During those ten days when Mr. Magpie was self-isolating and I was caring for the children in quarantine, I tried to treat myself to small slivers of self-care in the evenings, once the children were down. One night, this meant opening a nice bottle of wine, putting on a Christmas movie, and eating delivery Shake Shack, re-plated on our good china. Another night, this meant applying my favorite combination of face masks (Origins Rose Clay Mask on forehead/t-zone and Clarins V-Facial from cheeks down to neck), drawing a bubble bath, and doing absolutely nothing. I’d actually brought my Kindle and my devotional to the tub with me, but ended up permitting myself to just lay there and soak, doing nothing but enjoying the quiet and warmth. And still another, this meant re-watching Bridgerton while scrolling through Instagram and shopping on my phone. I usually follow the “One Screen at a Time Rule,” which is a helpful prophylactic measure to prevent myself from distractedly frittering away an evening while not actually consuming anything (how can you absorb anything with so much input?!), so it felt delicious and even slightly wrong to let myself tune in and out and aimlessly fall down Instagram rabbit holes. The point: permitting myself to be a little over-indulgent, relaxing my self-imposed rules, and letting myself sit and do absolutely nothing at all. Why do I feel the constant urge to be doing something, even while bathing? Like, can’t I just let my wind wander?
Nothing novel here, but I will say these tiny stretches of pampering helped me through that time, mainly by slowing the clock and giving me the rare luxury of time not designated for anything at all. I think there are even tinier ways to express self-love, like taking the time to set up your work station or meal prep station or even gift wrap station this holiday season so that it is calm and visually pleasing. This might mean clearing the area of clutter, lighting a candle, pouring a full carafe of water with lemon and cucumber in it, brewing some favorite tea, putting on holiday music, slipping into favorite slippers, dimming or brightening the lights, etc. The same goes for breakfast — why not plate your English muffin on your wedding china, or pour your morning coffee into a treasured mug? Why not launder your sheets in fancy detergent every now and then? Etc.
A few little finds to abet your next slice of pampering…
HILL HOUSE NAP DRESS — I HAVE SO MANY OF THESE ITS EMBARRASSING
WEIGHTED EYE MASK — WANT ONE OF THESE TO UPGRADE MY NEXT BATH
PORTABLE WATERPROOF SPEAKER — SO YOU CAN PLAY RELAXING MUSIC OR A PODCAST IN THE SHOWER/BATH
BEARABY WEIGHTED BLANKET — MY SISTER + BROTHER-IN-LAW ADORE THIS THING…MUCH CHICER THAN OTHER WEIGHTED BLANKETS I’VE SEEN
HAIR CLAWS I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT — PERFECT WHILE WASHING FACE, APPLYING MAKEUP, OR JUST PULLING HAIR OUT OF EYES!
5-MINUTE JOURNAL — CARVE OUT SOME QUIET TIME FOR GUIDED JOURNALING
T3 SHOWERHEAD — MULTIPLE SETTINGS AND A FILTER TO YIELD THE BEST HAIR WASH AND SHOWER YOU’VE EVER HAD
BILLIE RAZOR — I DON’T THINK THIS IS ANY DIFFERENT THAN GILLETTE, BUT A) IT’S CHEAPER, B) IT’S PRETTIER, AND C) IT’S EASIER BECAUSE THEY SHIP REPLACEMENT BLADES DIRECTLY TO YOUR DOOR
$23 HOUSE SLIPPERS — LIKE MINE, BUT LESS THAN 1/3 THE PRICE
PRETTY WATER CARAFE — A LOVELY REMINDER TO HYDRATE
GLASS MATCH CLOCHE — JUST MAKES LIGHTING A CANDLE (<<LOVE THIS NEW-TO-ME BRAND AND V IMPRESSED WITH THE QUALITY OF THE SCENT) THAT MUCH MORE SPECIAL
HORROR VACUI LIBERTY PRINT NIGHTGOWN — SPECTACULAR SPLURGE
BODY SCRUB WITH A CULT FOLLOWING — JUST ORDERED FOR MYSELF
MY LATEST LINGERIE ACQUISITION
AMOPE FOOT FILE — LEGIT THE BEST IF YOU HAVE VERY DRY FEET…PERFECT FOR AT-HOME PEDI! FOLLOW WITH ORIGINS FOOT CREAM
CASHMERE LOUNGE SET — *MOUTH WATERS*
GORGEOUSLY SCENTED DETERGENT — USE THIS FOR SHEETS AND TOWELS ONLY
MY FAVORITE SHAMPOO TO SPORADICALLY SPLURGE ON — OTHERWISE, I JUST STICK WITH PANTENE
These and even more ideas below…many of which I own and love. Many of these would also make great last-minute gifts!
