"Self-pampering" simply means treating the self with a little bit of extra consideration and care. The results benefit--not only ourselves--but those around us. When we move from a place of stress and tension to greater serenity, we are happier and more at peace. At the same time, we are able to be more loving and present for those around us. Here are 5 of my Favorite Forms of Self-pampering:
1. Classic Movies: Old, sentimental movies are a lovely way to release the mind to gentler pastures. My favorite is To Kill a Mockingbird. Other comforting classics include: How Green Was My Valley, The Wizard of Oz, All This, and Heaven Too, and Great Expectations. Add a soft blanket, willing lap cat or dog, and cup of calming herbal tea, for extra touch of self-coddling. A square or two of chocolate doesn't hurt, either.
2. Bath, Book and Essential oils: Essential oils are a wonderful bath accessory. This delightful combination soothes tired muscles and invigorates the senses with aromatic, healing energy. The addition of a great book equals an inexpensive escapade that restores the body while indulging the intellect and imagination.
3. Detoxification Diet: If you want to buckle down and tackle a "tough-love" form of self-pampering, try a purification diet. Type-A personalities take note. Cleanse your system by adopting a sugar-free, caffeine-free, alcohol-free, additives and preservatives-free diet for a couple of weeks. Focus on clean, all-natural foods and the result is likely to be self-pampering at its best: a slimmer body and calmer spirit.
4. Comfort Food: On the other end of the spectrum from detoxification diets exists comfort food (different strokes for different folks). If you're not overly keen to give up coffee and sugar, comfort food might prove a suitable pampering agent. In Canada, Poutine (French fries topped with cheese curd and gravy) is a favorite comfort food. In the United States, comfort food can be mean anything from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to chicken noodle soup. In England, we might very well be talking about pudding or stew.
5. Meditation: Meditation is now a commonly accepted healing modality, advised by Buddhist monks and Western doctors, alike. Key benefits include: improved sleep, deepened powers of concentration (meditation is often taught to children with Attention Deficit Disorder Syndrome), increased feelings of equanimity and calm, and a greater compassion for all living beings. One simple, yet powerful technique consists of closing your eyes and watching your breath "with awareness." Inhale and exhale gently and naturally, focusing your mind's attention purely on these breaths. Meditation can occur anytime and anywhere, making it an effortlessly easy to transport form of self-pampering.
Do you have any favorite "self-pampering" activities? We know that you do, and would love to know about them.
Happy Spring to all of you!