I have a policy: On Sundays, I don't allow myself to come within five hundred yards of the computer; the phone goes on voice mail; and the cell phone gets to snooze in my purse all day.
It works fine because, fortunately, there's no danger of missing out on business calls or office work on Sundays. My friends know how I am about Sundays, and they respect my need for solitude. This soothing Sunday routine means a lot to me. It's officially Me Day, and it's wonderful to enjoy fifty-two such days a year -- days in which I can be as lazy or as active as I want to be.
Give Yourself a Me-Day
Give yourself a Me-Day. I promise you'll emerge from it feeling your nurturing best. Even if you don't consciously set out to pamper yourself, a Me Day can be made special just by reveling in the restorative power of solitude. Do something as "wasteful" as staying in bed all day with a trashy novel, or as "sinful" as spending the day watching television with lots of chocolate, ice cream, and popcorn. As long as it makes you feel good, do exactly as you please.
Here's one of the many ways to orchestrate your Me Day: The night before, try to get to sleep early -- 10:00 p.m. at the latest -- so that you'll wake up feeling rested and ready to greet the morning light. As you open your eves, revel in the thought that a brand-new gift of a day awaits you -- ready to be unwrapped layer by beautiful layer. Step out on your terrace, patio, or balcony and feel the early sunshine and the fresh morning air on your face.
Do plan some healing activities for the day, but don't pressure yourself to fulfill them. The idea is to relax in the true sense of the word. Have a luxurious soak in the bathtub, cook a light meal. Take an afternoon nap, enjoy your tea out in the deck or in your favorite nook at home -- and in the evening, take some time to plan breakfast and set out your clothes for the next morning.
My Idea of a Perfect Self-Nurturing Day Is...
This is just one of the many healing ways to script your day. Think of the things you would most like to do today. If you're not sure, try completing this sentence: "My idea of a perfect self-nurturing day is..."
I'm sure this enjoyable exercise will uncork your imagination! Here are some more Me Day ideas for you to pick from:
- Spend an afternoon in a park. Watch ducks floating in the pond and cuddly dogs trotting alongside their masters: feel the gentle ripple of the breeze in your hair; see the sunshine filtering through leaves. If the mood hits you, whoosh down a slide or enjoy a swing, write a poem under a shady tree, or lie down on a bench and dream.
- Go for a walk by yourself at the beach. If you live near the ocean, do it just to connect with the water and rub your feet in the sand; it's a wonderfully natural way to rid your feet of calluses and heal your mind.
- Check into a hotel or spa for the day. Pamper yourself with a rejuvenating treatment. Or just lie in the comfort of your hotel bed, enjoying the temporary disconnection from your routine surroundings. You'll return home glowing.
- Devote the day to making your home a warmer, happier place. Take another look at your kitchen, your bath, your cozy bay window. Look at these places not with a critical eye ("Shush! That stain needs to go!") but with a loving one. Ask, "How can I make this corner feel warmer and more fun: How can I add an uplifting touch to that spot?" Here are some suggestions:
If you love working in the kitchen and enjoy music, too, create a little musical corner in the kitchen. A small cassette player and a collection of your favorite songs is all it takes, but it will keep you humming while you cook.
If you like to relax on your loveseat or chaise lounge in the bedroom, surround it with comforting objects that please your mind: a basket filled with your favorite books, a bowl of smooth river pebbles for you to run your fingers over, a cuddly stuffed toy, seashells or photographs from a favorite trip.
If, like me, you like low dramatic lighting, buy a lovely little lamp and place it in your favorite corner for relaxing. The warm pool of light will soothe your eyes and lure you to relax under its glow.
Place a bowl of water beside your favorite lounging chair, and float some fresh rose petals and a few drops of rose essential oil in it for a soothing effect.
Tuck a rolling pin under your bed; just before climbing between the sheets, roll your feet gently along the pin for a mini-massage. Or keep a rolling pin or a foot-roller in your office drawer to use at work.
If you love to relax in the tub -- and who doesn't? -- treat yourself to the after-bath luxury of a warm towel. It's easy; all you have to do is install a warming bar in the bathroom.
These little touches -- the lamp, the rolling pin, the warming bar -- are not expensive or exclusive in themselves. What makes them special is the thoughtfulness you showed yourself in putting them there.
- Pamper yourself beautiful. The closest, most intimate space we inhabit is our body. Soothing your skin with the textures and scents it loves is the quickest way to send happy messages surging through your entire being.
Does your lingerie drawer feel a need for silkier, softer, fresher garments? If so, today's the day! Head for the store, bypass the "discount" sections, and buy yourself some stylish comfortable lingerie. You'll feel beautiful.
Is your bathtub surrounded by lotions and potions that will make you feel feminine? If not, why not? Tour a bath-and-body shop, testing out fragrances and creams. Even if you cannot afford the big bottles, buy a few sachets or trial-sized pots to place around your tub. Make bathing a luxurious experience by giving yourself a bath massage glove, a long-handled brush, aromatic candles, a loofah, salt scrubs, and a special pillow to rest your head on while bathing. None of these are very expensive, yet they can make you feel like a princess.
If you've been feeling dull lately, buy yourself a new dress, a new scarf, or a new pair of shoes. Or get a new haircut; it symbolizes shedding the old in favor of the new and exciting.
You Deserve It!
Now you can see that there are dozens of ways to enjoy a day in your own company. But a Me Day is only fun when you spend it without telling yourself you're "stealing" or "grabbing" time.
This day, this opportunity to heal and refresh, is yours by right. You deserve every second of that indulgence. And remember: You're doing it so you can make other people happy, too!
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
New World Library. ©2004. www.newworldlibrary.com
Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's Book of Comfort
by Shubhra Krishan.
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About the Author
Shubhra Krishan was a news correspondent for India's biggest network and an editor at Cosmopolitan (India) before moving to the United States with her family. Her articles have appeared in many national magazines. Shubhra works in the marketing department of Maharishi Ayurveda, a company in Colorado Springs that produces and markets ayurvedic products, including their popular Raja’s Cup (a coffee substitute).