Camille Mc Millan Rambharat
LADIES-YOUR CAPTAIN SPEAKING:
In case of emergency, put your oxygen mask on first before assisting those in your care.
Some of us have heard this command as the aircraft taxies down the runway. How many of us thought about applying this command to our personal lives? A beautiful and talented young lady I know very well—posted on her social media account: “my soul is tired”. With great intentions, some comments read: “no your soul isn’t tired”, “pray”.
Another young lady recently found out she has to begin chemotherapy and was more concerned about her job, tight deadlines and commitment to her employer. Her female manager, consciously or unconsciously, upon hearing about her team member’s emergency and needing to be off work said: “let me run it by the boss first”.
A wellness check-in with the young lady left me disheartened that her five visits per year access to her employer’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) ended last year and she was struggling mentally. After mentioning that she gets five each new year, I suggested she ask HR. Her supervisor wasn’t sure and told her she’ll find out and get back to her. Shouldn’t employers be open and flexible and offer employees more visits to EAP if needed?
After speaking with her pastor, he recommended a church member to “counsel” her. Having spiritual leaders and\or church members offer “counselling” is great for praying for us, but in times of personal crisis, we need access to certified psychologists and other mental health professionals to assist employees especially during COVID-19.
As the young lady recently diagnosed with cancer prepares for upcoming treatments and counselling from her doctors, I wanted to offer her more than love, laughter, a listening ear and prayers as we are both scared but faithful. Getting her permission, I contacted a colleague to provide the professional support needed. I connected her with Nicole Joseph better known as ‘Ms Bra Fit’ because of the amazing work Nicole does to educate women about our personal health, our breasts in particular.
Isn’t it unfortunate that from the cradle to conference rooms, our parents, teachers and leaders felt that girls had to be caregivers? We got dollhouses, sewing machines and crying babies to prepare us to be ‘good’ women/wives. How many of us during boardroom meetings were asked to prepare a plate, tea or coffee for our male leaders? To be honest, some of us automatically take it upon ourselves because that’s what women do. Right? Let’s unlearn that taking care of ourselves first is selfish. Let’s take care of ourselves by: taking personal time off, yearly medical check-ups, meditating, walking in nature, exercising, drinking more water, drawing etc.
You are the captain of your mind, body and spirit so please put your oxygen mask on first before helping those in your care then teach our young women to do the same.
*Thanks to my big brother-Roger who shared this life saving tip with me many years ago!