Now I know, the phrase self-care has been batted around more often lately as everyone tries to cope with an unusually high stress level. While I am the first to admit that my destressing calming Face Mask time has increased as of late and all of the candles featuring calming scents are rapidly being burned away, this is slightly different.
Despite the lack of the gym, I am trying to still get as much exercise as possible. While some is done in the house with the yoga mat, a lot of my exercise time is outside these days. Not as much as I like because of the recent rains, but it is April and I have to admit, March and April are always pretty wet months where I live. And truthfully if they aren’t then in the fall we run the risk of wildfires, so even if I chafe at them now, there is a point to them.
It does mean that on the days I can go to the walking trail without needing the use of waders, I spend a little extra time outside. While the temperatures are still cool, the sun is bright and the air is fresh. When fish aren’t raining down from the sky at least. While the fresh air is fine, the sun is what gets me.
In the summer when it is hot enough to melt your bones, sunscreen is easy to remember. It is not so easy to remember now. I’m starting the spf layers though and advise you to to the same.
The difficulty is that I usually ease myself into spending more time outside than I do in the winter. In the winter I stay in doors and I use the gym. Then the rains come and go. Once I’m reasonably sure the rains are ended, I start shifting to walking outside. Usually this is the last of the frosts so I can start planting the seedlings out as well so garden time increases. As the heat increases, the walks become either earlier or later in the day to avoid the harshest of the burning sun. Then I reverse the process in the autumn.
There was no slow edging into outside time this year. And while my seedlings are still crowding my little bookshelf sized greenhouse with occasional forays out into the sun for hardening, I am finding little garden chores to do outside so I can spend just a little more time outside of the house. Add to this the increased (and lengthy) handwashings and much of my skin has taken a bit of a beating as of late.
This, in case you are wondering, is where the little extra care comes in. This is the time to treat yourself to that fancy container of hand cream you have stashed away while you use up the larger more everyday tub. I have a tendency to put the nicer, more expensive, stuff away for later and take it out when I am going out and want to feel special. Then I use the more everyday stuff (which is still pretty good, just not as good as the one I’ve held in reserve.)
This is the time for the reserve.
This is the time to use that special occasion hand cream, body lotion, hair mask, shampoo and body scrub that you hold back using on the regular (if you are anything like me). I’m not advocating that you go out and buy a whole bunch of super expensive ‘fancy’ (as my babydoll would say) things you wouldn’t normally buy. I’m just saying that now is the time to take some of the reserve out of the closet. Use that hair mask that makes your hair shine, maybe even dab on a bit of the scent you only wear to special dinners out (even if dinner is a less than glamorous affair).
But especially take care of your skin.
Firstly, because you deserve the pampering, I know you do. Secondly, because your skin might need the little extra tlc right now. Using some of your reserve products might make you a little more conscious of how much lotion your poor over washed hands really need right now. That anti-bacterial soap may kill a bunch of germs but paired with hand sanitizer it does a doozie of a number on your skin and dry cracked skin is not what you need right now.
Protect the skin barrier so it can protect you.
Third, because stashing those products away right now does no one any good, but might help you out. Seriously, it might be helpful. Personally I am very scent oriented. Applying products that carry the scent I normally associate with special times can help make even a normal day feel special. It’s less aromatherapy and more aroma trickery.
But it is trickery for a good cause.
A little mental pick me up when monotony and stress get you down.
You may have noticed that along side my tube of lux hand cream in the above photo, there is my hydrating lip balm and lip scrub. When I apply sunscreen, I use a spray sunscreen and I always curl my lips into my mouth when I apply it. I think because when I was a child I hated the sunscreen on my lips. I remember it tasting awful, so I have a permanent reaction.
It is important to remember that the summer sun can dry your lips out as much as the winter wind, so I try to remember to apply lip balm before going out and to use a lip scrub on a regular basis. (just be careful not to over scrub). I am actually almost at the end of my lip balm supply so I reopened my Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip balm subscription in order to restock. My first package comes at the beginning of May (I’ll post it when it comes with all of the details, especially since it has been a while), so I just have to get this last peppermint lip balm to last until then. I really like the subscription and it does give me a discount, but its one I keep for a few months, then realize I have a stockpile of lip balms, so I cancel until I work through the pile and then reopen it again. I just left it a little too long this year as it slipped my mind.
Hence the final peppermint,
So in a rather meandering way, that is my tip for this week. Be aware of the changes and take a little extra care with yourself. Use things that take care of your body, even if you are still trying to sweat that body down to a smaller size and maybe break out some of those special products you hold in reserve. Because you are most definitely worth it.