Part of the nature of living in the twenty-first century is that our lives are filled with a great deal of hustle and bustle. For many of us, there always seems to be something that we need to get done. You’re having to juggle between taking care of your kids, going to work, cleaning the house, attending classes, being intimate with your loved one, spending time with friends, running errands and the list goes on. Unfortunately, while you are trying to be a responsible person by doing all these things, you are also neglecting a very important person-you.
The quality of your life decreases when you neglect yourself. Neglecting your needs can result in burn-out at work, rocky relationships and a lowered self-esteem. For many people, women especially, neglecting oneself has become a habit-a bad, dangerous, destructive habit. By eliminating some of those things that you do in your life and making time to pamper yourself, you can start to break this habit of neglecting yourself. The elimination process can be a difficult one, but you must keep in mind that taking care of yourself is the most important thing in life, because if you can’t take care of yourself you won’t be able to take care of anything else.
There was a time in my life when I didn’t think about taking care of myself. I was attending graduate school, presiding as president of the psychology club, working as a counseling intern, attending parties and doing a lot of other miscellaneous things. My plate of responsibilities and activities was fully loaded. I remember there were days that I felt like I had just raked myself through a pile of hot coals. When I looked at myself in the mirror I didn’t like what I saw. I appeared tired and sick. I knew I was the one making myself look and feel the way I did. I also knew that I had to make a change, or I would be leading myself into a spiritual, emotional, physical and mental breakdown.
The first thing I did was to get rid of some of those responsibilities and activities that were filling my plate. I made a list of all the things that I did and arranged them from most to least important. Then I cut the list in half. I decided to keep on my plate the things that were most important and put aside those things that were least important. When I eliminated the overload in my life, I noticed an immediate difference in how I felt and looked. However, I still didn’t feel totally satisfied. I still felt I was neglecting myself and something needed to be done about it. I finally figured out that the only way I wouldn’t be neglecting my needs is if I made special time for pampering myself.
Pampering ourselves is essential to our total well-being. When we pamper ourselves, we feel refreshed and renewed and are better able to handle the responsibilities and activities in our lives. There are many ways that you can pamper yourself, and everyone has different ideas of what makes them feel pampered. One person may feel uncomfortable getting a massage from a masseuse, while another person can feel rejuvenated. So find something that would make you feel good. Pampering should be incorporated into your daily schedule, at least once a day for twenty minutes. The following are some suggestions:
1. Get a massage.
2. Go for a walk.
3. Take time to smell the flowers.
4. Take a hot bath with scented bubbles.
5. Get a manicure or a pedicure.
6. Hire a maid for a day to cook and clean for you.
7. Make your favorite desert.
8. Read a good book or magazine while sipping on your favorite hot chocolate.
9. Rent a movie.
10. Take a trip.
11. Eat at your favorite restaurant.
12. Get a new hairstyle.
13. Buy a new outfit.
14. Take a fun class.
16. Listen to your favorite music.
17. Spend time doing something fun with the people you love.
18. Get involved with crafts.
19. Look at old photos that make you feel good.
20. Go to a show.
21. Have a picnic.
22. Go dancing.
23. Buy yourself flowers.
24. Take a nap.
25. Sit down, relax and reflect back on life.
26. Spend time looking at the stars and make a wish.
27. Light scented candles all over your house and treat yourself to a snack.
28. Keep a journal.
29. Treat yourself to a free makeover at a big department store.
30. Give yourself a hug.
32. Play a game of solitaire.
33. Write and send a letter to yourself, but don’t open it until one year later.
34. Pretend you are somewhere far away and camp out in your backyard.
35. Look in the mirror and tell yourself all the wonderful things you like about yourself.
Use your imagination and creativity to further add to this list of pampering.