In the past two months, I’ve been providing my local community, as well as family and friends meditation and mindfulness sessions. All on Zoom of course! The best thing was connecting with people from different parts of Sydney and the world. The difficult part was that I couldn’t give them a hug; share a cuppa or a meal; we couldn’t sit together in sacred circle; and witness each other as we shared our stories of how we’re doing in these difficult times.
That’s why one day, I sent everyone my version of what self-care means, and why it’s important. This is what I suggested.

Self- care is about making yourself a priority in your life and setting aside time to meet your needs on a daily basis. It’s about learning to respect your body, mind and soul. It’s about remembering that you matter to your family, friends and community.

Self- care teaches us to put the oxygen mask on ourselves before helping others. This expression comes from the airline safety brochure where the advice to a parent with an infant is to put the oxygen mask on first before assisting the baby and others. This applies to all of us, especially women. We’re so busy doing things for others that we forget to take care of ourselves. We put ourselves last.

When we neglect our needs, we lose sight of our centre, the place within that is impervious to stress, fear, anxiety. Losing this connection makes us vulnerable. We become agitated by outside events, those things that we have no control over. It puts us at risk of falling prey to the mind chatter of the inner critic or perfectionist. And, as you probably know, they never have anything useful to offer in difficult/ busy times, or even on a quiet day!
On the other hand, when we take care of ourselves first, even with just a 5 to 10 minutes a day practice of meditation and mindfulness, our perspective shifts. We suddenly find more energy to get through the day, as well as be there for others. We become well mentally, physically, and emotionally. Things that seemed impossible become possible. A flicker of hope is created because we are feeling better within us. Resilience returns because, paraphrasing what the philosopher Epictetus once said, we become a living example of: ‘It’s not what happens to us but how we respond that matters.’

So, just for today, I’d like to offer you an easy, SOS technique that works for me when I’m feeling overwhelmed by busyness or anxiety:
Pause. Walk away from the din. Find a quiet space to sit or stand. Imagine your feet stabilising you, as if there are roots on the soles, going down into the earth. Take 3 slow, deep breaths, in and out. Let the in-breath expand the belly. Allow the out-breath to travel out of your feet, releasing the tension and worry making thoughts. Let it go. Just three breaths in and out. Continue for longer if you can. Otherwise, trust that this is enough to change perspective, and return you to calm. That is the power of Breath!

NB. If this blog post has raised issues for you, please seek support from either Life Line  or Beyond Blue  in Australia.

If this resonates with you, I would love to hear your feedback. Please leave a comment or share via your favourite social media.


  1. Janet Gibson

    Thanks for posting this hint for self-care Bindu. Walking away is always hard for me – from anything- but if I can’t actually walk away physically, I can at least use my breath to do the walking.

    • Bindu Narula

      That’s such a wonderful way of using Breath. I’m sure it will have the same positive effect, if not more!


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