Man. Wouldn't it be great if you could take off an entire day to do nothing but get a facial, then a mani/pedi, then a massage and then perhaps indulge yourself with some shopping, followed by eating at your favorite high-end restaurant? Between (most of our) finances not being exactly where we want them to be and this damn pandemic (and folks not wearing a mask…whew), it seems like it will be FOR-E-VER before we're able to pamper ourselves in the ways that we truly desire. That's the bad news.
Ready for some good news? There are actually quite a few things that you can do to make yourself feel extra special, from the comfort and safety of your own home, that won't cost you much money at all. You just need a little creativity and a few items that you probably already own and you're all set. So, are you ready to love on yourself without breaking the bank or catching other people's germs? Awesome.
1. Take a Half Day. Then Read and Rest.
Sometime last year, I read a study that said almost 770 million vacation days went unused back in 2017. Listen, your employer is all about you being in the office as much as possible, so that they can reap the benefits of what you have to offer. So, if you're waiting for someone to approach you and say, "You seem worn out. How about using one of your vacation days?", you can probably hang that up. On the flip side of that, if you've got vacation days, USE THEM. You can even do something as simple as take a half day, once every season, to do nothing other than go home, catch up on a book and take a nap. Sometimes, just getting off of the roller coaster known as life for a few hours can be just what you need to recharge and feel more energized and positive again.
2. Write a “How to Love Me” Bucket List
There is absolutely no downside to having high self-esteem. While some people think that too much is a form of arrogance, actually cocky folks have a low sense of self-worth; they are merely overcompensating in areas where they feel that they lack. OK, but that's another article for another time. The reality is, the more you know your value, the better equipped you will be to make wise choices and solidify your destiny. A couple of ways to boost your self-esteem is by checking out the articles, "Every Woman Should Write A Love Letter To Themselves" and "Why 'Vaginal Mapping' Needs To Be Part Of Your Healing Journey". Another is to make a self-love bucket list.
What is that? It's basically a list of different ways that you plan on expressing love—to you and to you only. It can be saving up money to go on a trip. It can be scheduling a reflexology appointment before the year is out. It can be indulging yourself by getting that new pair of shoes that you've been eyeing.
The key is to have no less than 20 different self-love items on your list and to be intentional about checking everything off before the turn of a new year. Then, once you've completed the first list, put some other never-been-done-before items on a new one. It costs absolutely nothing to put the list together. Besides, just making time for yourself in this way, can make you feel more confident in who you are as a woman.
3. Customize Your Own Nail Polish
I don't know what it is about doing my toes while watching a movie that I find to be so relaxing; but it is. If it's been a minute since you've been out to get a mani/pedi or you simply want to switch out the hue on your hands that you currently have, something that could be fun is to make your own nail polish. Believe it or not, all you need is some clear polish and eyeshadow. You can get some step-by-step instructions on how to easily make it all happen here.
4. Make Your Own Hot Water Bottle
Chances are, there was some point in your childhood when your mom sent you to bed with a hot water bottle. And when you reflect back on it, didn't it almost immediately make you feel so much better? Quiet as it may be kept, a hot water bottle can relieve all kinds of health issues including neck and back pain, menstrual cramps and muscle discomfort, plus it can also help to relieve digestive issues, stress and anxiety symptoms and, it can help you to have a better night's sleep too.
If you don't already have a hot water bottle in your home, no worries. All you need is a rubber bottle and a flannel cover to wrap it up in. Fill the bottle with boiling water, wrap it up in the flannel, test the heat on the inside of your arm and, if it's not too hot, place it anywhere you're feeling uncomfortable or in between your feet to help you to fall asleep faster at night. It's one of the best hacks I know, and it costs absolutely nothing to do.
5. Have a Wine and Cheese at Home
I don't know what it is about wine and cheese that makes so many of us feel bougie AF but it does. I'm pretty sure that you've got some wine and probably even some mozzarella cheese in your house, right? If you pair them together, you can have your own wine and cheese party without spending anything to do it. On the other hand, if you want to come across as an expert in this lane, Wine Mag has a pairing guide that makes it really easy to figure out which wine goes with what cheese—specifically. Check the online guide out here.
6. DIY a Bottle of Champagne
Y'all, I'm all about folks toasting others as well as themselves. It's a very simple yet effective way to both acknowledge and celebrate what someone has done or what you appreciate about them. That said, when's the last time that you toasted yourself? Upping the ante, when's the last time that you toasted yourself with some champagne? If you're totally down but you don't have the coins, all you need is some wine, sugar and champagne yeast and you're good to go. As far as how to go about making it, it's a little extensive but nothing super stressful, once you grasp the overall concept. Some pretty thorough instructions are right here.
7. Soak in a Cocoa Bath
I'm about at the point where I'm gonna start recommending dark chocolate for everything on the planet because there is little that this food—one that is loaded with antioxidants—can't do, including giving you one of the most pampering baths that you've ever had.
Yep, if you add some cocoa (along with Epsom salt, baking soda, powdered milk and a favorite essential oil) into your running bathwater, you'll be able to detox and soothe your skin, lower your stress levels, increase blood circulation and reduce bodily inflammation.
If all of that sounds really good to you, there are some wonderful recipes that you can try out here.
8. Treat Your Feet to a Foot Mask
Did you know that each foot has somewhere around 7,000 nerve endings in it? Another fun fact is feet perspire somewhere around six ounces a day. That's why it's a really good idea to consider pampering yourself by treating your feet with a mask, at least twice a month. Not only can it help to detox your feet, but a foot mask is also great at increasing blood circulation to them, sloughing off dead skin, eliminating foot odor and helping to make your feet super soft and smooth. To get the best benefits, start off by using a pumice stone to exfoliate the skin on the back of your feet. Then your feet will be ready for the mask; one that should remain on your feet for 10-15 minutes before thoroughly rinsing them off in warm water. If you'd like to give a recipe a shot, there are a few easy to make ones right here.
9. UNPLUG. ENTIRELY.
Here are some signs that a lot of us are more addicted to our devices than we probably would care to admit. Many of us check our smartphone at least 150 times a day (geeze). Tons of us watch six days' worth of television each month. Hell, almost 90 percent of us can't even watch TV without staring at our cell phone or laptop at the same time. Our brains really don't need to be constantly going. Our eyes either (check out "8 Solid Reasons To Put. Your Phone. Down."). That's why, it can most definitely be a sign of self-love to take off a day—or shoot, even an entire weekend—to unplug from any device that will prevent you from resting and hearing your own thoughts. By the way, if you just read that and was like, "Shellie, I'm with you except when it comes to this, you are the main one who needs to do it." (Check out "Social Media: How To Take Back Control Of What You're Consuming" and "What I Learned From My Two-Month Social Media Fast".)
10. Sleep on Rose Petals
Believe it or not, there are some really easy and cost-effective ways to upgrade your house, even when you're on a really tight budget (check out "10 Home Décor Hacks To Make You Love Being At Home").
But if you want to do something that is super quick and can still make you feel extremely luxuriant, throw some fresh rose petals all over your bed before turning in at night. The petals are super soft and the scent of rose helps to reduce anxiety, menstrual discomfort, headaches/migraines and even menopause-related symptoms.
Who said a man has to be in the bed with you when there are petals everywhere? When it comes to pampering and self-love, see that as merely a bonus. #wink
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Originally published on December 20, 2020