I have used air travel a number of times. Each flight is a little different. Whether it is the distance, movie, food or the seat there is always something different about each flight. But, there are also some things exactly the same. One of these things is the pre-flight safety instructions. Included in this is the direction of what to do in case of a loss of cabin pressure. If this happens masks fall from the overhead compartments to wear over a person’s mouth.

Each time the instruction is given they are careful to include that one should put on their own mask before helping anyone else out, even children. This surprised me the first time I heard it and I even thought to myself, “of course I would help someone else first, especially a child.” Then as I thought about it more, I realized that if I am not full strength I am not going to be of use to anyone else.

I believe that there is a direct application to our daily lives. We all need to have the appropriate amount of self-care. Sometimes we find ourselves running ragged trying to be everything to everyone else and forget to “put on our mask” first. Eventually we are going to tire out and not only will we become harmful for ourself, we will be of no assistance to others.

So, it is important to recognize ways to “put on your mask.” What is it in your life that has been pushed out to make room for other people? How do you get that back in?

It is vital to respect yourself and realize that your needs are just as important as anyone else’s. When you have established this mindset it will be easier to “put on your mask” to save your life, so that you can save others.

Some ideas of “putting on your mask”

  • Spend time in prayer
  • Spend time doing things that are of interest to you
  • Find what energizes you and participate in those things

It is important for you to learn what it is that recharges you and allows you to be healthy so you can be of assistance to others. Remember, if you are not taking care of yourself, you will not be able to help others appropriately.

Justin P. Lewis, MA


“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”

Psalm 23