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Dave Balch: The Comfort of Small Treats

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I spend a lot of time writing about what NOT to do in order to avoid stress. Now I’d like to talk about something that you SHOULD do to feel better.

My wife has battled breast cancer four times in the last seven years. That’s a lot of time in treatment, feeling miserable, being scared, going to and from medical appointments, etc. At this point, she is sick of being sick and sick of being away from home and all of her animals. With all of that going on, it’s easy to lose hope and start feeling depressed.

In all of that time I think it’s safe to say that she missed only one or two manicure appointments: maybe. She may not have missed any – I really haven’t kept score. But one thing I know for sure is that having her nails done made her feel better no matter what was going on.

It’s true, I am a man. And men don’t tend to understand these things and many would put it down as frivolous. C’mon, get a grip; you’re dealing with cancer so what’s the big deal with your nails? Don’t you have more important things to worry about?

Yes and no. In the grand scheme of things, I supposed you could make a case that her nails don’t matter. But if getting a manicure makes her feel better about herself, then by definition, they DO matter. And that’s the point.

If you are stressed, no matter what the reason, and you find something relatively easy and inexpensive that helps you feel good about yourself, then do it! Now is the time to pamper yourself, even if just a little. Because if you’re lying in bed feeling miserable and about to vomit and you can look at your nails and feel some sense of “okay-ness” and “look what I did for myself” and “I look nice,” it will take the edge off your misery.

I’ll admit that, at first, I thought it kind of silly that she kept going to her manicures come hell or high water, but it became evident very quickly how important it was to her and I changed my tune. Not only does it help her to feel more attractive, it gives her the satisfaction of having pampered herself, and helps create a feeling of some sort of normalcy in the midst of all of the chaos in her life.

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EmpowHER Guest

Dave: This is great advice for anyone - finding little, positive ways to value ourselves and enjoy life, no matter what stressful situations we are going through.

God bless you for being there for your wife.

June 26, 2009 - 8:27am
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