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If you’ve flown off to sunnier climes this year – hurrah (!) – you’ll have heard these words of wisdom during the pre flight safety briefing. That is, if you were listening... 
“In the event of an emergency put your oxygen mask on FIRST, THEN help others.” Perhaps you’ve even wondered why they keep saying something that seems so blindingly obvious. 
Well, the answer is quite simple.  
Our instincts are to do the exact opposite. To put the needs of others, particularly children and those we love, above our own. And, in the process we become our own worst enemy, as well as a potential liability to everyone around us. 
While it may seem selfish, putting our oxygen mask on first means we can help those around us AND ourselves. How on earth could we ever have thought that was being selfish??? 
And, it’s not only in a potential emergency that our instincts to put others first can let us down. It happens every day without us ever realising it. 
All those times we put others needs first, and our own far behind, if at all… 
Putting off to another day the simple things we know help us feel good and recharge our batteries. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. 
And here’s the thing that trips many people up. There’s no magic formula for what these are, they’re different – whether a little or a lot (!) – for every single one of us. 
Having thrown this potential spanner in the works (!), the good news is we’re sure you know what these are for you. Or, at least, have an idea of one simple thing to get you started. It’s just a case of giving yourself permission to do it – yes, you are allowed to do things for yourself (!) – AND then actually doing it… 
And here’s a little trick to make it easier – and help override the Little Monster in your Head, who’s probably busy telling you that you don’t have time / are incredibly selfish / fill in the blank. 
Like so many things in life, “little and often” is the way to go. A few minutes – or a very simple instant “feel good” boost several times a day – is much easier logistically, as well as a gentle way to help recharge your batteries. 
Everyone needs a little tlc and nurturing – and that includes you too. And here’s another way we often trip ourselves up. It’s NOT about what other people do for us, it’s what we do for ourselves. After all, if we don’t look after ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to do so? And, “yes”, we know this can be a rather difficult concept for many people. Really it all comes down to whether we value ourselves and our contribution to the world around us or not… 
Equally important is that it gives us the resources we need to be able to help others. And, by “resources”, we don’t mean financially but physically, emotionally or spiritually. Put another way, do we have the energy to do what we’re doing – or would like to do? 
How we treat ourselves sends a very strong message out to the world around us. If we treat ourselves badly or simply don’t value our own time and energy – whether deliberately or not – is it any surprise that other people don’t either? If you’re in any doubt, just look at those around you – if not yourself (!) – to see this in action… 
So, today, please make your own needs just as important as everyone else’s. Put on your own oxygen mask before trying to help others. 
As always, the choice is yours. 
Picture by unknown author 
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