Not sure if any of you are Downton Abbey fans but pictured above is Miss Mary and her "lady's maid". A lady's maid would bring you breakfast in your room, draw your bath, comb and style your hair and assist you in dressing. She would mend and alter your clothing and remove stains as needed. She would delicately pack and unpack your belongings for travel. She would take care of any personal needs you might have in a tender and respectful manner.
Not sure about you but that seems a far stretch from what many of us experience. In most cases we fix everyone's breakfast, pack lunches, wash everyone's clothes, grocery shop, clean the home and in some cases work a full time job as well. Those with pre-schoolers change diapers, wipe up puke, sooth hurt feelings, get up during the night etc. etc. etc. I am sure I could easily list a hundred duties undertaken by most American women. Many are repetitive, some are menial and few are downright disgusting but we do them for those we love.
It is easy when giving all of this service to neglect ourselves. We attempt do an admirable job of e nurturing those we love but often neglect doing the same for ourselves.
Have you ever missed your daily shower? Been embarrassed to run into someone you know when out running errands in dirty or stained exercise clothes? Noticed in the afternoon you haven't even brushed your teeth? Skipped a meal or two and finished off what a child left on their plate or grabbed some processed food you don't even like just because you are too much of a hurry to fix yourself a healthy meal? Think about it. What if your best friend came to stay in your home for a long weekend and you were required to treat her in the most neglectful way you have treated yourself this month? Would she be aghast?
I know this seems like a weird "Healthy Living challenge" but my challenge for this next week is this. Honor yourself. Many of us have sunk into unhealthy and neglectful habits because in offering our best to others we have failed to value and honor ourselves.
For every day (yes including Sunday) that you do something to honor and cherish yourself you earn the daily 5 bonus points for a total of 35 possible points. Here are some ideas but feel free to enlist and carry out ideas of your own- I'd love it if you share them in the comment section
1. Pamper your fingers or toes. Give yourself a fresh manicure or pedicure including a pop of polish or go to the salon for a professional one.
2. Pamper your teeth. Brush, floss and whiten your teeth and/or make an appointment for a professional cleaning if you are due.
3. Pamper your hair. Freshen your color or get a trim. Or buy a new deep conditioner and give your hair a special treatment. Skip a day of hair pushed into a pony tail and style your hair even if you aren't going anywhere special
4. Pamper your legs. Exfoliate, thoroughly shave and then lather with luxurious lotion.
5. Pamper your face. Apply a facial mask, use a clarisonic for a deep scrub, or treat yourself to a new moisturizer. Or have a professional facial.
6. Pamper your brows- take your time plucking and shaping or have them done professionally.
7. Pamper with make-up- Throw away outdated products. Treat yourself to a new mascara or shade of lip gloss. Start with clean skin and add some make up when you aren't even going anywhere.
8. Pamper with wardrobe-Instead of schlepping around all day in your most comfortable (but often stained, stretched out or ugly) work out clothes put on something cute. Wear something that makes your heart sing. Dress so cute that your family asks you if you are going somewhere. (And seriously think about throwing away clothes that are stretched out, stained or ugly. You deserve to wear something pretty even when you aren't going anywhere)
9. Pamper with massage. A professional one would be dreamy but you can earn 5 points by talking a family member into a back rub or foot massage. Minimum 5 minutes- you deserve it!
10. Pamper with food. It doesn't have to be high calorie or decadent. Slice a piece of fruit and put it in a beautiful dish and eat it with your prettiest fork. Prepare a glass of tea and put it in a lovely cup with a lemon wedge. Prepare your lunch with a bit of garnish and flair on a pretty plate with a cloth napkin. Treat yourself like company.