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Indulge Yourself

by Alisa Ikeda | 0 Comments

You're the chief, cook, and bottle washer of your household, not to mention resident caregiver, referee, and counselor. You're Mom. You tend to the needs of your children and husband and still manage to cater to those of your boss and friends and family. But who's doting on you?

Replenish your weary self with these simple, affordable indulgences today and every day:

- Use the timer on your coffeemaker so you can wake up and smell the freshly brewed coffee.

- Bring flowers into the house. A single rose on your nightstand, a gerbera daisy on your bathroom counter, or a gathering of wildflowers on the kitchen table will brighten your day.

- Think of your favorite color. Wear it. Paint a wall with it.

- Add ritual to your days. Start each morning with a slowly steeped cup of tea (chamomile calms; peppermint energizes) in a beautiful cup and saucer with a cookie or biscuit. Sip and eat slowly. Or start each evening with a glass of wine or sparkling cider and a few crackers, pieces of cheese, and apples or grapes. Prepare them purposefully, and savor each flavor and texture.

- Nourish a hobby that's all your own. If you like to read, join or start a reading group. If you want to try your hand at knitting, sign up for a local class.

- Order up yourself a magazine subscription-one that has nothing to do with your work or your family and everything to do with you and your individual interests. Then be sure to give yourself the time to read it cover to cover before the following issue arrives.

- Fill a pitcher of "spa" water with apple slices, cucumbers, lemons, or oranges. Your eight glasses a day will be much more palatable!

- Take a walk, practice yoga, dance, or swim-do anything that makes your heart soar.

- Get a new hairstyle or color. Browse through magazines, clip photos of various coifs you like, and bring them to your local stylist.

- Have your eyebrows waxed for an instant "facelift."

- Enjoy lunch with a good friend.

- Tuck away your spare change. When it adds up, treat yourself to something you've been eyeing at the mall, a faster Internet connection, a weekend getaway-any little something your heart desires.

- Create a sanctuary. Find an inviting space in your home-a bathroom, a corner of the bedroom, a breakfast nook, a side table and chair in the living room-and claim it. Make it beautiful and personal, and escape there whenever you can. Consider adding a basket of books or magazines, a candle, and a cd player with a stack of your favorite music.

- Take a cue from your cat and soak up the sunlight. Lounge outdoors or even just on an indoor spot of sun-splashed carpet.

- Go see a movie all by yourself. Order popcorn and Junior Mints. Laugh, cry, and eat.

- Fly a kite. Walk in the rain. Build a snowman. Splash in a pool. Do something carefree and childlike, and do it outdoors.

- Light an aromatherapy candle or burn incense. Try lemongrass for a pick-me-up or lavender for a settle-me-down.

- Meditate. You needn't sit in the lotus position or chant; just quiet your mind during any activity that feels peaceful, restorative, or rhythmic-or revel in no activity at all.

- Order dinner in. Don't forget dessert. Consider eating it first.

- Bathe in a tub of floating rose petals (one rose is ample) or gardenias.

- Give yourself a pedicure (you needn't wait until sandal season!). Soak your tootsies in warm water (a drop of two of peppermint oil is invigorating), remove rough skin with a pumice stone or exfoliating cream, moisturize with a thick pomade, and trim nails. Then paint your toenails with a fun and flirty color.

- Melt chocolate (it's simple and fast in the microwave) and dip strawberries or graham crackers.

- Hand write a letter or journal entry. Use a beautiful pen.

- Look for the moon each and every night.

Alisa Ikeda is a writer and editor in Marin County, California, with a B.A. in sociology and a background in book publishing.
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