Mothering, Self-care

Secure Your Own Mask First

In the event of a decompression, 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 first, and then assist the other person. 

Ever wonder why we are asked to secure our own oxygen masks before assisting our children or companions? Of course, it makes perfect sense that if you only have 10-12 seconds of diminishing clarity before you pass out, you need to get oxygen and quickly. Clear logic dictates we must get oxygen into our own lungs; otherwise, we won’t be mentally alert and capable of properly caring for anyone who is vulnerable around us.

So why is this drill is repeated over and over on every single flight? Because oxygen is so important that it will lead to death if we are deprived of it for only a short time. And of course, a parent’s instinctual and immediate response is to save the life of their child first and foremost. In fact, almost any natural caregivers’ initial response is to assist those around them first … always intending to care for their own needs later; but the sad truth is that “later” never comes. That is why we need to be repeatedly reminded — especially in moments of crisis, when logic is most easily swept behind.

[T]he sad truth is that “later” never comes. 

That is why I’m using this tired metaphor to remind you, dear reader, of the real and imperative need for self-care. It is so crucial to a woman’s ability to be healthy and truly, clearly present for everything most important to her whether it be work, friends in need, family, her children, or anyone whom she holds dear.

Extreme self-care is an underpinning tenet for most life coaches and we impart that essential truth to our clientele. So please believe me when I tell you that you need singular “me” time to soothe and nurture You. I get it; you’re busy. And, if you’re a mom, your even busier. But there are always two or three Times in any relationship outside of self. There is a “Me” Time, a “We” Time, and if you have children or other dependents, there’s a “Family” Time. Absolutely each type of Time must be nurtured to maintain healthy relationships.

I get it; you’re busy.

The good news is that “Me” Time doesn’t have to be a vacation with Me, Myself, and I to the Riviera. It can be as simple as waking ten minutes before everyone else to sip a cup of coffee and pray or meditate for the day ahead. Or taking a warm twenty minute candle-lit bath before you fall into bed for the night. Just as long as you get your time alone, to yourself, will help; and no, locking the door when you have to pee doesn’t really count.

In this wonderful and wacky world, we cannot always expect friendly skies. Right now is a good time to remind yourself that you must get your own “oxygen mask on” first. Today is a great day to start preparing yourself for any turbulence ahead by getting in the habit of taking your oxygen.


Just FYI, here’s an interesting video highlighting the sciencey reason we cannot live, or even function properly, without oxygen. Not graphic. A bit disconcerting, but good to know.


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