By Abby Renardson
In general, Americans are generous people. This seems to be especially true of Lake Ashton residents. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of sacrificing their own well being while taking care of others. If you've ever been on an airplane, and actually listened to the safety information, then you have heard the flight attendants instruct parents to apply the oxygen mask to themselves before assisting their children. There's a very good reason for this. If you can't breath, then you won't be able to help anyone else.
That basic premise applies throughout our lives. Many of us are so busy taking care of others that we do not make taking care of ourselves a top priority. And when we feel the results, so do all the others that have been in out care. So it is important to free your mind from its training, and rethink what it means to at least make yourself as important as everything else you are taking care of.
Prioritizing your own well being requires attention to both the physical and mental aspects of your life. Good fitness and nutrition are essential to having a healthy body. Planning is key to making sure you are able to put in the time required. Adequate sleep is something most Americans find elusive. Exactly why we sleep and what happens in the body during sleep is not understood, but the need for it is inescapable. Good habits such as not eating or exercising late, getting into bed only when you are ready to sleep, and having a comfortable environment are some things that will promote good sleep. Friends and family that provide support and emotional connection, as well as having fulfilling activities are important for one's mental health. Equally so, removing those people and activities that are draining or unfulfilling can be a huge relief and free you to focus on things and people that are good for you.
In the end, putting yourself first allows you to give more to others. You've heard "do unto others as you'd like others to do unto you." Now consider doing unto yourself as you're always doing unto others. This is part of being well!