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The Simple Mindset Shift This Doctor Recommends To Improve Well-Being

Christina Coughlin
mbg SEO Editor By Christina Coughlin
mbg SEO Editor
Christina Coughlin is an SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2019 with a degree in psychology and music.
Woman Gazing at Her Reflection Outdoors

A simple metaphor can do wonders. When we asked functional medicine doctor Wendie Trubow, M.D., what the one thing she recommended to every patient, she gave us a metaphor for the importance of well-being that we had to share.

You know the typical announcements when you're on a plane: Set your phone to airplane mode, put up your tray table, fasten your seat belts, and watch the safety demonstration. When it comes to the "in case of an emergency" part of the demo, you're instructed to put on an air mask before then helping others. Trubow uses this concept of an "air mask" as a metaphor for self-care and explains how it highlights the importance of supporting yourself before you can support others. 

"Put your own 'air mask' on first, before you run around trying to take care of others. Whether that's enough sleep, proper exercise, food, or meditation, your self-care is not negotiable," she says.

This metaphor translates to the importance of self-love and emphasizes the fact that it's hard to take care of others when you're not taking care of yourself. If a plane is going down, you're no help to anyone without putting on your own mask first. In the same sense, you won't be able to support the people in your life if you are struggling too much yourself.

Trubow's suggestions are all great methods for improving practices of self-care and show how this shift in mindset could be the key to caring for ourselves and our loved ones. Here are some key factors in taking care of yourself:

Sleep: A good night's sleep is one of the best ways to boost your mood and health. Lack of sleep can negatively affect a person in many ways, but being well-rested gives you the energy to live your best life.

Exercise: Exercise is a great way to practice self-care. The endorphins and dopamine your brain releases during a workout can boost your mood, release stress levels, and make you feel better about yourself.   

Food: Our diets have a huge impact on the way we feel and look. Trubow mentions how some ingredients may be harmful to our health, and it's important to maintain nutrient levels through a veggie-filled plate.

Meditation: Meditation allows us to be both mindful of and present to our own well-being and the relationships we have with those around us. Practicing whenever you get the chance is a great way to improve your self-confidence and inspire those around you.

No matter your method, proper self-care is essential to your well-being, especially when you're responsible for others. "Ensuring you are cared for will not only allow you to be more effective in caring for others, but it will also provide a powerful role model for your loved ones," says Trubow. 

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