It Took the Pandemic and a Divorce for Gisele Bündchen to See that Self-Care Isn't Selfish

"You got to put the oxygen mask on you first."

<p>Lexie Moreland/WWD via Getty Images</p>

Lexie Moreland/WWD via Getty Images

It's not always easy to take time for yourself, especially for someone like Gisele Bündchen, who balanced being a mother with being an in-demand model and, all the while, was dealing with a high-profile divorce. However, the Victoria's Secret angel and bona fide supermodel explained that through the divorce from Super Bowl champ Tom Brady and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, she realized that she needed to look within herself first so that she could be better for everyone around her.

“No one is going to do it for you. The only person that's going to make those choices is you. Because ultimately, you're the first person who's going to be impacted by it. But then, it's your children, it's your husband, it's your family,” she said in a new interview with People. “You got to put the oxygen mask on you first.”

In the story, she explained that during quarantine, she moved her children to homeschooling, relocated everyone to Florida, and handled her parents' declining health. Through all of that, she had to maintain the sunny disposition everyone expected of her and she realized that she wasn't able to do it all until she decided to start with taking care of herself.

“It's been very tough on my family. It's been a lot — in every area of my life,” she noted. “I feel like whenever it rains, it pours. With all the different twists and turns that life takes, all we can do is the best we can given what happens in our surroundings.”

<p>Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Gaia Herbs</p>

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Gaia Herbs

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She went on to explain that many people see self-care as selfish, but when she decided to reevaluate, she saw that it made her a better person and, in turn, her family got a better version of her.

“It's not a selfish thing. People have been teaching us that it's selfish if you take care of you. How is that selfish?” she said. “When you feel good, you're a better mom, you're a better friend, you're calmer, you're more patient, you're more loving, you're more grounded. So you can't feel guilty about prioritizing yourself. Because that's loving you and loving the people you love the most, which are going to be impacted by how well you are. Because if you're sick, everyone's hurts."

Bündchen explained that meditation has been one of the most impactful things she's incorporated into her routine. She described the practice as a way for her to see what was happening around her more objectively.

“It's like taking a step back and observing it like a movie, the situation happening,” she said. “And even though you feel the emotions, you're not attached to them. It's not attaching to the emotions, it's observing them. And when you observe them, you can take this little step of separation. It can allow you to take a breath and come in from a place where it's not reactive, but it's more proactive. You're like, OK, let me assess.”

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