There are days when I just want to pay attention to all of the things that I don’t normally have time for during the long work week. Manicures, pedicures, deep conditioning treatments for my hair, long soaks in a tub of bubbles or salts, facial masks, scrubs, lathering on creams and lotions, cuticle treatments.

I call these ‘self care days’.

And I am a sucker for products geared toward these endeavors. Whenever I find something new that promises smoother skin, silkier hair, stronger nails, or softer hands, I buy into the hype.

Perhaps it isn’t the promise that I am purchasing as much as the relaxation of taking time for myself.

I set the ambiance as well.

Scented candles and spa music start setting the mood. In the fall and winter I might choose a cinnamon and apple or autumn leaves scent while lighting a fire in the fireplace. And the wine could be a warm mulled spiced gluhwein or cider.

In the spring and summer I like coconut and lime scented candles and ceiling fans. Add a glass of light wine or champagne and it feels like being at an exclusive spa.

Of course, for me, it usually involves a book. Reading while my nails dry is the best relaxation and a sure way to keep me still long enough to prevent marring the fresh polish.

One caveat, the phone must be turned off! This is non-negotiable. A ringing phone will spoil the atmosphere quicker than a smoking candle. At least it does for me. And part of the self-care endeavor is the mental cleansing that is only possible when the outside interferences are held at a minimum.

But you should plan your self-care day the way that best restores you.

Perhaps you work by yourself all week and what replenishes you might be a crazy day at the mall followed by a festive night on the town!

Or, you might work inside a windowless cubicle and need the effect of natural sunlight on your skin. I’ve been here before and the only way I could recharge was lying in the sun until I was crisp.

Sometimes, if I’ve been particularly sedentary for most of the week, I feel like I need hiking or fierce gardening. Whatever I find that works up a good sweat and reminds my body that I’m not over the hill yet.

It doesn’t matter how you choose to spend your self-care day as long as it feeds your soul and restores your energy. And – also non-negotiable – keeps those toenails brightly polished!

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.