Flying home from Sydney last week, I found myself listening to the safety announcement made on every airliner in the world. I must have heard it hundreds of times, but I’ve never really taken it in properly. The part I happened to tune in to was:
“…although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask first and then assist the other person.”
It sounds counterintuitive – and I suppose it is, which is why they have to tell us to do it. It goes against our natural instincts to put ourselves first – especially before the safety and wellbeing of our children.
When you think about it though, of course it makes sense. If you were oxygen deprived, you’d slow down, make poor decisions and you wouldn’t be able to help anyone. And if you’re unconscious you’re basically useless.
I thought about this in the context of the world outside the overcrowded, pressurised, metal tube I was sitting in and wondered where else it applied. Our last blog piece for the year is probably an apt time to share this with you.
When you put yourself first, you’re putting your children first…er.
How many mums are so busy making healthy, fresh, nutritious lunches for their kids every morning that they make do with whatever’s left over from the night before or settle for a microwaveable meal for lunch? How many dads drive their kids from one sport or activity to another every weekend and never get to actually break into a sweat themselves?
Just like donning an oxygen mask on a plane, taking care of yourself first is one of the most important things a parent can do. Actually, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s THE most important thing a parent can do. Because when parents get too sick, too tired, too irritable, too busy, too out of breath and out of shape, it doesn’t just impact them – it impacts all the people that depend on them.
For many time-poor parents, though, the idea of taking the time to make fresh, wholesome meals for themselves, let alone exercise each day, feels selfish and indulgent. Like luxuries they can’t afford. The research, however, is irrefutable: this thinking has to change. You’ve probably already heard the saying ‘if you don’t have your health, you’ve got nothing.’ Now think of it this way: if you don’t have your health, then your kids are left with nothing, too.
Make a change: but make it the smart way.
Today’s parents have lots of balls to juggle: family, health, work, finances, friendships and so on. The one they most commonly drop? Health. They figure it’ll bounce back somehow. Many realise too late that they’ve let it roll out of sight and can’t find it. This is why our thinking has to change. Being healthy isn’t optional. In fact, keeping yourself healthy helps you juggle all of the other balls much more easily.
Typically, the festive season is a time when you’re likely to reflect on the things in your life that you’d like to change. Perhaps, like most people this will include making a New Year’s Resolution. By the time Valentine’s Day rolls around each year, 80% of New Year’s Resolutions have been abandoned. Why? Because most New Year’s Resolutions are too vague. Here’s a way to buck the trend: have ONE resolution. ONE focus. Your health.
That still might seem pretty broad and you’re probably thinking, ‘How will I fit it in? This year felt a little busier than last year and next year looks busier again!’ This is exactly why you need HeadUp. We’re OBSESSED with helping people capture their data, turning it into information, and turning that information into insights that help them identify what to prioritise. The HeadUp app is free, easy to use and will guide you every step of the way.
Here’s the catch though: we can only help you if you choose to prioritise you. You have to meet us halfway. Need some more motivation? Here you go: the single best way to ensure you raise healthy kids is to put YOUR health first.