Before takeoff, a flight attendant will inform the cabin of all procedures should an emergency occur. The common instruction goes something like this, “In the event we lose cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you…. If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.” This simple instruction is packed with truth about how we should operate in a stressful, energy draining society.

It is vital to our overall health to take proper care of ourselves first so that we can be fully equipped to take care of responsibilities to work and others. Taking time each day to meet your own needs allows for longevity and availability. Below are a few suggestions of ways to “put on your mask first” so that you can assist others.

·      Set clear boundaries between work and personal time

·      Unplug for at least an hour a day

·      Do some form of meditation or deep breathing

·      Enjoy something humorous; laughter is great medicine

·      Get at least 15 minutes of fresh air and sun

·      List off 10 things you are thankful for

·      Get your blood pumping whether it be formal exercise or squats/stairs at the office

·      Positively affirm yourself by either asking for affirmation or reminding yourself of past affirmations

·      Ask for help even if you “could” do it on your own

·      Engage daily with at least one person who is life giving and encouraging

·      Find an opportunity to engage in something you are good at each week

·      Plan a trip or getaway just for fun

As you begin to implement change, be encouraged by the words of American writer Brian Andreas, “There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by my self.”