Sort yourself before you help others.
That’s the advice you hear from cabin crew. In an emergency, sort your own oxygen mask before you sort your child’s.
It’s someone else’s analogy. But it made a big impact when I heard it.
It makes sense but feels counterintuitive. Touch wood, I’ve never had to test what I’d do.
However, I’ve followed the logic, applying it to my health and wellbeing.
You know I’m a part-time teacher as well as a proofreader? Well, Claire Cronshaw, teacher, has definitely benefitted from a shift in thinking. But so, too, has Claire Cronshaw, proofreader.
As I’ve set up Cronshaw Editing, looking after myself has been first and foremost. It’s one big reason I’ve set up the business. Because I’m in control, I can control what I say yes to, how I organise my day, working to my strengths. I can build in time to go for a swim. I can mediate (at home!) before I begin my working day. Earlier on in my career, I’d put everyone else before myself. What did I get for that? Stressed with a side order of shingles! Everyone benefits when I make sure I’m looking after myself. I can only do a good job if I look after myself first. 😊
I was driving into work recently, thinking about the essays that awaited me, and I felt my stress levels rise as I worried how it would go down if I was late with the marking. We always hear that kids need feedback. It’s the most powerful learning tool. I had to get to work immediately, hole up in a corner of the canteen, and crack on. Want to know what I did instead? Pulled my car into a layby and meditated.
By the time I got to work, which was still in advance of the kids, I felt calm and ready to deal with the day. I even got the marking done.
I often meditate, but that was the first time I’d done it in the car. Sometimes, needs must!