Doesn’t it feel like the weekdays are when you do the work, and the weekends are when you do the other work?
Will someone please explain to me how – in this modern world with every possible convenience, where products come to you almost before you think of them and services are available for everything from walking your dog to picking up your dry cleaning – how are we so. freaking. busy???
I can only theorize that, as communication and shopping and Italian cars and flights to Paris (minus the Concorde) have accelerated, we’ve sped up to keep pace.
Fortunately, I enjoy being active – irons in the fire, balls in the air, plates spinning on the sticks – and I get a little antsy-pantsy when I’m not working (or cooking or cleaning something), but still, when my knickers are in a knot and I forget to breathe in and out on a steady basis, it’s nice to slow down for just a minute and take a well-deserved break. Even Cinderella let the mice do the heavy lifting every now and then.
In case you’ve forgotten how, here’s a roadmap to a thoroughly pampered, indulgent, self-love day. You can do this solo or with your significant other, and best of all, I’m going to tell you how to do everything without breaking the bank.
But before we get down to the indulging part, let’s do a little advance preparation, shall we? After all, we want all this self-love to be guilt-free, right?
Get your chores and errands out of the way Saturday (or whatever day comes before your theoretical “day of rest”). Get a little grocery shopping done so you have food on hand; maybe even make a healthy pot of soup to make tomorrow’s dinner a no-brainer. Put some fresh sheets on the bed, spritzed with a little lavender linen spray. And finally, go to sleep in your favorite jammies so you wake up feeling like a goddess.
(By the way, the links in this post are my affiliate links – I may make a little commission but you don’t pay any more.)
1. Get Your Zzzzzz’s
Forget the alarm and wake up whenever you please, getting a good, solid 7 or 8 hours – or whatever you need to feel refreshed, but not so much that you’re in a fog all day.
2. Get an Easy, Healthy Start to Your Day
Start your day with a big glass of water (keep this up throughout the day to make it a super-hydration day) and a delicious, spa-worthy smoothie like this one. The pineapple is great for digestion, the coconut oil helps moisturize your skin from the inside out, and the turmeric fights inflammation.
Pineapple Turmeric Smoothie Servings: 1
½ c fresh or frozen pineapple
1 c almond milk
1 T coconut oil
½ t turmeric
2-3 ice cubes
Add a scoop of your favorite vanilla protein powder, if desired. Whip it up in the blender and enjoy while listening to your favorite music
3. Soul-Satisfying Exercise
Hopefully you’re making a little time for daily exercise, but make today special and take the time to do something you really enjoy. Find a trail or park for a nice long walk. Ride a bike – your own or a rental (just search the interwebs to see what’s available in your areas). Go to a yoga class, or if you don’t belong to a studio and don’t want to shell out the $25 or $30 bucks for a single class, check out the lululemon YouTube channel for dozens of free yoga classes for every level from beginner to pro, ranging from 20 – 60 minutes in length.
And remember, more water, please.
4. Take a So Much More than a Shower Shower
After exercising, make your shower a special experience. Start with gentle dry brushing, using a body brush and working in an upward and inward direction.
Get all slippery and polished with this delicious salt scrub before you shower, or make your own with a combination of coconut or olive oil, sea salt, and your choice of essential oils.
5. Have a Detox Salad for Lunch
Go to your favorite cafe – preferably one with outdoor seating, weather permitting. Or make your own. Here’s one of my favorites, from my book Creating the French Metabolism –
Delicious (Believe it or Not) Kale Salad
There are a lot of people who would tell you that the words “delicious” and “kale” do not belong in the same sentence. To those people I ask, “are you massaging your kale?”
Raw kale, chopped up and plopped in a bowl, is about as appealing as eating a toilet paper roll. Here’s the trick: drizzle a half tablespoon or so of olive oil over it, add a small pinch of sea salt, and massage it like it’s your best friend. It should be reduced in volume by about one-third and have a soft, chewable texture.
From here, you have options –
Add a sweet element – some pomegranate seeds, golden raisins, grapefruit sections, chopped apple, or dried cranberries.
Add a crunch element – some slivered almonds, walnut pieces or toasted pine nuts.
Add an ounce or two of crumbled feta.
Other great additions – diced avocado, slivers of red onion, Kalamata olives, cucumber.
Dress with a combination of lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and a pressed garlic clove. Toss and be amazed.
Enjoy this with more water, with a squeeze of lemon – great for cleansing the liver and gall bladder.
6. Get (or give yourself) a Facial
If you’ve never had a professional facial, you’re in for a treat. It’s so much more than a bunch of goo on your face, especially the facial massage that comes with it.
If a professional facial just isn’t in the cards right now, don’t worry. While you’ll miss out on the yummy massage, you can still do a great job of showing your skin some love.
Start with a good cleansing. Use your favorite cleanser and lukewarm water, and massage using circular upward motions. Rinse thoroughly.
Next, exfoliate. Use a gentle scrub, or make your own using sugar and coconut oil. Massage gently for 1-2 minutes, and rinse.
Now it’s time for some steam. Pour water just off the boil into a bowl, and add a few drops of lavender, rosemary, or other essential oil of your choosing, or even some fresh herbs. Drape a towel over your head and lean over the bowl, being careful not to get too close (it should feel warm and relaxing – not hot and burn-y). Enjoy this for about 10 minutes.
Apply a treatment mask. Use one suited to your skin type, or try a DIY recipe such as a hydrating mask made with half a ripe avocado, a teaspoon of plain yogurt, and a teaspoon of honey. Kick back and read a book or thumb through a magazine.
After about 15-20 minutes, remove the mask with a warm washcloth (if the dogs haven’t licked it off), and splash your face with cool water.
Apply a toner to balance your skin’s pH, and apply a good serum and moisturizer, or a bit of olive oil. This would also be a great time to use your jade roller, to get even deeper penetration of your moisturizer.
7. Get a Mani-Pedi
Even if you keep your own hands and feet maintained, I think everyone, man or woman, needs a proper mani-pedi every now and then to clean up the cuticles and prevent rough, dry skin. Plus you’ll get that little massage you may have missed with your DIY facial.
Most nail salons take walk-ins if you want to keep your day flexible, but I recommend scheduling an appointment to get the most out of your day.
8. Enjoy a Light, Healthy Dinner
If your advance preparation included making a delicious pot of soup, you’re all set. Otherwise, pan sear a nice piece of salmon or tuna (salt, pepper, cast iron skillet, boom) and make a little sauteed broccoli or other veggie. 15 minutes to prepare, and goes great with a nice glass of fermented grape juice (also known as wine).
9. Read a Book, or Engage in some Olympic Binge-watching
Spend the remainder of your day being purposefully lazy. Put on some comfy clothes and cozy socks, make a cup of tea, and pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read, or treat yourself to a season or three of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Crown, or some of the Netflix Original movies you’ve missed.
Waddle off to bed, thoroughly renewed inside and out. Breathing steady. Knickers un-knotted.
Hopefully you relaxed a little just reading this – imagine how you’ll feel when you actually do it!
To your health and happiness!