I’m here to tell you about the secrets of self-care and beauty for mature women, but I think these tips can be applied to every age bracket. I’ve lived a pretty full life and I’ve been past the stages that many are you in right now. Worrying about the size of your pants, if people think you’re pretty, wasting time on things that don’t matter, and pretty much everything that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of life. We all have those days when we may look in the mirror and think ” OMG”. But, hopefully, we have days when we feel pretty darn gorgeous, too. I seem to have more of the first and less of the latter. So, I make it my business to practice self-care rituals.
We all need a little encouragement and I’m here to help you realize that the things that make you feel beautiful aren’t what you think they should be.
MAKE A LIST
I’m a compulsive list maker and in this instance, it’s a means of keeping a realistic self-image. The power of keeping a list goes beyond keeping track of things you have to do or groceries you need to buy.
My list is comprised of all the things I can do, instead of those that I cannot. I count my blessings and become conscious of my life of abundance. A focus on “CAN DO” is so important to our mental health in our “culture of competition”. We probably compare ourselves to others more often than is considered healthy. I do this and it can feel a lot like I’m “not good enough” which is not conducive to a bright and shiny attitude.
When you put your attention on positive thoughts you feel uplifted and powerful in your skin. Can you relate?
You may be asking how is meditation an act of self-care. It definitely is because it requires you to remove yourself from noise, busyness, and distraction. To do this, you need to carve out space and time. Time alone with yourself is precious for so many of us who live over-scheduled lives. Taking only 10 minutes to be silent with your breath and the sound of your heartbeat can be healing and rejuvenating.
So many of us think that meditation requires a membership card to the local monk’s monastery! The best part about meditation is that you can do it anywhere, at any time, and all you need to do is to simply make the choice to do so.
For example, when you’re stuck in traffic, turn off the radio, and focus on breathing in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 8. Keep count in your head or out loud if it helps. Now is also a good time to think of your list of things you can do.
Busy, crazy hectic day at home with the munchkins? This might be a little more difficult to do when you’re responsible for the life of little ones. I’ve been there and have the most amazing tip for the moms who do it all. Go to the bathroom. I kid you not. A simple trip to the can could be your 5 minutes of peace in the middle of the day. If your babies are still napping, then you get a bonus of 10-minutes to meditate and then fold the laundry.
If you can’t get in a moment during the day, moms, then after bedtime is your time. Grab another 10 -20 minutes with your awesome self, preferably in a hot tub with the door locked, or in the shower. Suddenly, meditation sounds too easy not to do.
RITUALISTIC BEAUTY PRACTICES
Here’s where it gets fun for me personally because this is where you get to practice self-indulgence that you currently partake in or wish you could.
Grab a pen and actual piece of pretty paper and list your version of simple joys all the way to extravagant thoughts or rituals you want to indulge in. No judgment, no budget, just free-flowing thoughts that make you feel special. You ladies need to remember at whatever stage in life you’re in that you’re special and deserving of love and respect.
My list looks like this if you need some inspiration.
3 long scented baths per week by candlelight while burning Indian temple incense (I love meditation in the tub so much).
Sacred hair oil treatments to my scalp using UMA OILS hair oil! I’ve been practicing this for many years with different oils and homemade concoctions but, UMA OILS have taken this ritual to a new level! My hair is longer and healthier that it was in my youth. This is now my holy grail hair treatment.
Since making the switch to green and organic small batch products my feelings of self-worth have risen. When I began to care about what ingredients I put on & in my body my mindset shifted from a feeling of routine to a feeling of well-deserved care. Getting clean is now far more important than just getting clean. Indulge in facial masks, dry brushing your body before you shower to exfoliate and increase circulation, use lovely cleansing products to wash your face and incorporate facial massage. I’m currently using a jade roller at night to aid in lymphatic drainage. I also love keeping my legs shaved for the simple fact that I deserve this time to care for myself.
Your mind believes what you tell it, so tell it that you are a Wisdom Warrior.
EAT CLEAN FOODS. YOUR BODY IS YOUR TEMPLE.
Drink at least 8-10 cups of pure water per day (Too much water too fast can give you an upset stomach or even the actual water poisoning). Do it for your skin and your gut. Keep it plain and pure. Lay off the fake flavoring drops, powders, and liquids. Use fruit for flavor if you must.
Try to eat your daily intake of whole veggies and fruit and fewer animal products. It’s good for you and great for the animals!
Work toward a reduction of sugar overall. Practice reading labels because this white devil is hiding in so many foods. For the sake of honesty on my part, I hereby confess to all of you that this is a huge struggle for me. I’ve always been told that “a little something sweet is all sorts of comfort and everything is gonna be all right.” Thanks for this parental units.
Also, if you must (I know Kate is dying reading this right now) reduce coffee, caffeine, if it gives you the shakes, aka rapid heartbeat, increased anxiety or general crankiness. This is me and sadly as my coffee addiction does not play nice with my anxiety! I love coffee but it doesn’t love me. So, I limit consumption to twice daily. Then, I discovered herbal teas and I can almost feel satisfied (I know Kate is probably going to unfriend me right now).
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Sleep is such an elusive little imp. I need help with this every night. I’m not blessed with the ability to lay my head on my pillow and drop off in minutes. It takes hours and hours. Mind you, this is as I lie beside a husband who’s snoring almost before his head hits the pillow! It’s so very aggravating. I’m filled with a mix of envy and rage.
My rituals to deal with this curse is no caffeine after 3 pm, meditation before bed, read something light while in bed, no electronics allowed, crystals on my nightstand, several drops of relaxing flower elixirs from Earthwise Beauty and Lotus Wei, noise canceling ear plugs and when all that fails, a tablet of Tylenol PM. I’m not proud of the pill but, this woman needs sleep!
Movement is a piece of cake compared to getting enough sleep. My favorite form of exercise is a walk in the woods. To be in nature amongst the trees, rivers and woodland creatures feeds my body and my soul. My yoga practice has been a staple in my life for over 35 years. I’m not acrobatic or standing on my head, but my practice reflects my body’s abilities and disabilities.
True yoga means union. The union of body, breath, and mind. A conversation with my higher power, a form of prayer, if you will. That’s my practice, but it’s different for every individual. Make it your own and embrace it as your special form of self-care on the mat and off into the world.
Hopefully, some of these tips help you find your self-care practice or gives you some new ideas to incorporate into your current routine. All of these practices helps keep me tranquil and thus, I feel that my beauty naturally shines through. Self-care rituals are so important for all of us. No longer are these rituals reserved for the 1%, the idle rich, the kings and queens, or the lucky journalists on the spa review assignments. In our world of tension and uncertainty, where tomorrow holds the possibility of yet another reason to fret, we must take care of ourselves in order to care for others.
The main message I want to leave with you today is this: What do you do in the event of a plane crash? Put your air mask on first, then you are ready to save the person next to you. While some of us think beauty is what we see on the outside when we perfectly blend our eyeshadow, that’s a false belief that I need you to get out of your head today. I want you to think of yourself as a warrior, a superwoman, a boss, and a hero. I want us to all unite, support one another, and know that you can all be everything at once while taking care of yourself. You deserve it.