I tend to fly a lot these days. And, sometimes, I pay attention to those safety announcements. Qantas Airlines has done a great job of making them both fun and informative, which helps.
The one safety tip that I, and probably you, remember the most is the one about fitting your oxygen mask first. You can’t help someone else if you don’t take care of yourself first.
So, with that in mind, I say to you that the best thing you can do this week and into the near future is to “fit your oxygen mask first.”
How can you “fit your oxygen mask first?” Well, here are some recommendations:
- Moderate your news and, especially, your social media consumption. I am finding that while I have personally gotten caught up in nonstop browsing, it has accelerated my stress level. Check sources of postings, and be sure that information is coming from recent and verifiable sources.
- Set personal expectations. Sometimes, there are things that we do not have control over. Understand which items you have no control over, and take control of the things that you do. We are all feeling a bit out of control. Sometimes even angry. That’s all OK for a bit.
- Take time during this isolation for reflection. Where are you headed? What are some of your goals? It is a great time for self-reflection and introspection. Use this time. Get a journal. Write about your fears, your hopes and your dreams. This moment, too, shall pass. And when it does, you want to be ready to move forward into a new, better life.
- Be that positive light in the world today. Why focus and ruminate on the negative of the present set of circumstances? Share positive stories, quotes and, maybe even light humor on social media. Be the light for someone else who is suffering and may also need a break from their newsfeed.
- Take time to be out in nature. There is nothing like connecting with nature and realizing just how resilient it can be. While life seems so jarring and chaotic, a step outside will ground you to the fact that life is continuing along to much bigger rhythms. Nature bounces back after drought, fires, etc. Hope springs eternal.
- Focus on your work. Right now, many nonprofit organizations are hurting. Dedicate yourself to serving your mission 100%, or even more. Focusing on your work will “take you away” from what is spinning “out of control” around you. Your mission deserves it.
- Eat right, exercise and sleep. Life patterns have now been wholly thrown out of sync. It is easy to cut back on each of these things. However, you cannot give up on your self care. Never mind the fact that healthy food, exercise and sleep all boost your immunity.
- Call those who are alone. Now is the time to reach out to those who are the most vulnerable and be that buddy. Check in on your mom, your dad, your friends, your donors, your volunteers. Just let them know that they are not alone. Think about how they are feeling. They have always been there for you. Now is the time to be there for them.
- It’s OK to cry. I have. And in this past year, I have lived through drought, fires and floods here in Australia, and I didn’t cry. But this seems different, more significant, larger. It is impacting all those that we serve and care about, including ourselves — but we can’t do anything about it. Let it out. It’s OK.
- As everyone says, “This, too, shall pass.” And, the truth is it will. But things may not be quite the same ever again. Things will be different. Maybe we will have more love, less selfishness and less greed. Maybe blessings may come out of this. I suppose it’s our choice.
A lot of blog articles focus on what you should be doing. Like what about your event? Communicating with your donors? Whether or not you should be appealing or not?
Let me be the one to say, take care of you first.
So, when you get up tomorrow morning, fit your oxygen mask first, and then be on your way to doing good.
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