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Remembering to Put Your Oxygen Mask on First

Remembering to Put Your Oxygen Mask on First

Every year as a new school year approaches, I daydream about all the things I can get done during the day when my son returns to school. I believe that during his school day tons of free time will open up for me to work more for Blue Jays and Butterflies, finally repaint the living room, take morning runs, deep clean the house, have coffee with friends, and carve out a bit of “me” time for a massage or a manicure.

When the school year actually starts, the few hours of freedom I daydreamed about fill up with new tasks. Volunteering in class, pick up and drop off at school or a friend’s house, managing the hockey team, making lunches, and more fill that time.

Am I complaining? No not at all. My life is full, my family is happy, healthy, thriving, our son has good friends that have amazing and supportive parents that are now our friends. There is nothing that I would ever want to change or trade about my life. Ok, there is one thing…I forget about ME. I need a gentle nudge (OK, a forceful shove) to remind me that I need to take care of myself on a regular basis, carve out time to do it and be serious about it.

The Much-Needed Nudge

I received an unexpected much-needed nudge (or shove) the other day. I put my son to bed and then went to prepare for an upcoming Blue Jays and Butterflies workshop. Once I settled in to work, a call came in from a close friend that I haven’t talked to for a while. I needed to work and “Amy” wanted to answer her call, but “Busy Amy Who Has Too Much Going On Right Now” hesitated to answer. My finger hovered over the phone and I finally accepted her call. I am so happy that  “Amy” took her call and ignored “Busy Amy Who Has Too Much Going On Right Now”, because as it turns out, I really needed to hear what she had to say.

After a bit of small talk and catching up, my friend told me that she had been feeling overwhelmed, was constantly exhausted and impatient with her family because they were so busy all the time. She then told me this all changed for her after a fun, relaxing summer vacation and they boarded the plane to return home.  

She told me that when she boarded the plane and got settled, she started to think about everything on the family schedule waiting at home. She then felt anxious about going home and to face her always busy schedule. To subside her anxiety, she focused on the safety instructions the flight attendant was reciting. She had heard these so many times before, but this was the first time she actually pondered why parents were told to put their oxygen mask on first. Being the typical “momma bear”, she always thought she would put her children’s masks on before hers no matter what the FAA said. But this time, she had an “A-Ha” moment. She realized that if she did not put on her oxygen mask first, she may not be able to help her children.

Commit to You…and Others Will Benefit

It was then that my friend made the commitment to help her children and others through making time for herself. She realized that she needed to refresh, breathe and make sure she was strong enough to give to others. Starting out small, she took 15 minute walks, hit the snooze button for an extra 10 minutes of sleep or made herself coffee and read the paper before everyone else got up.

These small moments helped her realize that by taking care of herself she was happier and so was her family. It also made her realize that it did not add a lot of time to her schedule. She told me that she takes more time when she can fit it in. Sometimes she skips a day or more of the little things in order to schedule a girl’s nights out, get a facial, shop by herself (for herself), binge a couple of Netflix shows, take a hike, or whatever she likes to do.

My friend’s call helped remind me that taking care of myself first was not being selfish, it is actually a gift you can give to others by always remembering to put your oxygen mask on first.

Enjoy a Discount or a FREE Project When you Book Some “YOU” Time!

Enjoy some time off with friends! Book a workshop at your home or office and you could earn a FREE* project! This time of year, we book fast so contact us now for available dates and times for your workshop. You can also reach Amy at 707.631.1550 to request an available date and time.

Take time for yourself and join a workshop and receive 10% OFF by using the code OXYGEN10 at checkout. 

*Minimum of 9 guests.