Breathe! Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting someone else.
If you’ve ever flown anywhere, you’ve heard it before. Pre-flight, the stewardess instructs that if the cabin loses pressure in flight, the oxygen masks will drop down. You are instructed to first put on your own mask before turning to help the person next to you – even if it’s your own family, friends, or business partners!
The idea is that if you’ve just keeled over because you haven’t taken care of your own basic need to breathe, you’re pretty much no good to anybody.
That was the take-away from the energizing Innkeeper’s Conference I just attended. John Kennedy, our Keynote Speaker, talked about taking care of yourself even in the midst of your demanding, do-it-all life. I need that reminder every now and again.
You know what it’s like. You have demands at work, kids to pick up from school, babies to be fed, burped and diapered, people clamoring for your attention, bills shouting from a pile stacked on the table.
Then the car has to be taken in for inspection and the grocery shopping has to be done and a friend has a crisis and you didn’t have time to take the laundry out of the dryer so now you have nothing to wear.
Are you living it? I was, too. As a new Innkeeper, I barely left the joint for the first two and a half years unless it was to take care of business. I loved doing it, but that’s kind of hard to sustain. I finally snuck away for an overnight, where I laid in a bed I didn’t have to make and read a book and watched and tv polished my nails and ordered dinner in. It was amazingly reenergizing to step away.
Now, I can’t sneak away for an overnight every week or every month, and probably you can’t either (but wouldn’t that be fun?!). We can, though, step away a little bit every day to reenergize and be ready to enjoy our obligations. True!
Here are a few of my Oxygen Masks:
- Walk 15 minutes (only 15!!!) or plug in the exercise video – 5 days a week. I like walking better, because I can look at something else.
- Lunch with a friend once a month.
- Don’t read emails after 7pm. (I was answering emails and texting up until I went to bed. You need time to decompress and most things can wait. They’ll call you if it can’t wait.)
- Continue to begin my day with an inspirational or spiritual reading. I do that before my feet even hit the floor. Put something good in your mind in the morning.
It’s okay to take care of yourself and necessary to give yourself some breathing room. You might not have a huge chunk of time, but tuck away a little bit for yourself.
Have any good ideas to share? What will you do in your day to be sure that you breathe first?