P.S. Five face masks I love.
P.P.S. Beauty products I just can’t quit.
P.P.P.S. On self-care as a mother.
Leave A Reply
6 thoughts on “Pampering at Home.”
I love that you found time to care for yourself during a tough stretch of solo parenting. I’ve found myself in a spiral lately of being overloaded with work/grad school/house renovations/toddler parenting and then nearly exploding and putting myself in a self-imposed time-out — usually a much needed shower. I’m working to find little ways to rest and take care of myself throughout the day, especially ones that don’t cost money (see: grad school and house renovations) so these suggestions are great.
Oh, Tricia – I have so been there before. There have been some moments these last few weeks where I have needed to lock the door and take a breath by myself. It is SO MUCH. I agree that re-setting the system doesn’t always need to be something grandiose, expensive, or long (though a daylong spa session would be heaven). Sometimes it is something super small — a cup of tea, a pause, a walk around the neighborhood, even just going somewhere quiet in my house and saying a silent prayer. Hang in there!!! xx
I love all of your ideas, especially re: setting up a pleasing gift wrapping station. I love wrapping presents but spent a few hours crouched on the hardwood floor. Dimmed lights, a softer setting, and a lit candle would have done wonders!
A question for you: how do you balance this kind of intentional “me” time with time to connect with your husband? Those few precious hours following bedtime always seem to present a choice between doing something indulgent for myself versus reconnecting and catching up together. I’m curious if you have a specific routine around this, or experience this push/pull at all!
Hi Susie! First, I wrote the note about the gift wrapping station from similar experience. I often find that even when I am cooking in my large kitchen, I will be hunched over, contorting around a clutter of bowls and piles of peelings. Why?! I’ve been trying to be aware of moving the cutting board so it is convenient to me, not wedged into a corner, and clearing the trimmings so I don’t need to contend with them. It sounds so silly but I feel like preparing a neat, happy space makes the entire experience so much more fun.
Second – I so relate to your question. 90% of the time, I use my free time to hang with my husband. I had a SURFEIT of solo time the last two weeks because Mr. Magpie was isolating from us because he tested positive. I didn’t even know what to do with myself! Under normal conditions, I nearly always use my free time to hang out with my husband. He fills my cup and makes me feel better about…everything! That said, usually, on Sunday nights, he will watch football and I will do something by myself and that’s a lovely little square of solo time! I also tend to have our nanny stay an hour or two late once a week so I can sneak off and get a manicure, take a long shower and blow-dry my hair, etc, etc. Basically I steal some extra time for just myself by paying her to stay a bit later! It always feels like “found time” in that I’m not stealing from time I usually spend with my husband. Not sure if any of this helps but just to say — I totally get the query!
That all makes so much sense and I love the timing of Sunday night as a solo time to prepare the week in your own ways. On weeknights, reconnecting after being apart for the workday feels so necessary. My version of extending the nanny’s time is taking a personal day from work while still sending my daughter to daycare – a rare occurrence when no one needs me! Sounds like I might need to schedule one soon 🙂
So smart – yes! I’d do the same if I were you!