Monday, January 7, 2013

Pampering Yourself On A Budget

The Big Girl Chronicles:  The Big Girl’s Guide to Pampering Yourself On A Budget

You hosted that fabulous Christmas dinner, managed to shop for all the Christmas presents and get them wrapped without shattering the illusion of Santa Claus for the children, sit through the “unwrapping” ceremony, tolerate loud screams and chatter from happy kids in addition to clamor from mechanical toys that seem nothing more than nerve-wrecking noisemakers, tackle all the clean-up and still pull off that New Year’s celebration.  Whew!  You are some kind of “superbeing” running on sheer adrenaline!  But now that the holiday season has ended, it’s time for you to de-stress and subject yourself to the cruel and unusual punishment of pampered princess relaxation.  “But with what?” you ask.  All the cash has been shelled out on presents and parties.  Pulling it all together isn’t as expensive as you’d imagine.  You can have spa quality for little of nothing.

What you want to do first is raid your gifts.  Some of those things you got that you politely imagined tossing or regifting as soon as the guests are gone could prove helpful after all.  Cheap house socks?  Perfect for helping to keep those little piggys moisturized.  More sets of towels?  Make them your special set for a relaxing facial.  Go ahead.  Take a second look.  It’ll almost be like unwrapping gifts all over again.

Once you’ve sorted through your stash, you’ll want to decide what you’ll need to create a relaxing environment.  I suggest some soothing music and candles that are always a surefire mood enhancer.  Whether it’s jazz or old school soul, R&B, classical or instrumental, make a selection that will mellow the milieu.  Create a playlist and plug in the mp3 to set the mood to music.  Also gather together some candles and arrange them throughout the area you plan to occupy the remainder of the night to subtly add to the ambience and allow yourself to begin to unwind.  If you don’t have any of these items already on standby, make a dash to your local dollar store or general store that usually has a stock of instrumental, classical or themed music along with candles that are cost friendly.  Use those gift cards.

Now that you have created a visually relaxing environment and added soothing tones to lull you, you’ll want to further calm your senses by engaging in something physically relaxing.  Draw a nice, hot bath.  Add a small amount of baby oil to help moisturize your skin and lightly perfume the water.  Think bubbles would make the perfect touch, but don’t have the bubble bath.  Use some dishwashing detergent to make suds.  Nobody has to know.  Submerge, lay back and allow this peaceful soak to permeate your senses.   

Just because the bathwater has cooled and the suds are gone doesn’t stop your moment.  Follow through with your routine and give yourself a pressure point and deep tissue massage as you moisturize.  Remember those house socks?  Great to relax in and retain moisture as you continue to melt the stress away.   Clothe yourself in your favorite snuggles and complete your evening.  For a finale, fix a nice warm cup of tea, or wine if you prefer, and give yourself a mini home mani and pedi.  Finish off your evening continuing to enjoy soothing music, reading material or a favorite movie. 

Ahhh... Doesn’t that feel so much better?  What stressful holidays?  Now get a good night’s sleep and awaken refreshed and rejuvenated.  You have to go back to work!

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