Learning to Take Care of Yourself

May 28, 2009

Since Monday I have been thinking a lot about the last ask marzipan column in which I advised one reader to not forget about her own needs while in the midst of a romantic whirlwind, and I have decided that the topic of self care and preservation is one that deserves some more attention. Example: Summer on Cape Cod moved into full swing this weekend with Memorial Day weekend, or rather, “baby-dyke” weekend if you are queer or even mildly bi-curious, went to school on the east coast, or simply played on a sports team. This means a major influx of people, and for me, as a part-time cab driver, a major work weekend of what felt like one million hours behind the wheel in just four days. Now, the ooooold marzipan would have just partied in my spare time, avoiding sleep, and jacking myself up on caffeine, and running around like nutcase. However, as I am getting older I am finding this harder and harder to do, and have noticed that things like: sleep, healthy food, and glass upon glass of water are necessary supplements to a steady diet of red bull if I am to continue operating well.

And magically this seems to be applicable to all things: I am a nicer girlfriend/sister/lover/co-worker etc. when I treat myself better. Amazing!

Now, this may not seem groundbreaking, but it is amazing how we all move around at warp speed “taking care” of those around us when really sometimes the best gift we can give to one another is turning those gifts inward, and thereby presenting the most stable, healthy, happy version of ourselves to the world.  As women this is particularly important because we often feel pressure to make everyone else’s lives run so perfectly and smooth over glitches, we more often than not forget about our own needs. And maybe not all women feel this way, but I certainly do.

When you are happy and fulfilled, you are generally more pleasant to be around because you are more inclined to make the experiences of all those who come in contact with you positive ones. This is not to to say that everyone doesn’t have bad days, because of course, even the most well adjusted and healthy person has those days where they want to lash out at everyone and walk around under a thundercloud. What I am saying is simply, when we take time to take care of ourselves (even if we are busy and feel like we don’t have time) we can in fact make our every waking moment run more smoothly.

So, take a moment for yourself. Take a nap, go for a walk with your dog, take five extra minutes and eat something healthy for breakfast, and drink water in addition to caffeine.