Yesterday, I made a very disturbing discovery at my job. Our new website that is not even live yet was filled with disgusting and disturbing spam. Feeling slimmed and dirty, I took care of the problem and deleted the posts. But inside, the gross emotions remained. Although the situation was not my fault, shame that it had happened filled me. If only I had checked sooner. If only I had been wary of the way comments can work on the web. If only I had been a good girl, I wouldn’t even understand how icky this situation was. If only, if only, if only.
However I can not change what happened. Cleaning up the site and alerting others to the problem were the steps I took. After this, the web page became the responsibility of another employee. Stomach churning nauseously, I headed home. The words written continued to haunt me, so I knew that I had to use a coping skill. After speaking with my mom for a few minutes, I decided to try pampering myself.
Now, I really hate the word “pamper.” To me, it means taking better care of myself than I deserve or wasting time on myself instead of helping others. However, I am attempting to redefine it to mean spending time thanking my body for all it does and rejuvenating myself. Thus pampering oneself becomes a necessary part of life.
There are multiple ways that one can go about this coping skill. Yesterday, I took a long bath in a Jacuzzi tub. As the warm water bubbled around me, I read an interesting book and melted into the soap suds. Many people think that baths are unsanitary. Although that might be true to a certain extent, I believe that they are helpful tools that one can use to relax and forget the worries of the day. Use whatever brings you the most peace and joy: smooth body wash, fragrant bubbles, a fluffy towel, etc. Showers speed along the process of getting cleaning but you cannot use them to replace a long soothing bath. However, if you want a quick (possibly cool) rinse off, a shower can a refreshing choice.
If being in water does not appeal to you, other popular summer pampering ideas include floating over the water on a raft or lying in the sun on a beach. My fear of tanning keeps me from relaxing in the sand but the extra vitamin D and sunshine might be rejuvenating for you. In fact, this could possibly help lift depression a little bit.
After my bath, I rubbed my special “Happy” lotion into my arms (yes, it is really called “Happy”). The smell and texture of the smooth ointment on my skin calmed my senses. I suggest that everyone has something to rub into their skin when they are distressed whether it be a foot scrub, perfume, lotion, or gentle soap. Other pampering methods for stimulating and soothing your skin may include brushing it with a therapy brush, snuggling in a warm blanket, and wearing comfortable clothing and/or slippers. Be sure that whatever you do feels good. Some people may love the feeling of acupuncture rings or bracelets (if you haven’t tried them, you should) while others may cringe at the feeling. Everyone is different so each person will have pampering methods they like and dislike.
The list of ways to pamper yourself could go on and on: painting your nails, brushing your hair, having a delicious snack, even just sitting down to relax for a few minutes. Although caring for yourself might seem scary or selfish, it is actually an important part of life especially if you want to care for others. Yesterday, I experienced how a little bit of self-care could cleanse the disgusting and dirty feelings inside. Sure, I felt guilty but the cleansing and relief soon pushed out that emotion. Loving your self even for a short period of time begins a process of healing and respecting oneself.