Platitudinous Truisms {Even So…}

I begin this post by copping, absolutely, to the fact that I have been really fortunate to work my way into my beauty duties. I’m grateful for all the stuff I’ve had a chance to try, and all the procedures and treatments I’ve been lucky enough to avail of, for review. And despite all that, I still can be lax about self-care.

Self-care, as a term, makes my cringe a bit: a hackneyed catch-all covering everything from footbaths to talk therapy. I am fairly positive I’ve pitched and written more than one feature story in more than one newspaper or magazine, under this very umbrella. The reason I’m not one hundred per cent positive is that they all tend to blur after a while, and whilst suggesting that someone nip off to a spa to pamper herself is, at its core, reasonable advice, the notion of cost + time adding up to something manageable — well, it often isn’t.

We don’t really know what we’re walking around with, what we’re holding in our muscles and tissues, because we get used to it so quickly. And we get used to it so quickly because we have to. We have to get on, we have to keep going, we have to manage all the aspects of our lives, keeping all the plates spinning.

And then we read an article exhorting us to take care of ourselves, and it’s easy to come over all cynical and roll our eyes. So, despite my own eye-rolling even as I write this — jayz, we really need to mind ourselves!

It’s hard to do! Even organising a home spa day for oneself may require the kicking-out-of-the-house of many beloved relations, and even then, in the quiet, it’s maybe not so amazing because it is your own house, and your own bath, and you had to clean prior to and will have to clean following your gloriously indulgent scented bath. {I highly recommend this, as ever.}

I suppose you could swap with a pal? Like, clean your own bath, and she cleans hers, and then you go to the other person’s house and she comes to yours… and then if you are lucky enough to have kids, make them clean it? Lucky enough to have kids who would not tell you to go get stuffed?

Or maybe you do set your sights on a weekend in a spa hotel — maybe do a crowdfunding thing? Not, like, for some random weekend in October, but for a birthday. Get the whole family to send you happily on your self-caring way. Maybe?

I think it is worth every penny to be able to have an amazing treatment under professional, luxurious circumstances, but I completely get that it’s not always viable. Hell, I can barely remember to set aside a few quid to get a ten-minute chair massage done — which are generally always great, and as soon as I get one I think, Ah, yeah, must keep this up — and then don’t.

Consistency is an issue, atmosphere is important, and the opportunity to simply lie down and switch off… surrounded by rose petals and scented candles, with fresh fruit kabobs and sparkling water within reach, all the while gazing upon some bucolic view that includes copious amounts of blue sky, or a mountain, or both.

It is true that a change is as good as a rest, and a change that involves rest has to be off the self-care scale. It’s also irritating and frustrating when you want to do something, and you find yourself constrained.

One small thing a day, though… like, going to visit the cygnets in Stephen’s Green. Now, that just happened, I didn’t even know why there were all those people clustered around the side of the pond furthest from me, and then I saw the little grey furries swimming around with their mum and dad. Ah! It was such a pleasure, and so delightful to be with everyone else who thought they were great, and the kids who just couldn’t even believe what they were looking at. I suppose there are all manner of ways to restore oneself, and nature is as good as a facial.






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