Parenting Survival Rule #1- Oxygen Mask
You may be thinking, what in the world does an airplane oxygen mask have to do with parenting? Can I use it as a muzzle? Can I get it with Nitrous Oxide like at the dentist? Did I win a trip and get to leave it all behind? Sorry to say that the answer to all is NO. The reason why we talk about airplane safety is because the same concept exists in the role of parenting. The rule of an airplane oxygen mask is that you must put your mask on first. Selfish sounding, I know, but the concept is critical. You cannot help anyone else if you pass out. That’s right, in order to help others, you must first take care of yourself. The concept of self-care incorporates this same mentality. How are you going to manage your role as a parent, if you feel worn down, depleted, and utterly exhausted yourself? Here are a few tips to help with incorporating self-care into your routine:
1. Schedule it - Although this may seem like a simple step, it can often be the first way that we sabotage our efforts through busyness.
2. Choose an activity that brings you joy and rejuvenates you – Meditation is not for everyone. One hour in the gym may sound like torture. It is less about WHAT you do, and more about just doing it. Don’t worry with what others are doing, think about something small that you could incorporate that would make you happier.
3. Explore – Be open to new experiences and ideas about what to try. Find a painting class. Take a Hip-Hop Dance class. Join a small group that meets. Don’t narrow yourself to massages, spa days, yoga, and pedicures. Think about things that carry an effect that last longer than 45 minutes.
If you are trying, then you are moving in the right direction. Many people do not realize that counseling is often a great place for self-care. Don’t wait until there is a problem to think of this resource as something that will help you accomplish your personal goals.