Food for Thought – Know what your own meaning of “pamper” is

If I had a dollar for every time I thought to myself : “Okay during this [weekend/school break/work holiday], I’m going to really make the most of my time and finally pamper myself a bit,” I’d, well, probably have a nice stash of dollars. But the same thing happens again and again- whenever I have a niiiiiice extended pocket of time pop up, I’m at a loss of how to use it and end up just revisiting some checklist or poking around to see what others are up to. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But if I may be so bold, I think that self-care and self-love aren’t really prioritized for the busy bees out there and everyone in between, even though we ALL need it. I think one of the biggest stumbling blocks is not actually knowing where to start, and the connotation that the word “pampering” has.

When I think of the word “pampering,” I think of cucumber water and pedicures and getting an aromatherapy massage, and I think to myself “I mean sure, those things would be niiiiiiiice, but I don’t really need them, so I’m a-okay without any of that so called pampering you speak of .” Plus I’m not a huge fan of pedicures (thanks ticklish feet) and that hetch hetchy water tastes delish to me even without cucumbers.

But let’s for a minute veto that connotation of pamper. Let’s remove any high-maintenance associations of the word. Let’s take a nice long look at Google’s definition of it, and start to think about how it means something very different to each and every one of us– to pamper is to “indulge with every attention, comfort, and kindness; spoil.” There’s nothing in there that even mentions a spa, or spending money for that matter. Maybe your version of pampering yourself is hanging up a hammock in the park and listening to music. Maybe it’s going all the way across town to purchase a few guitar picks. Maybe it DOES involve a spa! That’s the beauty of broad definitions- you do you.

So my suggestion today to get to know yourself better is to take ten minutes or so and really define for yourself what would make your aura feel spritzed, your heart a little lighter, your step a little peppier. Write it down, doodle it, type it into your phone, hang it on your wall, tuck it away in your drawer, whatever feels right– but DO document it. And know where to find it. So that you may begin crafting the good habit of pampering yourself from time to time.

The next time you feel inclined to wave away the notion of pampering yourself and dismissing it as something frivolous you’ll do fine without, re-direct that thinking my friend, and whip out that list or doodle or chart you made, and make plans to “indulge with every attention, comfort, and kindness; spoil” yourself. Because you deserve it. And as a matter of fact, the world NEEDS you to pamper yourself once in a while, so that you can get back out there and be your best self and do whatever it is that your best self does. You’re the only person who truly knows what feels best for you, and you’re the only person who truly knows how to fill your tank back up on empty.

No superhero ever saved the day when they were tired and cranky and hangry and operating on low blood sugar and sleep deprived and running on empty. The kinder you are to yourself, the easier it is to be kind to others. See where I’m going here? Pampering is good for you AND it’s good for those around you 😉  So go on, give yourself permission to make Treat Yo Self day happen more than once a year.

Here’s my first attempt at what pampering means to me:

What adds pep to your step? How can you best pamper yourself? As we head into Thanksgiving and the holiday season, really make sure you’re treating yourself with care, and enjoy developing a stronger sense of what pampering means to you.

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