7 Wellbeing Tips | Number 1: Fit Your Own Oxygen Mask Before Helping Others

Recently I was interviewed by Vodafone Business and asked to create my 7 Wellbeing tips for business owners. Over the next 7 days, I will explain these tips one by one.


Fit Your Own Oxygen Mask Before Helping Others


Whenever you have flown on a commercial aircraft you will have heard this saying - the cabin crew stand at the front of the aircraft and deliver a safety demonstration. In this demonstration, they will tell you that in the event of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop and in that situation, you must ”Fit Your Own Oxygen Mask Before Helping Others” This saying is the foundation of everything I teach across all of my wellbeing programmes. You must take steps to look after yourself for you to be able to help others - simple, right? You’ve been told to do this before… so why hasn’t it stuck? Possibly because it is not relatable.


Without getting too deep in the technical aspects of how an aeroplane flies… In the event of a depressurisation onboard an aeroplane, you would have approximately 30 seconds to fit your oxygen mask before you would pass out. That's all… 30 seconds! I have practised putting my mask on, I practice this every 6 months during my recurrent training. The fastest I have ever fit my oxygen mask is 17 seconds. So how many times could I fit my oxygen mask before I lost consciousness… once. Once you have your oxygen mask on then you can start to help those around you - this is why it is so important to fit your oxygen mask first. You are the pilot in charge of your business, if you don't take care of your wellbeing then who will? It may feel selfish to put yourself first, however, you must do it to achieve optimal performance. Just imagine being sat on an aeroplane, going somewhere nice on holiday. During the flight, the oxygen masks drop in front of you. You manage to fit your oxygen mask, then help some of the other passengers around you. You notice that the cabin crew have their masks on too - however, the pilots didn‘t fit their oxygen masks - what happens next? Now imagine that the aeroplane is your business, the crew are your family, friends and colleagues. The passengers are your customers - you have a duty to look after yourself in order to help those around you.


Fit Your Own Oxygen Mask Before Helping Others

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