Taking the time to spoil yourself helps you to feel positive. Don't feel guilty for taking time to treat yourself like you are special - by doing this you are more in a position to be in touch with helping others feel worthwhile, too. Image courtesy of marin at freedigitalphotos.net
When the idea of pampering ourselves comes to mind, we may ask ourselves “Do I have time to do such things with my busy schedule?” and if we have self-worth that is not as strong as it could be, even, albeit subconsciously “Is it worth the time to indulge myself?”
Pampering yourself is distinguishable from indulgence. The latter implies an excess of self-attention, often resulting in other tasks being neglected. Pampering yourself is about saying, “Yes, I am worth this time and attention.”
If you are a very selfless person, it may help to think of self-pampering in terms of the fact that when you feel positive and good about yourself, you are in more in a position to help others. We need to be able to care for ourselves and have enough positive self-esteem to do this before we are even in a position to do this for others. If we don't love and care about ourselves, how can we be in touch to be able to do it for others?
So! Here are ten top tips for pampering yourself:
1. Have a long and luxurious bath. Perhaps use a special soap. Sometimes in the shower, I give myself “the works” treatment – washing my hair using a favourite conditioner and doing my nails. Sometimes I use a special aromatherapy oil for that extra sensory pleasure.
2. Treat yourself to a massage, or a facial. Massage has numerous benefits. Relaxation helps to put our stresses in perspective. Touch boosts the immune system. Oils and aromatherapy used on the body can leave the skin soft and healthy, while the aromas are a treat to the sensory system.
3. Grab your favourite snacks, whether it be popcorn, chocolate, or another preferred treat. Get out some of your favourite dvds, snuggle up in a comfortable chair, forget your concerns and enjoy being absorbed in the movie. Alternatively you can go to the cinema. Perhaps even treat yourself to gold class. If you save money - this is a luxury well worth it.
4. Brush your hair, or have someone who is willing brush it for you. Not only is it healthy for your hair, stimulating the scalp and having a gentle comb running through your hair is relaxing. It feels pretty wonderful, too. I know that when I brush my hair, just for that time I forget everything else!
5. Enjoy your favourite treat. Whether this be going out and enjoying your favourite meal, for example Chinese, or a smaller indulgence like a croissant with a cup of tea, take your time to relish this sensory delight. Take your time - smell the delicious aroma, take time to really enjoy the food you are eating.
6. Find a comfortable sun-chair, or even a full-sized mat. Put on sunscreen and wear a hat to protect your skin, and enjoy soaking up the sunshine. Sunlight has been purported to help depression. In sensory terms, the warmth in itself is pleasurable. In addition this has a relaxing effect on the muscles and can help alleviate aches and pains.
7. Indulge in one of those activities you always told yourself “I must do that one day” whether it be a visit to a rainforest, art gallery, a trip to the beach or a long country drive. When you are not at work or have other mandatory obligations, plan this special day – what food you will take, what sights will you see, perhaps take a camera for some favourite snaps. Instead of doing it one day, plan it for an actual day!
8. Indulge in your favourite hobby. This could be writing, drawing, photography, dance or playing a musical instrument. Taking time to do what you enjoy is important to keep you in touch with who you are – an important part of your identity and what separates you from others is what you like to do in your spare time. Even if this is just laying back on the sofa and listening to your favourite radio station or cds.
9. Put on your favourite perfume, or put on make-up and dress up – for yourself! You don’t have to be going anywhere special but the act of doing this gives yourself the message that you are important enough to do these things for yourself, and is therefore beneficial to self-worth and self-esteem.
10. Perhaps once a week, maybe on a Sunday, sleep in or just laze in bed! Enjoy the feeling of resting your head on the pillow and perhaps use fresh satin sheets or any other sensation that you enjoy. Perhaps have a special breakfast in bed. Instead of the usual cereal, perhaps make pancakes :)
Having positive self-worth is important in all realms of your life. Feeling you are worthwhile is necessary to being able to help others feel this way too. If you are out of touch with what it takes to feel this way, if you feel you don’t deserve to pamper yourself, how can you be in a position to know that others like to feel special and enjoy pleasure too?
Pampering yourself is not selfish. In fact by taking time to spoil yourself, you put your self in a good mood, you raise your self-esteem, you re-energise yourself so that you are in the long term more productive and enjoyable to be around.