Don’t Forget to Breathe

Once in a while a writing prompt from WordPress vibrates one of those inner strings. Today’s did.

“What are you putting off? Why?”

Give me an hour or two and I’ll think this one over and write more on the topic. Plus I’ve got a few things I need to take care of.


Okay, I’m back. I didn’t procrastinate quite as long on this as I thought I might.

Here’s what I thought about.

Attending to Flight Attendants

(Photo credit: Felix_Nine)

Y’know on the airplane when the flight attendants do their safety spiel? There’s that part about if the cabin pressure suddenly drops then oxygen masks will drop in front of you. They then tell you that if you’re traveling with young children or a person who requires assistance you should put on your own mask first. Once your oxygen mask is in place then you help others with their oxygen masks.

That goes against every instinct most parents have. Kids always come first, don’t they? Almost always. And if you’re a caregiver, priority number one is the person you care for.

The reason behind these instructions of putting on your own oxygen mask first is simple. In the time it takes for you to help someone else with their mask, you might not get enough oxygen to be coherent or conscious enough to put on your own.

What in the heck does this have to do with what I procrastinate?

My procrastination problem involves neglecting my own needs in favor of almost everyone else’s needs.


Because I have this drive to make other people feel happy, comfortable, loved, cared for, safe, needed and known.That’s who I am. I feel almost selfish when I take time for myself. It’s always been a paradox to figure out how to meet my own needs while caring for others.

The result of this procrastination of my rest, my food, my exercise, my down time, my mental and spiritual nurturing is burnout, exhaustion, lack of clear thinking, self-pity, depression and ineffective use of time.

Surely there is a solution.

In the past my solution has been to wake up earlier, or stay up later, or both in order to take care of me. Which then eats into my sleep time. After a while, that “solution” has created more of a problem than a help. I’m overly tired, cranky, whiny and not very kind or patient. I start to resent those people I’m wanting to serve. Generosity and niceness fly out the window.


(Photo credit: drbrain)

I’m not sure I have a solution yet. But the image of an oxygen mask dropped in front of my face keeps popping into my head.

Do you think that’s a clue?

Putting me first makes sense, logically. Implementing that solution requires mental rewiring and emotional redirects.

I’m not so sure I can pull it off. But I need to.

Putting myself first.

Taking care of me.

Me first.


Looks like I have some work to do.

Categories: Family, Mental Health, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Don’t Forget to Breathe

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Procrastination | My Atheist Blog

  2. Pingback: The Squawk of Unopened Books | Expressions

  3. Great post 😉
    I also feel guilty putting myself first, yet self love is vital, especially as a parent. It gives us the energy to be the parent we want to be, it gives a lifelong example to our kids. Even though, it’s something I’m working on. Taking valuable time to write my blog has been a first step.
    I wish you well!


  4. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Procrastination | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  5. Pingback: Procrastination Time Again… | planningforaccidents

  6. Pingback: Writing is a challenge. | Love, Books, Coffee

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