When flying, we’re all familiar with the practice of applying our own oxygen mask first in case of an emergency. The rationale behind this is that if the pressurization in the cabin falls, you should breathe the oxygen that flows through the masks. In all video, audio, and print instructions for the masks, we are told to apply our own masks before helping other people.
This rationale should be common practice in our everyday lives as well. Most parents and caregivers know firsthand that taking care of themselves and someone else is challenging. There is a toxic glorification in our society of busyness and tiredness. Often, our health, happiness, and general well-being does not come first. In reality, we do not always have the time or opportunity to put ourselves first, and that is unfortunate.
This is why everyone should put themselves first. This sounds selfish, but hear me out. We should fill our own cups. We should eat more green things, take more naps, meditate daily, watch our favorite trashy television, and get more sunshine. In short, we should do more of what makes us happy and stop feeling guilty about it. Make it a habit. Make it a priority. Make it nonnegotiable.
Not only will the quality of life for you and those around you improve, but you’ll be happier and healthier - mentally and physically. When we are happier and healthier, those around us will be too because they feed off of our energy. We are better friends, partners, parents, and coworkers when we take care of ourselves first.
So, fill your own cup, whether it be with green tea, ice water, hot coffee, or La Croix (yep, I went there, don’t judge me). Fill your cup, sip and savor, and fill it up again.