It’s important to help your friends and loved ones, but one of the most important things you can do for yourself and others is to make sure you treat yourself like someone you’re responsible for helping.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Brittany: Hi, Ronni.

Ronni: Hey, Brittany.

Brittany: I want to start off by asking you a question that is, do you like helping other people?

Ronni: I do. It’s nice to feel as though I’m doing things for other people and showing them something good.

Brittany: It would’ve been funny if you’re like, no, I don’t like helping other people. I expected you to say yes, but it would’ve been so funny.

Ronni: Yeah, maybe you should put me on the spot all the time. You didn’t know what I’m going to say.

Brittany: So, what if I told you though, that in order to really help other people, you have to take care of yourself first? That might seem almost counterproductive, right? I think we think of that as being selfish if we don’t focus on other people.

Ronni: Well, it’s kind of like, I think I just mentioned that I like to teach other people things to help them, but I can only teach them if it’s something I’ve learned myself first.

Brittany: No, exactly. I actually think that’s a really good point that’s going to tie into the episode. I want to talk about why it’s important to take care of yourself in just a little fun fact. So, I got the idea for this episode from the Tuttle Twins 12 Rules Bootcamp book, which is based on Gordon Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, which I think is really important. And one of the rules in that, in the Tuttle Twins book, they’re the same rules, but just different words or different wording of it, is to take care of yourself. Make sure you do that. So, what does that mean? So I think this is a really fun way to think about it. And every time I’m on an airplane, this always just kind of like, oh, this is a good point. So, when you’re on an airplane and the flight attendants are listing off all the safety rules that they have to do before the plane takes off, they tell you that there’s an accident and that these oxygen masks will pop out of the ceiling that will help you in case something happens. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use them. But the number one rule with the oxygen masks is to put on your own mask before you help anyone else, even your kids, or even older people. And that might sound selfish. You’ll be like, wait, but I was trained in school or taught in school and everything that I need to help others. And absolutely, you should. I mean, you don’t have to, but you should. It’s a nice thing to do. But let’s say that you try to help other people put on their masks first. Well, first of all, you might not even make it that long. Let’s say you need the oxygen to stay alive or to even not get knocked out. Sometimes you can pass out when you don’t have enough oxygen. You’re not going to be of any help to others if you haven’t taken care of yourself first. Once you put on that mask, then you start helping others. Now you’re in a position, now you’re in a healthy state where you can take care of others because you’ve taken care of yourself. So, that’s a really important lesson that I learned, because I think sometimes it’s so much easier to focus on helping other people because it’s actually easier when you don’t have to work on yourself, because working on yourself is really, really hard. And it’s also hard because I think sometimes we have less sympathy for ourselves. So let’s say you make a mistake, which we all do, and you’re really, really hard on yourself, so hard on yourself that it ruins your whole day and you can’t stop thinking about it. And you think, oh, I’m so dumb. Why did I do that? I know better than that. And the interesting part about that is what if your friend did that? And the way the Jordan Peterson rule is worded is he says, treat yourself to someone you’re responsible for helping. And I really like that. I think that sometimes we get hard on ourselves, like I said, but view yourself as a friend. What would you tell a friend, Ronni, if a friend made a mistake and they were just really broken up about it, would you sit there and be like, oh, you’re a terrible person? How would you help a friend if they made a mistake?

Ronni: Yeah, treat yourself as your own friend.

Brittany: Right? You’d probably be a little bit more sympathetic and you’d say, you know what happens? We all make mistakes, but it’s so much harder for us to do that to ourselves. And it’s so important that we do that because that makes us stronger people, and it makes us, again able to help other people as well. So, I love it.

Ronni: Would you say, maybe I’m wrong, but it just popped into my head? Would you say this is almost kind of the golden rule in reverse, treat others the way you want to be treated, but treat yourself the way you want you would treat others?

