“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you,” said American novelist Anne Lamott.
And isn’t it true, though?
Restart a frozen phone, and it should work alright. Router not working properly? Unplug it for a few minutes, plug it in, then try again. When a web page or app is not loading, almost always, you can close and reload it, and the problem would go away. And if you’re feeling burned out and just a tad overwhelmed, stop and unplug by indulging in a bit of self-care.
It doesn’t matter what you do on your self-care break. You can go break out your facial treatment equipment or eat something you’ve been denying yourself. Or you can lounge around all day, consciously doing and accomplishing nothing. Your business is important, but your clients can wait. You’re the boss and what you do is up to you.
Unplug the way that seems best to you. It’s not the how but the what that matters. What’s vital is that you do it. But if you need a bit of inspiration and a nudge, you can try any of the following five activities on your designated self-pampering day.
It was David Mitchell who said it. “Books don’t offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.” And he’s right. Books let your mind wander free, unbounded by your physical and circumstantial fetters.
Through a book, follow the foibles of the protagonist. Watch him make mistakes, commiserate with him when he feels down, laugh out loud with him in his glee, and even judge him about the decisions and choices he makes. It’s not about you. And even though you could feel involved, engaged, and committed, you would still only be a mere spectator in the end. And that could be powerfully liberating.
How about picking up a book that paints a pretty picture of faraway and fantastical places? Then you could really go out of this world, your world.
A book is an escape indeed. It lets you forget yourself and your own troubles during those hours you’re engrossed in its pages.
For those who prefer something a lot more physically demanding than curling up on the couch with a good book, perhaps a bit (or a lot) of exercise may be just the thing.
Warm up, stretch, and jog. Or do some yoga or Pilates. Visit the gym for some resistance, strength, and cardio training. You can also do laps or even water acrobatics in the pool.
Do the exercise you want to do at the pace you want to do it. That’s the whole point of indulging. You do what seems best to you.
Just a little reminder, however. If it has been a while, say, months or even years, since your last bit of physical exercise, you cannot suddenly go on an hour of high-intensity interval training. That would be overdoing it. Even running for thirty minutes straight could be pushing it.
It’s crucial that you gradually build up to your desired activity level. Start with 15 minutes of light exercise. Do just this for a week, then slowly increase the duration and intensity of your workouts. Otherwise, you would be risking an accident, and lying on a hospital bed on enforced rest is probably not your idea of indulgence.
- Get a Facial Treatment
There’s probably nothing as indulgent as facial treatment, so this is one you should try if you’re even a bit inclined. Visit a reputable aesthetic skin care treatment clinic for some facial therapy.
You can try the latest HydraCool Plus facial. The first step involves deep cleansing and infusing skin with nutrients and hydration. The second step uses vibration, red LED light, and CO2 microdermabrasion to exfoliate dead skin cells, increase the skin’s oxygen content, and rejuvenate and brighten skin.
The HydraCool Plus skin management system can also provide radiofrequency energy treatment to encourage collagen production and ultrasound energy treatment to moisturize and improve skin texture. But your doctor might prescribe them for another day.
If you want some skin-lifting treatment, how about some Ultherapy? This is an FDA-approved procedure clinically proven to lift the skin on the chin, brow, and neck and improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles on the chest.
Alternatively, you can get professional peeling done. Depending on the products used and your skincare clinic’s expertise, you may not even have to experience any downtime.
If your clinic offers these treatments, then why not be the customer for a change on your self-care day?
- Get a Massage and a Body Scrub
Imagine lying prone on your back or your stomach and being buffed and scrubbed. Or, you could be wrapped in seaweed or covered in a delicious-smelling concoction, vegetating and thinking about and doing absolutely nothing.
It’s the ultimate in relaxation. Yes, you can do some wraps and self-exfoliation at home. But wouldn’t it be nice not to expend all that effort trying to reach all those inaccessible places?
After a round or two of wraps and scrubs, what could be better than a full-body massage? Imagine all those deep, hard knots finally getting untangled and the tension flowing away like so much water from your body. Just thinking about it is probably making you smile and sigh contentedly already.
There’s Swedish, shiatsu, deep tissue, hot stone, aromatherapy, reflexology, Thai, plus many other types of massages. So, pick what you want.
- Soak in the Tub
When did you last have an hour to spend just soaking in the tub? On “pamper yourself a day,” this is definitely a must-try. It won’t take too much effort, and it shouldn’t cost you anything, too.
Fill the tub, pour some bubble bath in it (or not), and put on some relaxing music or a movie you’ve been dying to watch. Or, you can bring that book from activity one above. Pour yourself a glass of wine, perhaps with some cheese slices on the side, slide into the bath, and stay.
Stay for a long time. Don’t mind it if your fingers and toes start getting wrinkly. Add some more hot water if the bathwater starts becoming chilly. Just stay there and relax. Now, that’s indulgence.
The Value of Self-Care
Just like you’ve been told, work-life balance is essential. And just like you need to give time to your beloved spouse and children, give yourself the same consideration.
So, go on. Feel free to unplug from your hectic life and indulge in some self-care. Even better, mark it up on your calendar. Schedule it, so you won’t ever forget to do it.