Wednesday 29th May 2024,
Bird On The Wire

Taking care of Yourself – part 4



IMG_5993In the last three posts, I’ve talked about how you can take care of yourself during a stressful time in your life. I explained that I divided these aids into two categories:





This post will be about the second category:



The most important thing I have to say here is this: LET PEOPLE HELP YOU!

When you’re in pain, your friends and family want to be there for you. Let them.

I have a friend who, when he found out he had cancer, didn’t tell his friends or co-workers, thinking this was something he could tough out on his own. When he’d show up at work looking pale and gaunt from his latest chemo treatment, people asked if he was sick. He told them that he was just tired. Finally, when it became obvious that something was indeed wrong with him, his co-workers, concerned for his health, badgered him until he finally told them what he’d been going through.

Understandably, his friends and colleagues were sympathetic, but they were also angry. “We could have taken part of your workload,” they said. “We could have driven you to chemo treatments, prepared food for you, been there for you.! Why didn’t you tell us?”

That was when my friend broke down, sensing that a giant weight had been lifted from his shoulders. “I wish I had told you,” he said, “but I didn’t want to burden you with my problems.”

Going through a painful and scary experience with friends is so much better than doing it alone. So, swallow your pride, and stop worrying about putting people out, because right now you need their help! Remember the song “Lean on Me”? The second verse goes like this:


Lean on me when you’re not strong

I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on.

For, it won’t belong till I’m gonna need

Somebody to lean on.


Sometimes we need help, and sometimes we give help. That’s how it works. Accept people’s help. This leads me to a particular kind of help.



We all know about Alcoholics Anonymous and Weight Watchers, but there are self-help groups for whatever problem you are going through. If that problem is a medical one, like cancer or heart disease, your best bet for finding a group is through the hospital or clinic where you are being treated. They can also assist you in finding a group if you have mental or emotional issues.

If you are going through a divorce, or having problems with your children,there are groups for these things, too, that you can find by looking online or by talking to friends who are facing the same issues.

If you are afraid of flying, there are groups for that. Even if you are new in town and feeling lonely, check out your local newcomers group.

Whatever your problem, there are others around you who are facing the same thing, and who can better understand what you’re going through than someone who has taken a similar journey? You’re not alone. Don’t suffer through this alone!



Getting a massage is another thing you can do when you’re feeling down.  If you’ve never had a massage, find out who’s good by asking around. Once, when I had just moved to a new town and was in need of a massage to loosen up my muscles from the pain of carting around all those boxes, I looked up the local newspaper online and found a link to their latest “Best Of” article. Many newspapers hold a “Best Of” contest each year in which local residents vote on the best restaurants, dentists, hairdressers, and even masseuses. That’s how I found a great massage therapist that I used for several years.

My son, who is now an acupuncturist, says that you should get a massage at least two times a year, just to keep your body tuned up, but it is especially important to do so when you are feeling stressed out. A massage will not only make you feel pampered and relaxed, it will also make you feel cared for. Many studies have shown us the importance of the human touch. Babies who are not held enough by their mothers fail to develop certain human reactions that seem natural to the rest of us. Adults, too, need to feel the touch of another human. Having a massage, all over your body, is a great way to fulfill this need.

When I was going through chemo, the hospital where I was getting my treatments recommended certain adjunct therapies patients should try in addition to the care they were receiving, and massage was one of them. During that time, I tried to get a massage every week. When I first started with a recommended therapist, she massaged not just my body, but my bald head as well. And, when she did that, I started crying, releasing all the pent-up fear and pain I’d been feeling for weeks.

So, try massage. It will make you feel better.


Finally,  the message of this post is:  LET PEOPLE HELP YOU.  Doing so doesn’t mean you’re weak or helpless. And don’t feel like  you’re putting people out when you ask for their assistance. Remember – some day you will help them.


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