In our hectic world, it can sometimes be difficult to find the time to pamper ourselves. While juggling the responsibilities of work, family, and home, it’s easy to assume that luxuries big and small are only for the rich and famous. But no matter how busy you are or how tight your budget, there are a few little things you can do to feel like you’re in the lap of luxury–if only for a few minutes.
Go to a salon. Once a month, go to a salon and get something done: a manicure or pedicure, a brow wax–even a bikini wax!–or a facial. These are inexpensive treats that can be fun for half an hour–but the real reward is listening to the compliments you get all month for your beautiful hands, feet, brows…et cetera.
Go to lunch–by yourself. Every so often, treat yourself to a solo lunch break. Go to one of your favorite restaurants–the prices will be much lower at lunchtime, so go ahead and order appetizers, if you want. Go by yourself. Take a book. Spend a few relaxing hours enjoying the cuisine and reading. It’s guaranteed you’ll come back to your normal life feeling recharged and relaxed.
Take a bubble bath. When was the last time you drew a hot bath with some scented oils and took some time out for yourself? Your bathroom is an oasis–in many homes, it’s the only internal room with a lock on it–and if you have a stressful life, you should take full advantage of it. Pamper yourself by including a glass of wine, a book, or some scented soaps or oils–whatever makes you feel like royalty.
Bring music back into your life. How long has it been since you’ve listened to a CD all the way through? Whether you’re doing housework, running errands, or getting some work done, everything seems more fun when it has its own soundtrack. Take some time to make yourself a mix CD–or a playlist for your Mp3 player–for the tasks you do that take up the most time. You’ll feel less like you’re slogging through chores and more like you’re having fun.
Do something active. No matter how exhausted you feel at the end of the day, you may not be getting enough exercise–most of us don’t. But you don’t have to join an expensive gym to get in shape. Instead, take a jog around the neighborhood or in a nearby park, take your bicycle in for a tune-up, or just take a relaxing walk. Any exercise helps–and it can also be a great way to use up excess energy and get some time to yourself.
Think positive. Many of us imagine the worst possible outcome when something makes us nervous–we hate going to the dentist because we fear we might have cavities; we dread getting called into the boss’s office because we think he might have a reprimand ready. But at least half the time–if not more often–the frightening outcomes we fear turn out not to be so bad. So why make yourself anxious worrying about something that may not happen? Next time you catch yourself worrying about something bad happening, stop and think of the best outcome instead. Just picture it carefully in your mind. Chances are, this will help get rid of all that anxiety you’re carrying around–and help you feel more relaxed in general.
Take a nap. How many of us have time during the day to just lie down, close our eyes, and nod off? If you have the time and flexibility to do this, take advantage of it. Turn on some soothing music, turn the lights down low, and just nod off for an hour. Even if you don’t have the time to actually fall asleep, however, act like you do–for just a few minutes. Next time you come home for work, try changing out of your work clothes, getting on the sofa, and cuddling with your cat or read a book–or just daydreaming for a few minutes. Just taking that small amount of time for yourself can go a long way toward making you feel pampered.
We often try to take care of everyone else before thinking of ourselves. But the truth is, nobody can be a good caregiver if they don’t also take time to recharge and take care of themselves. Be good to yourself, and your family and friends will benefit from knowing a more relaxed and happy you.