When you are on an airplane and the emergency procedures are being explained, do you notice they tell you to always put your oxygen mask on first before helping others? The reason you are told to do that is so that you are able to help others. If you disregard your mask and try to help your children or loved ones instead, you would pass out and be of no use to anyone.
This is a good metaphor for those of you who do not take the time to take care of yourself in life. When you are too busy running around and doing for everyone else, it is easy to become drained, sick or resentful. By taking time to care for yourself, you are actually helping to be more present for your loved ones. It may seem like your needs are not as important as those around you, but again, if your needs are not met, how can you be the best you can be for everyone in your life.
The other thing is, the people in your life want to see you happy and fulfilled. If you feel like they may not be supportive of you taking time for yourself, explain to them how meeting your needs will make you better at helping them with theirs. They will also enjoy seeing you happier and calmer, rather than the stressed and snippy you that might come out when you are doing for everyone else and not tending to yourself.
Worse yet, what if being a people pleaser is actually harming your health? Weight gain, high blood sugar, and elevated blood pressure are all physical side effects of neglecting yourself in order to please others.
Eating healthy is one of the first things to go when you are taking care of everyone around you but you. You might find yourself saying you do not have time to plan or make your meals and snacks because you are busy making your children’s. Or, perhaps you are on the go all day running from place to place that you forget to eat and find yourself ravenous at the end of the night when everyone is tucked into bed. Being healthy is its own type of oxygen mask. A healthy you breeds healthier individuals around you, which is a win-win for everyone!
If you need help finding ways to take care of yourself, check out my recent blog post 10 Ways to Combat Stress! Remember, your loved ones need you, but they need you to be happy and healthy more than anything.
Your turn to take action: What will you do to take better care of yourself?