Be kind to yourself…because wherever you go—there you are.

When flying, in preparation for taking off the flight attendant always reminds us that during an emergency to put on our own oxygen mask before we help anyone else with theirs. I equate this advice as a metaphor for self-care, as it so accurately expresses why it is important to take care of ourselves before always giving to others. Although few situations in our daily lives mimic the wake-up call of an airplane emergency, we often put ourselves last on our priority list…until unfortunately, something happens. We either get sick, overwhelmed, or exhausted, which often snowballs in our work, relationships, and overall performance. Only then do we realize that we haven’t been getting the oxygen we need to sustain ourselves. We have to understand that taking care of ourselves is neither selfish nor indulgent. It’s just plain critical to our well-being.

“Putting you first on your priority list means that it may be necessary to say no to someone else in order to say yes to yourself.” ~ Madisyn Taylor

For many of us, there is always something more that we feel we should be doing at work, at home, or for someone else. It helps to remember the oxygen metaphor, that self-care can be easy. In fact, the best prescription for taking care of your self is probably doing small daily rituals. For example, taking up to a half-hour (or more) for yourself at the beginning and or the end of your day to meditate, journal, do yoga, listen to music, read, or just be…You might also transform the occasional daily shower or bath into a half-hour of self pampering.

Whatever you decide, making some small gestures where you put yourself first will pay off for you and those to whom you’re always extending a hand. The oxygen you need is all around you; sometimes you just need to be reminded to breathe…

“Let your compassion towards also include yourself.”

To Your Success,

Peak Performance Coach