Wellness: Put Your Oxygen Mask on First


With the start of a New Year, many of us make promises to ourselves and the universe about how we will begin to change the habits that we have acquired over the past year, or two, or three.  Many times, the approach of a new year, brings a rush of a “new us” feeling and also brings the promise of a healthier lifestyle, better nutrition, more exercise, the list goes on...

The issue with this new outlook is that it inevitably ends up being forgotten by February (sometimes mid January, wink), because of one glaring issue… That issue? That issue is that statistically on 4% of people who make resolutions in the new year actually keep them.

We typically do not maintain the promises we make to our new selves and the new year, and here is why…

It is because we allow other “priorities” to make their way to the top of our priority list, and very quickly, our needs and those promises, the true priorities, fade away with holiday season, not to be revived until we crawl into the attic to retrieve the Christmas lights for the next holiday season..  

You see, it is very simple.  In order to maintain your promises, especially those that have to do with your health and wellness, you have to be willing to put your oxygen mask on first.

You know what I mean, right, for fear of sounding like the next thing I will do is discuss your ‘in-flight entertainment,’ just think about those instructions you get each time you fly the friendly skies.  

Here is a question. Why do flight attendants always remind us to place our oxygen masks on before helping others? I am willing to bet that you know exactly why. It is because in order to be of help to those around us and the ones that we care about, we have to be in a position to do just that- help them.  If we deprive ourselves of the oxygen that we need then there is no way to assist anyone else. So, to bring this full circle, if you are not taking care of yourself, then there is no way to help the people around you.  Sure, you may be able to do so for a short while, but for the long run, it will definitely prove to be  a difficult task.

So here is the real question you should be asking yourself at the start of this new year. Are you willing to put your oxygen mask on...first?

To keep the promises you made to yourself and the essentially those who depend on you, you should start the new year without the quick fix thoughts of the past.  You should also definitely leave the mentality of putting everyone else first in the past year.  Remember, in order to be there for the ones you love, you have to first be there for yourself.  When approaching a lifestyle change that will be sustainable you should think about the four pillars of a ‘Curated Health Lifestyle.’ Curated Health is inspired by creating a life of health and wellness that is catered to what each individual needs without compromise.  We believe that with this, there are four specific pillars that create the foundation for you to just that.  Moving into the new year, you should evaluate where you are and which pillars you are giving attention to.  By being aware of which pillars are in need of attention, you will be rebuilding and establishing a solid foundation (by putting your oxygen mask on first) for you to be able to give and take care of others.


1] NUTRITION: Nutrition is an important component of a curated life, especially when it comes to curating a life of health.  When thinking about your nutrition you should be really thinking about the things that you put on your plate and how they impact your body. Great nutrition does not necessarily mean that you purchase all organic produce and drink coconut water all day. What will most certainly help you with this aspect of your life is to actually trust your body and listen to it when it comes to what you are feeding yourself.  The lesson here, is that just because something is labeled healthy does not necessarily mean that it is healthy for you. If you want to stay on course with your new year’s resolution for health, then take time to see what is really healthy for you and what is not.  One way of doing this is to take notice of how your body responds and is triggered when you eat certain foods.  For instance, every time you eat that lasagna do you get a massive headache the next day? If so, there is a strong possibility that your body could be triggered by the cheese and you may want to look into cutting that out of your diet.  Or maybe you become excessively bloated and have have gas after you eat brussels sprouts.  Even though they are healthy, they may just be mucking with your digestion. So, take stock of how you are reacting to foods, not just processed foods, but “healthy” foods as well to see exactly where you stand with nutrition.  Once you do this, you can move forward with creating an eating plan for the new year that will totally support your health goals, whether that is lowered blood pressure, weight loss or clearer skin.

2] MINDSET: The second pillar of a curated life is mindset.  For you to be able to focus and carry through on your new year promises you will have to change your mindset and outlook on your journey ahead. What we think about what we can do will take us a lot farther than what we think we may be able to do.  What do I mean? Well, basically, your thoughts and the positivity and negativity around those thoughts go an incredibly long way to whether or not we actually tackle them. When it comes to the promises you have made to yourself about the upcoming year you should replace words such as ‘I want to,’ or ‘I think.’ or ‘I will try,’ to ‘I will,’ ‘I am going to.’ Just a simple change of verbiage can change the whether or not you truly meet your goals.  Everyday we have subconscious thoughts and vibes that actually affect the way that we approach what comes our way.  Don't let them be your achilles heel to your growth in the new year.


3] MOVEMENT: As you move forward to tackle 2017 it is important that you keep movement at the forefront of your healthy habits.  Usually this is definitely the aspect of our lives where we put everyone and everything before ourselves, I mean, the entire cabin has their oxygen masks on and are sliding down the inflated slide, but we are still gasping for air!  Most of us have every excuse in the book why we can not block out time to exercise and usually the reason is not the one that we give.  Sure, we have to swing by the grocery store after work, or sit at baseball practice until 7, or we got stuck in traffic, but the fact remains, we prioritize what is important to us and make it a non negotiable without even thinking about it., and working out is usually not making that cut.  One reason that this is the case is because working out, for many of us, is not pleasurable.  The thing is we have to take a hint from pillar II, mindset, and reframe the way we see working out. This may be that we don’t try to jump into a hardcore workout program, or sign up for a grueling marathon because that is what everyone else is doing. For us, this may mean that after we eat dinner, we grab the dog’s leash and take a walk around the neighborhood, even if we can just let the dog out in the backyard.  Or, instead of sitting at our desk and scarfing down lunch while reading CNN or the latest gossip blog, we head to the nearest gym to the office and get a quick sprint session on the treadmill. See, there are ways to incorporate movement and make it pleasurable, you just have to WANT to do it.  You have to see the value in it.  I know for me, when I make exercise and movement a regular part of my life, I genuinely feel so much better! Not only that but other things start to fall in place for me.  Somehow, miraculously my time is no longer limited, because I have the energy to move from task to task and in turn become more efficient, it is quite remarkable if you ask me!


4] ENVIRONMENT: The final pillar of a curated lifestyle is environment.  I used to be completely obsessed with Oprah, and I specifically remember her saying that everyone deserves to live in a space that they love.  This stuck with me and it is a mini mantra that I live by. I believe this wholeheartedly and feel that no matter what, you should create an aesthetic that you are proud of and brings you peace, whether that is curating an amazing bedroom, placing yourself in a beautiful resort or redecorating your office.  Often overlooked, things like this, how we feel and the vibration of the surroundings that we put ourselves in affect our mood and our health.  So, when thinking about creating your health goals and sustaining them throughout the year, think about the environment that you are surrounding yourself with.  Is your environment  motivating you to continue your goals?  Now, don’t think that creating an environment means taking an exotic vacation or expensive renovations.  It could be as simple as setting your refrigerator up for success and organizing it to make sure that you have no excuse to renege on your promise to yourself.  A beautifully organized refrigerator with a display of fruits and veggies and prepped meals, not only will make you smile each time you open the door (leveling up the environment factor in your space) but it will motivate you to stay on track each time you reach for your filtered water. See, taking care of your environment is not just fluff, it is most certainly connected to your overall state of wellness.

So yes. There it is...your keys to staying focus and healthy on your journey for the new year, just remember to put your oxygen mask on first and keep the four pillars at the forefront and you will more than surpass your goals, which is not the best part! The best part is that you will improve your overall health and wellness, which, could be no better gift to receive during the year.


-to your health