Jenna Morasca: “Do Something For Yourself”

by | November 2, 2009 at 4:05 PM | Jenna Morasca

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

[Here's the latest in former 'Survivor' winner Jenna Morasca's continuing series on her supporting role as a caregiver in longtime boyfriend and fellow 'Survivor' winner Ethan Zohn's battle with cancer.]

After my last blog post concerning my unfortunate run-in with myself in the mirror, I decided it might be time to do something for – you guessed it – me.

As caretakers we dedicate so much time to our loved one battling an illness that we don’t think about doing anything for ourselves. Simple tasks like getting dressed up or a quick 20-minute manicure are just too much for us to wrap our head around. Or if we do think about doing something for ourselves, we feel guilty about it and cross it off our list.

I’ve done that too many times. I’ve thought about getting a massage or facial and then said, “No, I really should spend my time at home instead of indulging myself. There will be time later.”

And you know what?

There will always be another time to do something for yourself.

But that’s not really what it is about, is it?

It’s not that you will never get another blowout or facial again. It’s that you need to do it now. You need a break, you need to recharge, you need a little pampering of your own.

Hey, these things are called luxuries for a reason – and the reason is they need no explanation for getting them. It’s always the right time to do something nice for yourself. After all, who wants to do Neulastra injections with a bad manicure? NOT ME!

All of this is a long way of saying I went the other day and got my hair cut and colored.

Ah, it’s remarkable how such a simple thing can be such a pleasure. I had not had a haircut and color in months – and trust me you could tell (hence almost beating myself up after I saw my reflection).

I went to a salon far away from home, well far away from me in New York terms. It was on the Upper East Side – the Ricardo Rojas Salon – and I had Jamie do me up! He specializes in haircuts and color that looks amazing and is low maintenance. Perfect because with all that is going on in my life I do not need or have the time to visit a salon every four weeks for touch ups.

I spent the next hour and a half gossiping about nonsense, getting my hair washed, and reveling in my new look when it was done. Jamie was great and I felt and looked amazing after leaving. In fact I still feel good today when I look at my hair. That small timeout for myself restored my energy and life, letting me return to Ethan and all my other friends in a much better frame of mind.

As such, I am dedicating this particular blog post to manicures, blowouts, facials, massages, cooking and pottery classes, and whatever else you do, or need to do, that brings you joy and happiness and relieves stress. I advise you to bring these things back into your life.

We spend so much of our time and energy caring for others that we tend neglect ourselves. Don’t. Listen to your inner voice, and when it tell you that you need to get your hair cut and colored or go to a yoga class, do it. And feel good about it. Then when you walk past that mirror, you’ll think damn, I look good – and I feel good.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.