Put your own oxygen mask on first! 8 mindful self-care tips for women accustomed to forgetting about themselves

meditation mindful self-care Sep 13, 2019

Brace! Brace! Brace! The plane is going down!

Down drops the oxygen mask.  Your child is sitting beside you.  Do you put the mask on them first? Or yourself?

If you are like millions of women, you will likely put the mask on your child first,  despite all of us being able to recite in our sleep, "Put the oxygen mask on yourself first". 

This self-sacrifice is a noble instinct, and probably why women were given the honour of birthing children in the first place.

HOWEVER!

Over the course of a lifetime this self-denial can be a detrimental instinct! 

As women we often feel guilty for taking time for ourselves, like we are being selfish if we take care of ourselves and give ourselves anything.  For many of us, doing something nice for ourselves means taking ourselves out for coffee with a friend, where we likely spend the whole time listening to the other person! 

Many of my patients have developed cancer after a super-intense time caring for someone else, maybe a husband or family member who was in a crisis state and the women put themselves completely aside to care for this other person.  Only to develop a profound illness themselves once the other person's crisis state passed.  

As women, we are conditioned to care for others, not for ourselves.  This can create a deficit and a weakness within ourselves because we are spending too much energy on other people and not enough on ourselves.

Now, I'm not suggesting we don't care for our loved ones.  Far from it! But imagine how much different that caring process would be for ourselves if we took time every day to replenish ourselves and boost our strength.  Would we get so sick at the end of the crisis-time?

I am here to tell you self-care is not optional if you want to keep your health.  Too much output and not enough input makes Jane a very ill girl! 

I am going to put a challenge to you: what can you do for yourself TODAY that will give something back to yourself? It doesn't have to be big or take aeon's of time.  But it has to be something that genuinely refreshes you.

Here are a few examples:

- Take a bath

- Do some stretching

- Meditate

- Massage your jaw

- Mindfully & slowly drink a glass of water and be aware of the energy it gives you

- Take a walk in nature

- Long deep breathing for 8 minutes

- Brush your hair for 5 minutes with relaxing music on

You may have some other self-care tools you like to use and if so, by all means use them!  The point here is to actually TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF so you can replenish your energy levels and stop the insanity!  Best is to commit to daily self-care but if that seems like too far a jump, aim for once or twice a week to start and build up as you get accustomed to your new rhythm and priorities.  

As my mother always said, "You can't pour any tea out of an empty pot". 

Do yourself a favour and fill up your tea pot! 

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