“Please place your own oxygen mask on before helping others”

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Have you ever heard this before? I guarantee you have if you’ve ever taken a flight anywhere in the US or abroad. The airlines are clear: if an emergency occurs, please make sure your own oxygen mask is in place before attempting to help others. Translation: you won’t be much help to others if you aren’t breathing.

The same could be said for caregivers in any everyday situation. Moms, Dads, nurses, medical professionals, nannies, and basically anyone who cares for others can only do so much when their own basic needs – safety, water, comfort, food, rest, intimacy, laughter – are met.

Yet those who focus their attention and energy on caregiving often forget this, subjugating their own needs to those of others. They adopt the unspoken narrative “me later, later, later.” But sometimes later never comes and people who care for children, elders, pets, or others go without the very things they provide to their charges.

Selfless giving is a lovely concept but without self-care, it’s simply a myth. And self-care is not selfish. Can I say that again? SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH.

Putting ourselves first may actually be one of the most generous things we can do for those around us, especially those who rely on us for care. When we take steps to nourish and soothe ourselves, we can better nourish and soothe others. When we burn out and are running on empty, that is the place from which we relate to those we love.

Please join me and Rachel Shanken of MindBodyWise for a special event for moms and other caregivers called Nurturing the Nurturer: Mindful Movement and Eating for Moms on Thursday, May 21st from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Rachel will be providing a special mindful movement class (prepare yourself for something totally different) followed by a talk from me on whether it’s really possible to eat mindfully with a 2-year-old (HINT: it totally is!).

There will be exclusive shopping perks, an in-store raffle, and refreshments for attending the two-part lecture. Stay until the end to receive your goodie bag! RSVP to: Kadie_Chronister@stores.gap.com with subject line Nurturing the Nurturer.

I leave you with this totally logical segue:

oxygen mask 2

2 comments on ““Please place your own oxygen mask on before helping others”

  1. Hi Karen:
    You can sign up by going to the opt-in box at the top right of my website. You’ll receive everything I send out.

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