In First Aid training, they teach us that our safety, not the person needing first aid, is the most important. If we get hurt or injured, we not only can’t help, but there’s now two people who need assistance.

On flights, they always tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first. Again, without it we can’t help anyone else, and can quite possibly stop the flight attendants from helping someone if they can’t get past you.

These are “extreme” examples but we often forget this in the less urgent day to day lives. We’ve to finish work for the boss so we forgo the gym that night. We’ve to cook dinner for our family so we just eat pizza with them instead of something more nutritious. We’ve to help our kids with our homework so we stay up a little later or get up a little earlier, and now we go through the day sleep deprived.

All of the above are noble, decent things to do for the people in your life. Just think though that if you did schedule some non negotiable time for yourself? How much better would you able to help people if you were less stressed because you got to training? More energetic because you ate healthier? More mentally alert because you made time for an extra 30 minutes sleep?

You are the most important person in your life. You deserve all the good things you want for your friends and family. You deserve time for yourself. And by doing so, you’ll be giving the best of you to those that deserve it too.