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Secure your mask first


As I was traveling last week, something made me stop and think. When the airline attendant was going through the safety procedures, I began flipping through my magazine—who hasn't heard that spiel a thousand times. I was in my own little world, and then she got to the part about the cabin losing air pressure.

"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend from the ceiling. Grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs."

Wow. These were words I had heard several times over again, but I never gave them any real thought.

As I thought and contemplated the often ignored safety rule, I realized how important it is that we take care of ourselves first. All too often, our own care becomes an afterthought (if a thought at all). When caring for someone else, it is easy to let our own personal needs and wants go unattended. We are tired, busy, and did I mention tired?

Some may look at ignoring one's own needs to care for another as a true act of selflessness, but I would argue that. If you aren't at your best because you keep putting off your own health and happiness, how can you adequately care for your loved one? Looking at the serious ramifications of ignoring health issues means that you are no longer physically able to give care. Is that selfless?

Your health, both physical and emotional, is the top priority. Should either of them begin to fail, your loved one's care will suffer. So, whether it's once a week or twice a month, do something just for you. Stop and get your favorite treat or perhaps indulge yourself with a relaxing pedicure or massage. Whatever you do, do it for you.

If you're looking for some ideas to help you get the break you need, check out How to Find More "Me" Time.

So what have you been putting off—that night out with friends or a long weekend with your husband?

And the next time you think about rescheduling that doctor appointment—for the third or fourth time—stop. Remember that you must first secure your mask before assisting anyone else with theirs.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. August 31, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Posted by Dave

    The hardest thing I find myself facing is "time for myself...I have been my precious lady's caregiver for 4 years, and it still feels selfish to go alone..alto it HAS to be...itis still hard...45 years married to my love of my life....I have been disable 32 of those years and for the most of them she took care of me while we raised 4 kids, and NEVER did she she has Pick's...and I hate it...just hen she was ready to was discovered, and has changed her completely to the world, but not to me...oh yes...she hardly talks...and it has taken sooo much...but it CANNOT take the love I have for her...oh yes, it will take her from me physically, in death, but to that day...I want every moment I can spend with her, no matter how it gets. tes, I am getting time away, a few hours at a time....most times do the necessary shopping, but it works...going out is becoming harder, because with Pick's dementia, they flirt...that was hard at first...not now...I kow it is dementia, not my precious yes you need to get out...and when you do...bring home to her/him the special coffee/food that you used to enjoy "before" dementia...and cuddle her/him..even if they don't cuddle back...put you hand on the side of there face..or your head against their's...most all like that...and most of all...keep on keeping are the one that matters ....even is they don't recognize you


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