By now, most of us know why it’s so important to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others in the event of an airline emergency; we've heard the drill & heeded the advice so many times on flights now.
So, why do we find it SO hard to apply that lesson & sound advice in the rest of our earthbound lives? Is there something about the 'everyday', the humdrum, the work & home-life routine & daily grind that makes us hunker down, soldier on, put work or others needs exclusively first, not even on an equal footing with our own wellbeing? Is it martyrdom? Is it masochism? Plain 'I'm just sooooo busy' tomfoolery?
Whatever the many reasons, it does not work.
We are not endlessly & mysteriously 'topped up' with energy, time, compassion, patience, love. These qualities must come from somewhere right? Energy comes from what? Amongst other things, energy can be fed from a wellspring of downtime, relaxation, good nutrition, fresh air, the energising effects of exercise, the benefits of regular deep sleep & the blessed boon of true social connections.
Likewise, compassion & empathy, patience with & for others, love for family, friends & fellow human beings is not truly & fully possible if we don't show these to ourselves.
There are many ways for us to show 'self-care'; it is NOT an act of supreme selfishness. Neither is it self-indulgence; that whole outmoded 'buy this, wear this, own this' because you're worth it nonsense.
Self-care is a true & vital act of nourishing & nurturing; we tend to ourselves so that we are in a position to tend to others.
The form doesn't matter; it can be meditation, saying no, saying yes, practising a little Yoga, going for a walk, curling up with a book & a green tea, calling an old friend on the phone, baking bread, planting seeds, or stroking your cat sitting on the couch & daydreaming. Whatever deeply relaxes & restores you, that is your guide to beginning to care about 'your-self'.
It's only mid-January - plenty of time still to set an intention for 'your-self' for this year to take care of YOU.