Have you ever listened to the flight attendant right before takeoff talk about what you need to be aware of just in case things don’t go as planned during your flight? You may have heard the attendant ask you to notice the emergency exits and how accessible it is from where you’re sitting. They may have mentioned the life-craft available to you in case you need to swim for your life. I’m sure you recall them point out that if the pressure changes in the cabin an oxygen mask may appear and you should put your mask on before you put it on anyone else. Do you recall hearing this warning before?
If you’ve heard this before, it’s easy to interpret the part of being sure to put our mask on first as an example of how we should be taking care of our urgent needs before so we are at our best to help someone else. When we care of others first we may put our needs in the back burner for a bit. Imagine if we do pass out before we get to put our mask on?! This is especially a good analogy for people that support and care for others. And while this is true that self-care is considering the care of our self so that we may care for others at our best, at the very core of self-care there is one major ingredient: Self-awareness.