“Put your oxygen mask on first, before assisting others.” While this phrase may seem selfish at first, it’s one of the most important lessons we can learn: You can’t help anyone if you run out of oxygen.

Self-care describes a conscious act one takes in order to promote their own physical, mental, and emotional health. When we are not taking care of ourselves it affects our personal and professional lives and, ultimately, affects our service to those around us. As a social service, Talbot House recognizes the importance of self-care for both staff and residents.

For Self-Care Awareness Month, we asked staff what self-care means to them.

“Self-care is important to me so I can stay healthy for my family and friends. If I am not taking care of myself, I cannot help others.”

“Self-care is taking the necessary time to rest and recover mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually. Self-care is important because stress kills.”

“Self-care is important to me because I know that I can’t pour in to other cups if my cup is not full. I practice self-care by journaling, praying, and watching my favorite tv show.”

“Self-care for me varies. Sometimes, it’s as simple as going for a walk or deep breathing. Other times it may be talking with a friend, listening to music, taking a break from social media, getting a massage, praying, and spending quality time with my family.”

“I practice self-care by waking up early to move my body and prepare myself mentally for the day. Meditating, yoga, and a healthy breakfast every morning.”

Take a nap, go for a walk, read a book, listen to music, take a bath, watch your favorite show—the list goes on! We encourage you to practice self-care this month and every month.

As Anne Lamott said, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”