Fit your own oxygen mask first
We know why we are told to do this on planes - if we are struggling to breath, we are unable to help others and we might all suffer serious consequences. In my view, the same is true in other areas of life. I meet many people (mostly women I have to admit) who are so busy caring for others that there is no time left to care for themselves. This can continue for years, but if it does, it is likely to lead to some kind of physical, mental or emotional breakdown.
Taking care of your own well-being is not selfish – it ensures that you are as good as you can possibly be, so that you can do your best for others. Many of us in mid-life have busy jobs, partners, aging parents and children and to support them we need to look after ourselves. Often the demands of others actually lead to problems of stress and anxiety, making it even more vital to “fit our own oxygen mask first” before we are unable to breath.
What refreshes, relaxes and restores you? When you know that, then find time for it. Putting yourself first for once is important not just for you, but for others. Time out in a busy life can be like pure oxygen and it can be whatever suits you – just time alone to read a book, going for a walk or time enjoying the company of friends. Above all resist the urge to satisfy other people’s demands and give up that precious “me time”.
If you are already suffering the consequences and feeling overwhelmed, then you probably need help from others. It may be practical family help with chores, paying someone to do some of your tasks or seeking more professional help so that you can learn how to relax, improve your sleep and also some ways to help you cope with the stresses in your life. Hypnotherapy can do all of these brilliantly and in addition, each session provides an hour or so of “down time” and many “deep breaths of pure oxygen”.
Reviewing your life and taking action to make changes isn’t a sign of weakness but a sign of strength, being brave enough to admit that you need help and when you find the right help, everyone will benefit - everyone will be able to “breath easily”.
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