• John Reilly

Self-care: Putting the mask on yourself first


Masks have become a part of our lives. They are viewed as protection and an act of self-care. But the mere existence of the mask also reminds us of the tremendous stress and uncertainty with which we have been living. Self-care is now more important than ever.


We have all heard the briefing that we get before a flight, so many times that we stop listening. As a reminder, it goes something like this “in the event that the cabin loses pressure, a mask will drop down. Put the mask on yourself first before you help others.” I’ve always thought my first impulse would be to help others first, but upon reflection realized it made sense that in order to best help others, I would have to be breathing.


We have to be able to breathe and be calm in order to be there for others. Always putting others’ needs first does not really prepare us to be there for them. We can’t be truly loving, empathic or giving toward others if we are not being that way with ourselves first. Regardless of the masks that we happen to be wearing, it’s important to maintain self-care and prioritize our own needs.


One of the best ways to practice self care is through relationships. Make time for them. Leave the house and go meet with a friend, but when doing so make sure these relationships are healthy ones that leave you feeling replenished rather than depleted. We all know people who drain us. Being around those people when you are trying to refuel defeats the purpose. Make sure you take a good look at your relationships and try to identify the less fulfilling ones and make sure they are not on your call list.


So in this time of masking...take time, breathe, and try to surround yourself with those who help you to breathe better!



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