Put Your Oxygen Mask On First
The 8 must-dos to prioritize self through all seasons of life
First, I think this was the best Halloween costume I have ever come up with and I will never stop reliving it, what do you think?
2018 Family Top Gun FTW!
Second: I think about what I'm doing to prepare for my badass life often.
And I think about how my career and passion for travel has better prepared me for the life I want and the life that I'm creating, especially now as a proud working mom of 3 year-old twin boys.
I've spent 12 years in aviation. I've worked the entire lifecycle that puts a Boeing 777 in the air, including production, certification, functional and flight test, and the actual delivery of the airplane to an airline — which is in fact as complex as delivering an actual baby. Many of those years were spent flying around the world (yes, often times in fabulous business class, and staying in the fanciest of hotels, and entertaining with a fat expense account), and working closely with customers to solve complex problems and pitch technical solutions, which required me to bring my best self to whatever time zone and dynamic environment (sometimes surprising...hello, India) needed me, while avoiding (minimizing) jet lag.
It's been awesome. And all of it continues to fuel my passion for travel, and my love for aviation.
Suffice to say, I learned a thing or two about complicated systems, the importance of safety and designing in redundancies in case of an unplanned failure so that it doesn't lead to a catastrophic event, and how to keep my sh!t together in unpredictable and stressful environments.
Because of it, I have 3 strong beliefs that I want to impose on you today so that you can apply them to your mom life, which will also help you bring your A-Game to any and all situations despite the (often uncontrollable) circumstances leading up to the main event: I believe in checklists, I believe in always bringing snacks, and I believe in putting your oxygen mask on first.
The latter is where I want to dig in today. How do you prioritize yourself on this wild and crazy ride that is motherhood? Well let's talk about it. Here are 8 things I implore you to start doing and prioritizing today:
Fitness & Health. If there was a secret sauce to my sanity and success, it’s prioritizing daily workouts and choosing foods that bless my body (at least most of the time — on my off days I pretty much live on cheese boards, chocolate and Champagne). There’s nothing that makes me feel more capable of handling anything that comes my way, then doing something that makes me feel strong, every single day. And while self care in the form of polishing your exterior is nice (love me a spa day), it’s only surface deep. Curating a strong and healthy body from the inside out, bleeds into every aspect of how you live and what you are able to do.
Morning routine. Got one? If you don’t have one, it’s time to get one. A strong morning routine is the key to crushing your day, feeling fly, and often the only thing in your day that you may actually have control over.
Consistently connect with people, especially strong women who get you and who you aspire to be like. Nurturing relationships that fill your cup, with people who exude good energy, and who remind you of who you are, is key. You are a product of the people you consistently surround yourself with — both in real life and with the media and content you consume.
Dress for the life you want. Show up for yourself. Why? For me, it feels good to show up for myself and pull myself together in a way that matches how I want to feel. Also, it adds a layer of confidence to my armor, and provides a visual reminder for myself and others that I mean business and that I’m ready for anything.
Set boundaries. What can you allow more of and less of in your life? Do a consumption audit or a vice detox. Sometimes it’s important to strip away all the things you’re using (abusing?) to get real with yourself without them, and find out what you really need.
Get to know yourself. Unpack the parts of your life that are getting in the way. Take an enneagram test. Journal. Make time to actually slow down and hear yourself think. Go to therapy.
Create something, hone hobbies. Find an outlet that you truly enjoy, and do whatever it takes to prioritize it daily, or at least consistently. You don’t need hours (heck, you don’t have hours), 10 minutes a day will do.
Find the Champagne moments. Practice gratitude daily, and never compare your life to anyone else’s. There are moments worth celebrating every single day, you just have to look for them.
As a mom it's easy to get sucked into everyone else's needs, and prioritize them over your own. However, you know what your kids and family need most? A mom who’s happy, strong, confident, convicted, and most importantly: whole. A mom who takes care of herself shows others what it means to value oneself, which is an invaluable life lesson to teach your children and the people in your life. True self-care isn’t selfish. It’s the single most important thing you can do for yourself and for all the people who need you, because it enables you to bring your whole self to everyone who needs the best version of you, everyday.
So! Take care of yourself mamas, and remember to always put your oxygen mask on first. Your life depends on it.