Taking care of yourself

I don’t get sick too often, which is amazing considering that I spend my day around 300 middle-schoolers. And in the computer lab, no less, where I’m sure our keyboards are breeding grounds for everything from the common cold to the plague.

But it’s happened. I woke up yesterday with runny eyes, a congested head… Yuck.

Chicken Soup
Image by Adam “Slice” Kuban via Flickr

This was a place where the STBXH stepped up to the plate. He would make me chicken soup (or buy it from our local Greek-owned Jewish-style deli), bring me cold medicine and make sure I was warm and toasty in bed. He would let the dogs out, let the dogs in, let the dogs out… You know.

He essentially let me have plenty of space to wallow in my self-pity and nurse my yucky feeling self back to health.

So how do you take care of yourself when there’s nobody else around to do it for you? I do want to mention that both my daughters are there for me, lest they read this and yell at me. One offered to bring me her comfort foods (but I’m not as into grape juice and saltines as she is) and the other did make me a delish turkey sandwich last night (and, more importantly, did the dishes after dinner).

But what about the things that we can do for ourselves when we’re under the weather and alone? Here are some ideas I have:

1. Have comfort foods available. For me, it’s Cream of Wheat. That’s easy to keep in the pantry. So are cans of chicken soup – not the same as homemade (or Pete-the-Greek made), but acceptable. Frozen ready-to-bake chocolate chip cookie dough would be nice, too, but I don’t think that will last too long in my house.

2. Indulge and revel in the solitude. Enjoy the opportunity to take a bath without any interruptions. Burn the candles you want to burn, turn the heat up (or down) as much as you want, and wrap yourself up in the cozy blanket without worrying that you’re stealing it from anyone else.

3. Make plans for a day or two out with a friend who will understand if you still don’t feel well and have to cancel. I’m planning to meet Kathy at the movie tomorrow at 5:00 and we’ll go to dinner afterward. She’ll understand if I cancel, but this way I have somewhere to go, so if I’m feeling up to it I already have a plan in place.

4. When someone says, “Is there something you need?” tell them. Drop the stoicism. Maybe somebody else can walk the dogs, take the car for an oil change or return the library books.

What are your ideas? What do you do to take care of yourself when there’s nobody else to do it?

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1 Comment

Filed under Haven for one, Singleness

One response to “Taking care of yourself

  1. Kaye

    When I first got divorced, I tried to think of all the things I might need if I were sick, and I stocked up on soup, 7Up, canned juice, Thera-Flu, aspirin, and those supersoft tissues for a sore nose. Like you, I have friends who would bring me anything I needed (or wanted, for that matter) but I was determined to be self sufficient.

    Along those same lines, two of my first purchases post divorce were a cell phone (10 years ago they weren’t as common) and a membership in an auto club.

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