On a recent flight from Dallas to San Francisco, I again listened to the flight crew’s directions about what to do should there be a sudden loss in cabin pressure: “Put your mask on first before helping those around you.”
When you think about it, that makes perfect sense, even though our first impulse may be to place it over our children's or an elderly person's mouth. If we don't get the oxygen to ourselves first, we can't help others. Passed out in my seat or in the aisle definitely wouldn't be a good look on me!
But hold on a sec!
Society says we're supposed to be self-less, to always help others, and not let our ego get in the way.
But practicing great self-care helps everyone.
As a Conference Coordinator, Meeting Planner, Board Chair, or other key decision-maker for your organization, are you putting your mask on first?
Are you setting healthy boundaries even though you may be in the midst of planning a big event?
Are you making the time for “me” so you can better serve the “we?”
If the answer to any of these questions is “No,” don't despair. Just making a few gentle tweaks can turn the tide and help you better support what you need, as well the needs of those around you.
Following are a few suggestions to get you on your way:
#1 - Start your day with a few moments of quiet time or meditation
Simply finding a quiet space to sit with your eyes closed, taking long, slow, deep breaths, can lower your heart rate while also calming any anxiety about what may be on your busy plate.
#2 - Take small breaks throughout the day
A 5-15 minute walk outside of the house or office, a quick run to get a healthy drink, or even taking a few moments to stretch your arms and legs makes a big difference.
#3 - Munch on a healthy snack
I get it - chips, candy, or cookies may sound really good when you're stressed, but they are only temporary fixes. A more nourishing nibble benefits your body as well as your state-of-mind.
#4 - Practice saying “No” (but nicely!)
* “I'm sorry but I'm right in the middle of something. I'll be with you as soon as possible.”
* “Mommy/Daddy needs your help right now. Do you think you can show me how you can stay as quiet as a mouse for _____ minutes?”
* “No, thank you. But I appreciate you asking me to take that on.”
Incorporating some of these small yet impactful practices into your routine on a regular basis will help you not only breathe easier, but also flow a little more effortlessly throughout your day.
And who knows? Maybe that change in cabin pressure may not happen as often!