The Critical Need for Self-Care: The Oxygen Mask Rule
For anyone who has ever flown, the oxygen mask safety speech is a routine part of boarding. Frequently, it falls into the background as we adjust ourselves in preparation for several cramped hours in the sky. But, that speech carries a beautiful message regarding self-care.
The Oxygen Mask Rule is simple: if the cabin loses pressure, oxygen masks will fall from above. You are to place yours on yourself before trying to help others. For parents, this may seem rather preposterous! Of course we want to protect our children and feel an urge to forget our own mask in the process of securing theirs. This instinct reflects a common occurrence in the daily lives of many parents. The problem with breaking the Oxygen Mask Rule is that we increase the risk to not just our own health, but also for those relying on us to keep them safe.
If you break the Rule, you may get your child's mask secured just as you run out off air. In such a scenario, you are at best leaving your child to take on the responsibility of maintaining his safety while working to take care of you. This unintentional handoff of responsibility is unfair and avoidable by following the Rule.
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