Brittany: Does that make sense? I really, really like that, Ronni. I’ve never thought about that. Maybe we call it the silver rule or reversal rule, either one. I really like that. I think that’s something, yeah, I think that’s a really good point. I really love that because I do think we forget that a lot of the time, or even just taking care of ourselves, and I don’t like the term, you see a lot of people talk about self-care, and to me that means go take a bubble bath or eat a piece of cake. Which yes, everybody deserves a little treat yourself moment. But for me, when I think of self-care, I think of being able to take an honest look at yourself and saying, okay, I’m like 90% good, but 10% of the time I make some mistakes. And I think I need to really celebrate the victories that I do celebrate when I do something really well that I’m proud of, but also recognize like, okay, I didn’t do this thing while I’m going to try harder the next day. So, taking care of ourselves in that way I think is really important too, because again, all of this just makes us a better person and it makes us more capable of taking care of others. And I always like to think of the best friend thing. And my best friend has actually said that to me before when I was hard on myself. And she’ll say that about my best friend, and I like that because what she’s saying is, I’m being mean. I’m being a mean person to me. And so I always love it when she said that to me, and she’s had to say it a few times. It just makes me feel just remembering that I need to treat myself like someone I’m responsible for helping. But there’s a bigger part of this, and another one of Jordan Peterson’s things he talks about is Clean your room. And the reason he talks about this is because he says, you can’t go and try to change the world if you can’t even take care of your own room. If your room is a mess, you have no advice to give to other people because you can’t even handle a small task like that. And I think even though it’s a different rule than the take care of yourself, I think that it really ties in because I think that it’s a way of saying there’s nothing you can do for anyone else until you do that. And Ronni, I don’t know if you have any thoughts to add.

Ronni: Oh, I was just going to say to all the kids out there listening, this is just a great reminder that you should keep your rooms clean. As a parent who is always being like kids, go clean your room. Go clean your room. Just kids out there, it’s really great to have your room clean.

Brittany: And adults out there. It took me and adults, it took me a really long time, somebody who always moves on to the next task really quickly. I’m always multitasking and I need to slow down, but let’s say I’m trying on clothes. I love it, to me, putting together outfits is like an art form. I love fashion and all that stuff, but I don’t always hang up my clothes right after I try them on. And so it’s like before you know it, my room is filled with piles of clothes. And I’ve tried to be really good about keeping everything clean because it also just saves me time. I’m a very busy person, and if I keep my room clean on a regular basis, I don’t have to do a big cleaning on the weekends. And so that’s really good. I always start with making my bed. I don’t leave my house unless my bed is made that only does it make me feel better, but it shows me that I can tackle that one thing if I can tackle making my bed in the morning. I know it sounds silly, but I’m unstoppable because I’ve already proven to myself that I can do something. And so I really like that. And again, it’s taking care of myself. It’s letting me come home after work to a house that’s calmer, that’s more put together. And I feel, I know, again, it sounds silly that something that’s small if you feel like you can help other people just by doing that small thing. And so, I mean, I’m trying to think of, and I’ll kick it to you in a minute, so you can think of some words of wisdom to impart of what I do to take care of myself, aside from things like make my bed to really take care of myself, and that is to meditate. I meditate every morning and some people pray instead of meditating, or I do both actually. But where you just kind of sit and you learn to be really present because when you learn to be really present, one that helps you just be more empathetic to yourself and understand, again, that everybody messes up. Everybody makes mistakes. And I always keep in mind when I do anything wrong or again, make a mistake what my best friend says, which is don’t say those mean things about my best friend. I don’t know, Ronni, if there’s anything you do like that.

Ronni: Well, I just wanted to say I’m still thinking about making the bed every morning because I’ve found for myself, I tend to be a very scatterbrained person because I also have many things going on that I’m doing or in my head. And so this is something that has been a struggle for me, even as a grownup, is I often get overwhelmed with the tasks that I need to do. So, I’ve actually found that making my bed is such a great thing for me as well. So, when I wake up in the morning and before I start thinking about all the things I need to do or that I’m worried that I’m not going to get done, just the simple fact of where can I start before I let myself get overwhelmed? I can start by making my bed. And it’s true. There’s really something fantastic about that small task. So, I just want to chime in on that.

Brittany: No, no, I love that. I’m trying to think of, again, little things, making your bed, brushing your teeth, all these things that make you able to help other people and just be stronger, even working out. It’s so important to take care of ourselves. And I think when life is so busy, we forget about that. We both said we were both very busy. And so I think it would be really easy for us to get up in the morning and say, I don’t have time to make my bed. I don’t have time to do my morning routines. I don’t have time for that. I’ve got to go. But I just don’t think it sets you up for success. And people are always watching. What I mean by that is people the best thing to do, especially since we don’t believe in force, the best thing you can do is be an example to other people. And I think people learn from your example. And I mean, I know that I’ve adopted some of my daily routines that make me productive by looking about at what other people do and saying like, oh, that person’s really successful, or That person achieves a lot of the goals that I’d like to achieve, and so I want to be like them. And maybe that starts by again, making your pets. So, just a really important lesson that like the airplane people say, the flight attendants say, sometimes you have to put on your own mask before, not sometimes all the time. You have to put on your own mask before you can help anybody else. I think that’s a really important lesson to incorporate into your life. So, we will wrap it up there. And as always, don’t forget to like and subscribe to the podcast and share it with your friends. And until next time, we will talk to you soon.

Ronni: All right, see you later.