Peaceful dumplings are nurturing by nature (hello, vegan!)–but it is also important that we take care of ourselves. It is much easier to attend to others once your own needs are met–plus you deserve a break for all you do!
So put down the wrapping paper for a night and give yourself something to enjoy. Here are 7 ways to pamper yourself for free (or close to it).
1. Give yourself a mani/pedi. And I’m not talking about just lazily brushing on some polish. Go all out: Light some candles, and turn on soothing music. Soak your hands and feet in hot water. (I suggest adding lavender and olive oil). Push back your cuticles. Trim your nails and paint them nicely. A little pampering will make you feel calmer, more confident, and radiant.
2. Catch up on your favorite TV shows. Pop some popcorn and plop down on the couch for an hour (or a few) to get up-to-date. Sure, it may not be the most productive use of your time, but don’t you want to know what’s going on in the lives of your favorite character? Besides, “me time” does not have to fruitful. Sometimes getting out of our own world and into someone else’s is just what we need to chill out a little.
3. Bake (or cook) something. It’s the perfect time of year for it! Especially on a cold, winter night when you want something warm and comforting. So pull out your favorite cookbook or just create a recipe on your own–and spoil yourself with something delicious. Oh, and have fun decorating it as well! Nothing’s more fun than dressing up a gingerbread man or adding sprinkles to everything. Am I right?
4. Sleep. This is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Go to be a little earlier, sleep in a little later, or take a quick nap. Any of the three will have a positive impact on both your energy levels and overall health. Sleep is basically the ultimate form of relaxation.
5. Read something fun. When was the last time you read something for pleasure (rather than for school, work, etc?) Probably a while ago, right? I’ve found that many people simply don’t take the time to read things they’re actually interested in anymore. The current availability of books, articles, and magazines is greater than ever- so this should change! Head to the library, download an e-book, or even peruse some blogs. Just find something that will be fun and captivating for you.
6. Have a one-person dance party. Turn on some tunes and dance away. (Just be sure to close your blinds to avoid judgement from neighbors.) Dancing alone can be even more fun than dancing with other people. You get to be as crazy as you want without having to worry about what other people think. It’s a great way to become more comfortable with yourself. And you are sneaking in some physical activity. Yay, endorphins!
7. Organize your (room, closet, pantry, etc). I know that cleaning is not especially relaxing… But I included this because it will make you feel better once you are done. A neat and tidy living space is a treat. A cluttered, dirty one is not. Especially when you have a million other things to do and excess “stuff” is getting in the way (literally and figuratively). Organizing and maybe giving away some items will make your whole life a little less jumbled.
Photo: Mary Hood