I Had To Put My Mask On First

You might have noticed that I’m posting this on a different day and time then what you’re used to. Oh, and that you didn’t hear from me at all last week. 

I wasn’t ignoring what was going on around the world. 

It’s that I had to put on my own mask first. 

The very short of it is that I was on vacation while the pandemic was declared and got stuck on a cruise ship that was rerouted 1100 miles. We made it home two days later than anticipated to then be placed in a 14-day at-home quarantine. And now our state is under a stay-at-home order until early April.

So I needed to get quiet. Re-center. Get clear and process the uncertainty of what had just happened – not knowing when we’d get off the ship or what would even happen at that point or how our dogs would be cared for or how my family, friends and teams were doing. 

It felt like a lot to sort through and unpack. 

So I chose to take a step back and put myself and my household first before reaching out to you. 

Because during this uncertain time, what I’ve learned is that it is a time to connect with others, get clear on our priorities, rethink how we’re doing life.

I’ve noticed a good number of people resistant to what is happening around us. Wishing that the remote work and stay at home orders that are temporarily shuttering businesses around the country and globe were not so. 

I see resistance to the fact that whole families are now isolated under one roof. A lot of should’ing for what spouses and children ought to be doing during the day. 

In this time we find ourselves in, where so much is fluid, I want to offer this first step – always to take care of you and yours first. 

This does not mean hoarding toilet paper and making it an “every person for themself” situation. 

I mean that these truly are unprecedented times and there’s isn’t a blueprint for how we’re supposed to be behaving. 

Give yourself grace and allow yourself to feel all the emotions that are bubbling up so that you can release them. 

Give yourself permission to make sure that your physical, emotional, and mental needs are being met first. 

Prioritize self-care. 

If you’ve worked successfully from home for many years, and now you find yourself with three more bodies under the same roof all day long and want to fight against what’s happening, know that it’s okay. 

It’s okay to want things to be different. It’s okay to wish it was all easier. It’s okay to feel that your child should just be able to keep herself busy so you can get through your emails already. 

All of it, the highs, the lows, the certain, the uncertain, it’s all okay. 

Take care of you and yours first and foremost. Like the old adage (as clichéd as it is) says, put on your oxygen mask first, before helping others. 

Then, when you’re ready, think about how you can put new structures and routines in place in your day to give yourself a framework to work in. 

When we give ourselves a container to work in, it allows us to feel grounded to ourselves, our space. 

If you work from home but now find more people with you, set explicit working times and habits. This might mean you tell your partner that from 9am – 11am, you need to not be interrupted. Or that if your office door is closed, it means you’re on a call and, again, please do not interrupt. 

If you were going to an office and now find yourself working remotely, like many of my friends, build in transition actions as you start and end your day. Without even realizing it, the drive to the office was where you got clear on the plan for the day or mentally wrapped up the day as you headed home. 

Well now, instead of a 20 mile car ride, you have a 20 step shuffle to accomplish that in. 

So if you’re finding it challenging to separate your business time from your personal time right now, try this:

  1. At the very start of your day, before you check email or Slack, take a few minutes to get clear on your top 3 priorities for the day. 

What are the 3 things you want to accomplish today? Maybe that’s writing a new blog post or recording a video for your group program or making progress on your new launch plan. 

What does a successful day for you look like given the circumstances right now?

  1. At the end of the day, take a few minutes to reflect on how the day went for you. What priorities did you work on? What’s on tap for the following day? What do you want to do the same and different tomorrow? 

I have a client that does a very specific action when closing down for the day. She says the following mantra out loud, “Abracadabra, the work day is done. All is taken care of,” and then closes down her computer. Beautiful, right?

I understand it’s tough right now. 

We’re all feeling out a new and temporary normal. 

Having a routine and structure to when you’re going to work, what you’re going to do, and drawing boundaries around your time throughout the day, even if it’s for the next two weeks, will give you a sense of calm. 

And you don’t need to go it alone. 

These are conversations I LOVE to have, questions I LOVE to answer, and problems I LOVE to solve.

I’m here to help. 

If you need support creating a new structure to your day, I’m here for you. 

Simply post below and let me know how I can help.

We’re in this together.



Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash


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