Step 5: Remember the oxygen mask on an airplane.
Is it selfish to put the oxygen mask on yourself before putting it on another? No, it isn’t. It’s clearly displayed in every single airplane emergency guide. So why can’t we apply the same principle to our emotional natures?
Don’t ever forget: We have the capacity to give endlessly, so long as we are receiving endlessly as well. Where do you plant your roots? What does self-care look like for you?
After looking at these 5 steps, try this:
Next time you are struggling, ask yourself: Do you want someone to problem-solve and fix it for you? Or would you benefit much more from someone simply holding space for your experience and being there for you? When you were going through a difficult time, is there someone who saved you? Or were you able to choose the tools you were going to use and dig yourself out of your own hole?
We crave the semblance of control. Acknowledging that we are powerless over other people is terrifying. For me, it was exponentially more difficult than admitting I was powerless over my addiction to substances.
You may be wondering—if you’re not feeling pain for another person, aren’t you just detached and callous? Absolutely not.
You’ll find that you have much more energy to be useful to others and available to show up for people’s difficulties if you are saving some of that precious energy. If I pour everything I have into my patients, I wouldn’t actually be useful at all. I would be burnt out, exhausted, and rendered pretty useless in a work setting. How would I be able to then show up for my friends and family?
Caretaking leads to burnout. Empathy keeps us connected.
I hope this helps any of you who may be struggling with giving your all to everyone else.
Written By Hannah Rose Originally Appeared On PsychologyToday