Pampering oneself is a form of self-care. It involves taking care of one’s physical, emotional, and mental health by doing things to decrease stress, live healthier, and achieve inner and outer peace. While in some instances pampering may be related to excessive self-indulgence, for most people it simply means taking some down time to relax and treating oneself well. Unless self-indulgence is abused at the expense of others, the act is not selfish by any means, as caring for ourselves ultimately enables to care for others and be more joyful in how we present ourselves and share our gifts with the world. Here are three examples of self-pampering.
1) A warm bath – Drawing a warm bath with your favorite bath bomb can be the perfect antidote to a stressful day. Warm baths are known to ease physical tension, relaxing muscles of the body and making people feel happier. Per Healthline, many ancient cultures understand the healing effects of water. For example, the Japanese practice of engaging in public baths known as “sento” is not only a way of cleansing the body, but it helps to cleanse the mind. The culture also embraces “onsens,” or natural hot springs, and “furos,” which are private heated baths. Each of these healing waters is considered a way to purify the body. Healthline describes the numerous benefits of a warm bath; from improving breathing by increasing lung capacity and oxygen intake to lowering blood pressure and even the risk of heart attack. Healthline cites “an eye-opening study” where findings demonstrate that an hour-long hot bath burned as many calories as a 30-minute walk, mainly because warmer water increases heart rhythm. The findings also point to positive anti-inflammatory and blood sugar responses that can protect against infection and illness. So, take the time to indulge.
2) Playing with a puppy or kitten – Animals play huge roles in boosting our mental health. The act of playing with pets can cause the body to produce serotonin and dopamine which can help offset depression and anxiety. Playing with pets may be considered self-pampering because it involves taking time away from busy schedules to carve out time for enjoyment. And, in some countries, like Japan, animal cafés have risen in popularity. Not only can customers enjoy a tasty drink, but they can also play with adorable animals. Walking and playing with pets has terrific health benefits. These activities can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Per the CDC, pets can even help manage loneliness and depression by providing companionship. So, a trip to an animal café might be the perfect indulgence.
3) Cozying up with a book by the fireside – This form of self-pampering shows that not all forms must be expensive, such as going to an exclusive spa. Staying home to read a book in a cozy space of your home can be just as calming and relaxing, if not more so. WebMD explains that normal everyday activities, such as sitting in traffic or waiting in line at the grocery store, can be stressful. Or, dealing with work deadlines or a difficult relationship can get folks down. And, in the presence of COVID-19, anxiety and depression are heightened. While a little bit of stress is acceptable and keeps us on our toes, too much isn’t good for us. For many people, reading is relaxing and can help us take our mind off our own problems. Per readingpartners.org, reading books, particularly fiction, engages the mind and imagination. They point out a study conducted by the University of Sussex which demonstrated that individuals who had read for merely six minutes exhibited slower heart rates, less muscle tension, and reduced stress levels.
Each of us has our own idea of what type of pampering is best. For some people, it may be getting pampered at the salon, and for others it may be fishing on a pristine lake, which at times can feel meditative. There is no right or wrong in how we pamper ourselves. It’s just important that we do it from time to time so that we can spark our inner joy, feel stronger physically mentally, and spiritually, and present and offer the very best of ourselves to the world.