Self-care and wellness are certainly not new concepts.
Ancient Greeks created some of the first cosmetics rituals in the world. Whether it was using berries, olive oils and honey to create skin masks or fashioning ox hair on their faces to display more lush eyebrows, they believed in caring for their appearance and pampering their skin.
Romans of course are known for their love of bathing. Holla! They created opulent bath houses that were not only functional, but gorgeously adorned with mosaics and paintings which contributed to the total self-care experience!
Egyptians may have had the most luxurious self-care practices of all cultures we’ve known. Oils, scrubs, makeups and perfumes were all regarded as contributing to a person's total health and wellness. They even buried people with these items in their tombs! Since Egyptians embodied cleanliness, hair removal was a fundamental part of their grooming habits. Sugaring, a natural method of hair removal, was performed using a sugar solution made with sugar, lemon and water to form a paste. The paste was applied to the hair, without sticking to the skin, and “flicked” off. It’s truly a fascinating method that still exists today and is gaining popularity among estheticians. Have any of you tried this?? I’m really interested!
India brings us Ayurveda, which is a 5,000 year old practice of holistic health. Ayurveda is a complex, yet practical system based on the belief that optimal health is achieved when your mind, body and spirit are aligned with the universe. I recently took a course on this practice and find it fascinating. I plan to study more about it and am happy to share what I have learned with any of you who are curious!
So what about us? Modern society has embraced some of these rituals over the years and we’ve certainly created our own as well! Self-care products and services have grown to become a multi-billion dollar industry in the US and there’s no end in site.
Self-care is not just about beauty and the way we care for our physical appearance, or even solely about what we eat, how we exercise or the ways we practice mindfulness or stress reduction techniques.
Self-care can be quantified by how much time and money we invest in our life, career growth or personal well being. I consider the work that I do a form of self-care. Having a life and career that is fulfilling, where you can pursue your passions and purpose is a luxury that more and more people are seeing as an essential part of having a healthy well rounded life experience. And I couldn’t agree more!
I often tell my clients that I take a holistic approach to the work that I do. Because who cares if you love your life, if you hate your job. All things are interwoven.
So what can you do right now to take better care of yourself?
With endless options what’s a girl to do! Prioritizing is the only way to go.
Believe me, I could spend a fortune on self-care! In fact by many people’s standards I probably already do :) But I have to prioritize. I pick and chose what’s most important to my overall well being at this very moment.
I invest in a business and life coach because I know the value of coaching and believe that it's an experience that helps me be more successful and focused on my goals.
I was willing to invest in a course on Ayurveda because at this time in my life I’m curious about learning different options for optimal nutrition and spiritual health.
I invest in yoga classes because when I go to a structured class, my home practice is stronger and I feel more healthy. Plus my yoga teacher is an inspiration and I want to learn from her :)
I invest in luxurious oils, skin and bath products because they make me feel good and a weekly bath is something I consider a treat that keeps me grounded and feeling peaceful.
But there are many, many things I wish I could do, but don’t. I have to prioritize what I have time for, what I can afford and what I believe I most need right now. I find less expensive options for some of those things (check out this article, 15 ways to treat yourself for under $15, for some of my favorite low cost options!) and some of the other things I’ll put on my list to save up for and experience at a later date - Right now that’s for my first silent meditation retreat that I’m really excited about! Have you ever been on one?
All I’m trying to say is that taking care of yourself, investing in your life goals and career dreams is so worth it!
Our ancient sisters that came before us knew this and you do too! So what are you waiting for?
Thanks for reading!