Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First

How are you, really? As businesses reopen their doors, loved ones gather, plans are made, and the world continues to turn, how are you feeling in the midst of recalibrating to a new normal? The lessons of 2020 are still with us, and many of these lessons are still being integrated into our daily lives. 


We are immersed in a time of expansion. The world is tired of being closed down, secluded, and unable to connect with one another. We’ve all been dreaming up projects and ways to connect, and now that we have the opportunity to do so, it may feel overwhelming.  


If you find that you are often overwhelmed, know that this is very common during these times, and you are not alone.  


It’s important to drop in and check in with yourself. Are you getting out into nature? Are you finding time for the things and people you love? Are you taking time for yourself? It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and to-do lists of everyday life, and lose sight of all the possible spiritual growth that is happening around and within you. 


Many of us are feeling the drive to make the world a better place now more than ever. As I often mention, we are immersed in an extremely dynamic time, and many of us are activated and ready for launch. 


However, remember that you need to put your own oxygen mask on first before you can help others. Are you remembering to put your needs first when necessary? 


I know the importance of this just as well as anyone. As I’ve mentioned recently, my list of projects includes preparing for the release of my new book, A Dose of Hope, and overseeing production of my new and upcoming podcast, Full Spectrum Medicine Podcast, among other projects. 


I tend to have a lot on my plate at any given time, and if I don’t take time out for myself and my needs, I can become burned out. This affects not only my mental health, but also my relationships, work ethic, motivation, and drive. Burn-out affects all areas of our lives if we allow it, which is why it’s important to recognize that putting yourself and your needs first is not selfish, it’s healthy and necessary. Saying “No” is healthy and necessary. Being unproductive is healthy and necessary at times as well. 


Here in the US, we live in a fast-paced society and have grown accustomed to always saying “Yes” to others, sacrificing our mental health to meet the needs of others rather than our own, pushing ourselves past our limits to meet deadlines, and putting work and productivity before our partners, friends, family, and ourselves. I have found myself doing all of this in the past, and through trial and error, I have been able to find balance between my work, passions, and relationships. 


I’ve learned that it’s imperative to check in with yourself on a daily basis. How are you feeling? How are you spending your time? Are you happy with your endeavors? Are you surrounding yourself with people you love? At the end of the day, are you at peace? Daily self check-ins have been my medicine in these busy times, as has unplugging on a weekly basis. 


Most weekends I am completely offline. I do not check my emails. I often leave my phone behind. I go out into nature. I have personal retreats with myself and my beautiful partner, Sonya. We take the time to be by ourselves, as well as with one another. We leave technology behind in order to recharge and reset. 


Not only do we recharge ourselves, but we also recharge our relationship. 


When I feel I need more than a weekend away to recharge, I will allow myself extra time and go on a longer retreat. I’ve learned that personal time and self-care are medicine for the soul. 


As we are preparing for a holiday weekend here in the US, I want to share with you a simple reminder to slow down, put your own oxygen mask on first, and take care of yourself. 


I hope that you will take this long weekend (or short if you’re outside of the US) and use it as a time to recharge, unplug, and reconnect with yourself and your loved ones. 


You deserve it. 


To your Health,

Dr. Dan

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