Place the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping others. This phrase is a part of the safety guidelines at the beginning of every flight. And I understand the point. In order to be helpful to another, one has to be in a sufficiently good, stable condition his or herself when it comes to the issue at hand.
But sometimes, we get so wrapped up in the people and tasks of our daily lives, that we forget ourselves. It is imperative for us to take care of ourselves, mind and body, and thereby be better enabled to face every single day and be resilient for the long run.
I have realized why this is so important. For a long time, I was frustrated with myself and my failures to make my life into what I want and help the people that are very important to me. I would try harder and come up with new schemes for success, but always returned to the same frustration. I had to admit to myself that I lacked the foundation to be able to achieve my own goals. I had not invested enough time in learning about the issues that I would have liked to make a difference to; I could not deal with my own emotions but I wanted to help others deal with theirs. When I took on too much, I exhausted myself and, if I kept pushing, eventually I crashed, or I felt overwhelmed and opted out of doing anything. My frustrations, unpreparedness, and lack of unlimited energy left me unable to effectively do as much as I imagined.
It was not the case that I could never meet my own aspirations. I just needed to take a step back and better prepare myself to be the person I want to be and get closer to achieving my goals. I see this as a journey with good days and bad days. I am trying to take baby steps to get to where I envisioned myself. Within these steps, self-care, reward, and restoration are all key components. I need to regularly check in with myself to understand how I am doing physically and mentally. The good health will only keep me happier and stronger for everything that I take on.