Why Rest is the Ultimate Protective Equipment in a Busy and Chaotic World

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time.” ~ Sydney J. Harris

Regardless of which airline you use, there are safety precautions that the flight crew will take with everyone on the plane at the start of every flight.

Important things can also be found on the cards and pamphlets in the seat back pocket in front of you. In addition to telling you where the exit is, there are always several versions of the following statement. “When the pressure in the room changes, the oxygen mask will automatically fall off the ceiling. Wear your own oxygen mask before helping others.”

In many cases, there is no further explanation for this particular safety feature and procedure. If so, it will inevitably sound a little dark. Something along the line “Starting to help someone else, failing, and failing is useless” Both Faint “

The phrase “put your oxygen mask first” is so common that it is used in other situations. Medical personnel or counselors tell the caretaker when it means reminding them to take care of themselves. Some bosses tell it to their rushing employees in the process of burnout.

On the one hand, it is similar to the advice given to Prince Humperdinck by Count Lugen, a six-fingered man in the movie. Princess bride.. “A little rest. If you’re not in good health, there’s nothing.” It’s a way for listeners to insist on engaging in basic self-care by staying healthy.

On the other hand, it sounds puzzling or even goes against what we believe. What’s so bad about putting the needs of others first? Isn’t it our selfishness to prioritize ourselves when others need to take care of us? How can I rest when I have a lot to do?

I know I was ridiculing the idea of ​​wearing my oxygen mask first, but I learned a difficult way to pay attention to this particular etiquette.

A little more about me, you know where I’m from: I have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia. Almost 20 years ago, when I was a single mother caring for my two young daughters, working full time as a lawyer, caring for my home and garden, cooking, cleaning, and doing everything. I met RA. things.

I asked for little help, and at one point I asked my mother to see the children on the weekends to take a break, she turned me down. Her message, and the message I had already internalized, was that the mother couldn’t rest.

I put my kids first, my work second, and my house third. To be honest, I’m not sure if I was on the top five priorities list. After all, I paid for it with long-term health.

After being diagnosed with RA in 2002, I had a long-term disability (because I was lucky enough to cover the disability at work). It’s been nearly 20 years, but (a) the symptoms worsen due to stress, and (b) even if they appear for a day or a week, they can’t do “normal work” outside the house. We guarantee that you can do it longer without any symptoms.

The link between stress and the development of rheumatoid arthritis is fairly well documented and I had all kinds of stress at the time. I will also tell you this for clarity. I ignored myself.

I ignored my health, my need for sleep, and increasing stress levels. As far as I and my needs are concerned, my self-talk is a non-stop negative inner critic who constantly tells me what I am doing wrong. It immediately stopped my thoughts worthy of breaks and assistance.

I was so low on my list that I ran away when all the warning lights were flashing. I am currently suffering from chronic health problems and it is believed that my immune system is weakened by the medications I am taking for rheumatoid arthritis. I’m no longer practicing the law, as full-time work and even regular work outside the home are out of the question.

In my own life, “wearing my oxygen mask first” may have seemed to ask for or get help. It may have seemed to reduce the amount of time I was working. Instead of burning oil in the middle of the night to do client work, sewing Halloween costumes, and cleaning the house, it might have seemed like he was lying in bed at a decent time each night.

It would definitely seem to rest more. I didn’t do anything about them, so it’s no wonder my health was hit until I was forced to slow down and rest.

Recently, I know that my body listens to my body when it issues a warning. When you rest for the first time, you will notice that things are starting to move. Otherwise, flares will always continue. We plan to have a recovery day the day after the trip or the day after the IV treatment.

Over the years, I have reached an analogy that I prefer over that of oxygen masks. It has to do with firefighters. If you like, they can be hot and hanky firefighters, but that part doesn’t really matter.

When thinking about things, I imagine two firefighters doing things in very different ways.

The first of these two firefighters sees your home burning and runs towards it in a T-shirt and shorts. He has to grab a garden hose that he sees lying nearby and run near the house to get the water in the garden hose to reach the flames.

He is now in the immediate vicinity of his house. When the flames explode or the walls fall, he gets injured or killed, and others need to rush in to save him.

He is in danger of inhaling smoke. The hose in his garden may help, but only a little. Due to heat, smoke and flames, he has to leave after only a few minutes. The house is on fire.

The second firefighter grabs her helmet and respirator. She wears a flame-retardant suit, boots and gloves. As a result, it took me a while to get home, but I’m ready to use it with a high-pressure hose, and I can hang there until the flames go out.

If your house is on fire, which firefighter do you want to be? Someone who rushes in without thinking or caring for her, or someone who takes the time to make sure she is protected and prepared?

Our natural instinct is to help in a hurry and do everything we can right away.

But sometimes it’s better to stay a little further away from the burning house and take care of yourself and your body, your equipment, so that you can stay there and be helped for much longer.

It is not selfish to spend time maintaining or improving physical and mental health. In the oxygen mask or firefighter analogy, with the right equipment, you can continue to do everything you need to take care of others who depend on you.

Of course, you want to do the best you can under any circumstances you face. Take care of yourself, take breaks, and ask for help. All of this allows you to stay there a little longer and get the job done a little better. You are worth more.

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