I travel frequently, so I’ve mostly tuned out the safety routines at the beginning of the flight. One line, however, always causes me to pause and think. Have you heard this before?
In case there is a loss in cabin pressure, yellow oxygen masks will deploy from the ceiling compartment located above you. To secure, pull the mask towards you, secure the elastic strap to your head, and fasten it so it covers your mouth and nose. Breathe normally. Even if the bag does not inflate, please keep in mind that oxygen is flowing. Please make sure to secure your own mask before assisting others.
I’ve highlighted the part that causes me to reflect.
If I’m on an airplane, and oxygen masks are necessary, I’ll not be breathing normally. I may still be breathing, but it won’t be normal. I’ll be breathing heavily…very heavily…if at all. I’ll be gasping for air even if the supply of air is plenty.
It’s a great reminder to me. In times of tremendous stress or pressure, I shouldn’t expect to feel normal. I shouldn’t expect to feel completely natural when life makes no sense. I can’t breathe normally, because nothing is normal about life as I currently know it.
What should I do during times like this?
Find my center of gravity – I have to find my grounding again. When life is in chaos, it’s important to cling to what makes sense. Obviously, my relationship with Christ is premier here. The more I can base my life on truth, the more naturally I can breathe.
Surround myself with the right people – Let’s face it; some people are encouragers and some are not. When you’re having trouble breathing anyway, why surround yourself with people who suck the life out of you? Find people who encourage and build you up and cling to them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; even professional help if needed.
Look for small wins – Even on the darkest days of life, there’s probably something you can celebrate. Look for the moments, experiences and memories you can praise. Try something again and rejoice in the minor victories. The road to further success begins with small steps taken repeatedly can consistently.
What do you do when you can’t breathe normally?
I’ve written about airplane oxygen masks before, and applied this script to leadership. Read that post HERE.