It can be so tricky to find time for oneself. Daily responsibilities can bleed into late evening and before we know, it is time for bed. A trip to the spa might seem light years away when juggling work, life and young children. So how can we experience small, indulgent pleasures throughout our day? By building them in so they run on autopilot.
Here are four suggestions that require no extra work (once you own them) and then three more tips if you have a few extra seconds:
A comfortable pillow and mattress. I see a lot of bedrooms in my work, and it is surprising how many people sleep on old, uncomfortable pillows and mattresses in the midst of a beautifully decorated bedroom. This is a no-brainer. These items should be extremely supportive of our body types, and a top priority when budgeting for the bedroom. While this might mean buying something new now, once accomplished, it doesn’t require additional thought or action for many years. (We have this organic mattress and these organic pillows. More on our decision to buy an organic mattress soon).
Appropriate, updated undergarments. I’ve mentioned this before, and I really believe this impacts our day more than we might think. Have you ever worn an ill-fitting bra? It is the pits. It feels terrible all day long, and it doesn’t look so great either. Stretched out underwear is the same way. These things don’t have to cost a fortune, and it is worth the investment to buy the right item for our bodies and our clothes. Getting dressed each day will be more pleasurable, and the nagging annoyance of a stretched-out strap will be gone.
A favorite cup for coffee or tea. Most adults drink some sort of hot beverage in the morning. I use the same cup every day (I have two of them). They are fragile and certainly won’t last forever, but I am not saving them for another time. I am using them and enjoying them every single day. Might seem like an obvious idea, but after making this change, my clients always tell me how happy they are they did it.
A refreshing face wash. This is what I currently use in the morning, and it is like a mini trip to the spa. Making that 30 seconds more enjoyable is totally worth it.
And here are three tips if you find yourself with a few extra seconds:
Essential oils in the shower. Many mornings (or evenings), while the water is heating up, I put 8-10 drops of oil in the shower—usually lavender or eucalyptus. It makes the experience feel more special and indulgent.
Turn on some music. Frequently in the afternoon, my children and I have a dance party. We put on Pandora and shake our sillies out (Hello, Raffi). During dinner prep, I choose a different station that is more mellow and relaxing and leave it on for the rest of the evening (Hello, Miles). We also have favorite stations for weekend mornings. Using music to cue our daily and weekly rhythms has a surprising impact on the flow of our life.
Slather on a rich lip moisturizer. I feel like lips are often forgotten in evening routines, and they certainly age just like everything else. My latest favorite is Beautycounter’s peppermint lip balm. It is super moisturizing, even into the next morning (and non-toxic!).
None of these are novel ideas but I find extra reminders and encouragement can go a long way. How do you build in little comforts and bits of respite into your day?