they deserve. Monica also hosts The MindGal Podcast, which aims to erase the stigma surrounding mental health.