This week we welcome back Katie from our Marketing Team. Katie shares with us about the importance of taking time for yourself and how your own personal health plays into helping others.
I read this analogy recently in an article about self-care and want to share: If you’ve ever been on an airplane, you’ve listened to the flight attendant explain the process of what to do in the event the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling. You’re instructed to put your own mask on first, and then after you’ve taken care of yourself, help your child and anyone around you that may need help.
The same is true for anyone in a counseling, leader, or mentor role. You must take care of yourself first, maintain your own health, and then help someone second. The reason for this is that if you aren’t taking care of yourself, if you aren’t healthy, you can’t offer someone else your best.
Most of us know this concept. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t always practice these principles. Life is busy. Time is limited. Many of us who have a heart for people find ourselves focusing on everyone else before we take our own needs into consideration. It may seem easier to focus on someone else, but we need to be reminded that our own personal wellness is key in effectively counseling or leading someone else.
Chances are, if you’ve ever been in a mentoring role, you’ve probably heard or seen things that have deeply impacted you. There is nothing wrong with this, but making sure that you process and decompress from these things ensures your own health and can only help you more effectively counsel someone else through these situations.
Understanding how you operate as an individual will help you find best practices to recharge. Identifying your personality and what is life-giving to you is key. For example, if you’re in a helping role and identify as an introvert, then make sure you’re setting time aside to be alone and refill. If you consider yourself an extrovert, then you would want to make sure you fill your time with people.
Personality types aside, there are several things you can do that will set you up for success. Remember that consistency is key. Practicing some of these things daily is only going to benefit and aid your health.
- Identify what you love to do. Do you enjoy reading at the coffee shop? Taking guitar lessons? Going to an art museum? Activities like this may not seem important to your overall wellness, but setting aside time to enjoy yourself is purposeful.
- Find a mentor or attend counseling yourself. Life can be overwhelming for each of us. Talking to someone, even if once or twice a month, can be beneficial.
- Exercise and eat right.
Often times we get so focused on what we’re doing and the people we’re helping that we forget about ourselves. It may sound silly, but it’s true. Going back to the plane analogy: in order to effectively put on someone else’s oxygen mask, you must first put on your own. That is the same for your day-to-day life. We must remember to first take care of ourselves and fulfill our needs, and from there, help meet the needs of someone else.