I am always surprised at how much a face masks costs. The price is easier for me to handle when there are multiple masks all in a tube, but I struggle with knowing just how much money I have to surrender for me to rub some fancy goo on my face when it comes to the single-use packs. I’m not 100% sure of how much they accomplish for my skin, but I love them anyways. I enjoy getting to devote time, even if it is only 15-20 minutes, to an activity that is designed solely to relax and refresh myself. Something as simple as a face mask can be an agent for mind-body connection and alignment.
Self-care, particularly in the context of beauty, is something that I have only started to pay attention to within the last couple of years. My love of lotion, bath bombs, and perfumes (aka smell goods in my vocabulary) is relatively new. I remember telling my dad around Christmas time last year that I wanted products such as these and that I had no idea where my desire for them came from all of a sudden. His reply was simple. He said something along the lines of, “It only makes sense. You are stressed, and these are all things designed for release and relaxation.”
It seems to me that there are two different bandwagons in western culture today in regards to self-care and self-pampering. On one hand, the phrase “Treat yourself” , or rather, “Treat yo’self”, has risen to be sufficient justification for indulgence. Companies have quickly caught on and fueled the fire, as the phrase is studded across advertisements. On the other hand, the denial of self-care is still portrayed as an act of strength. I must be stronger if I can survive without succumbing to my desire for softer skin or tastier food right? Some people would probably say yes, but I disagree. There is a time and place for saving money and calories (just to name a few examples), but that’s not always the case. Surviving is not the same as thriving. Self-denial and willpower are not absolute goods. I used to catch myself thinking that highly stressed people must be the most successful because of how incredibly important they must also be. I am starting to try to think instead that the most successful people are those that care for themselves in a way that they are able to weather the storm and maintain balance.
The way you care for yourself sets an example for others on how to treat you. As a kid, the golden rule is drilled into your mind: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Wouldn’t it be great if the opposite were also true and we treated ourselves the way we want others to treat us? I encourage you to find what self-care means to you and what it looks like in your life. For me, it means taking a chunk of time on a Sunday night or Saturday morning to clean my face, paint my nails, put on lotion, and most of all, strip away stress to set myself up for the week to come. So, bake some cookies; Go on a run; Buy the new favorite seasonal candle; Get that new book you’ve been wanting to read. Go treat yo’self.