I don’t think anyone, at least no one I know, would ever say that they don’t want to be helpful to others. Whether that’s parents helping children, neighbors helping each other, friends being supportive, coworkers lending a hand, providing guidance to someone who is lost…..the list goes on and on which is great and what’s present in each of these situations is the inherent desire to help or be supportive to someone else.
Extending service or assistance to people and animals is very good energy for the heart and kindles healing for both the giver and the receiver. Helping others has been shown to be an excellent path to improve depression, sadness and guilt. Let’s continue to help others but remember that when you care for yourself first your helping is more effective!
Put Your Oxygen Mask On First!
As a health care practitioner I see taking care of myself essential to doing my job. I’ve always known that I can’t take others to a place with their health if I’ve never been there myself. I can’t do good work if I’m not grounded, focused and ready to listen. Helping others is actually inherent in each of us and the way we do that best is by taking care of ourselves first! There’s a reason the flight attendants say to put your oxygen mask on first before you assist others with theirs!
If you are someone who is in a situation of helping others, by your own choosing or not, or maybe you want to move into doing more service, taking care of your health is your first step at being able to help someone else let alone be really good at it! Your taking care of you makes you a better care giver, communicator and listener. Is that part of your New Years resolution?
Taking Care of Yourself Isn’t Actually Just About You
So the point is, when you embark on a new regimen, set your intentions or write down resolutions or goals for your health, you’re setting the stage for potential positive impact on many people in your life, not only you! I think of taking care of ourselves as our first responsibility toward improving the world we live in.
New Years Resolution
10 Examples of Putting Myself First
Here are some examples of how I put myself first in order to keep my energy up, my mind focused and generally feeling good! You’ll see that this kind of selfishness has nothing to do with stepping on someone else’s toes but rather doing what’s best to maintain feeling great! See if any of these can become part of your New Years resolutions.
- I don’t schedule meetings or work during a lunch time unless I can also eat during that time.
- I plan, check and make sure that I will always have food available that is free of my intolerances: gluten, dairy, corn, soy and nuts. I don’t make a big deal of it, I just plan ahead and take care of what I need.
- In getting ready for a trip, I leave time to pack of course but also time to prepare the food that I will take to eat on the plane as well as when I get off the plane should I not be going somewhere to eat right away.
- When out to dinner with a group and everyone orders dessert, I order another salad, this makes me very happy and I leave the restaurant feeling great!
- I usually don’t stay out late and try to get to bed and rise in the morning at similar times each day. This sets up a really great sleep/wake rhythm.
- Just because everyone else is having an alcoholic beverage doesn’t mean that I will too. If sparkling water or hot water with lemon is the right choice for me then that’s what I have.
- Even though the menu says the entree comes with a carb selection I ask to substitute it with extra veggies and even another side of veggies or salad.
- When out of town at a conference, I order extra food to go at lunch or dinner in order to have a decent breakfast in the morning or else snacks the next day.
- I love catching up with friends and often suggest doing so during a hike or bike ride.
- My days get planned around my food, not the other way around. There are those challenging days of course and then I really plan for when, where and what I will be eating during these times. Planning sometimes happens a whole week ahead when a demanding day or week is coming up.
I have a lot more of these tips that involve putting myself first but I’d like to hear more about yours! Remember that putting yourself first can help you get healthier and feel better in the process but it can also be what allows you to be of greater help to someone else! So the next time you’re veering off your intentions to get healthier know that it doesn’t just affect you! Caring about how you care for others in your life just might be the motivation that keeps you on track to achieve your health goals this year! Try it!