Is self care indulgent or a necessity?

The other day I was lying in the treatment room of my favourite beauty salon, being spoilt by my favourite therapist. Whilst I was being pampered and massaged, I dared myself to imagine how amazing it would be if I could indulge in this more often. I felt relaxed, calm and my thoughts wandered into happy, content places. And then asked myself the inevitable questions: Why am I not allowing myself to have such treats on a regular basis? Surely, anything that has such positive effects on the body and mind should be prescribed to the self more often?

It occured to me that, whilst I thoroughly loved events of self care, the route to them is not often as enjoyable and straightforward. Before such events I usually battle with self doubt (“Can I afford this?”), stress (“I don’t really have time!”) and guilt (“I should be spending time with the kids/doing stuff for the kids!”). As my make-up was taken off in gentle motions, I thought how rushed and thoughtless I rubbed it off my face every night with a baby wipe. I don’t have the time, I don’t have the patience. Nevertheless, I had to admit that I would take a lot more care if I was taking someone else’s make up off. So why not my own? What is it with our inability to do nice things for ourselves or do simple things in a nice way? It may start with taking off make up with more care but, really, this is not about the make up at all. This is about self care on a much bigger scale. For example: I am the first one to spend the last of my time and money on my loved ones, spoiling them with whatever they need and want. On the contrary, I find it incredibly difficult to do the same for me. I’ve always found it easier to put other people first, even when, deep down, I begrudged it some or a lot of some of the time. Now I have kids and naturally their needs always come before mine, and needless to mention, without any begrudging. However, during moments when I am enjoying the luxury of what it could be like when I am allowing myself some treats, I realise how nice it would be if I could make self care a more regular thing. Especially since, let’s be honest, self-care doesn’t have to be expensive and luxurious for it to be effective and valuable to us. Caring for yourself does not mean to splurge money, but time and activities that do you good. Imagine splashing the cash every day onto yourself. You’d soon either be broke or anxious about how to afford all those treats that cost money. And in any case, isn’t this also what we try and teach our children: that it’s not about the money but time. Whilst I am no big fan of marketing campaigns that try and lure us and our credit cards into spending more, I will be working on taking some of their slogans more seriously: Because I am worth it, I will treat myself. It starts with me and myself. Because I am as important as the next person, so I bloody well deserve it! Tonight I will take off my make up more gently. With a cleanser. Not a baby wipe.

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