Self-care… the retail way


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I’ve quite honestly had such a hard year and a bit. The hardest ever for me. And sometimes I’ve made it even harder, by being extremely hard on myself. I’m trying to be kinder, trying to lower the expectations I have for my own productivity and performance and trying to look after my resilience for this whole unfortunate situation, but it’s hard work to shift lifelong traits and sometimes the energy to do it just isn’t there.

And it is hard to look after yourself or make yourself feel good when doing the dishes or laundry wipes you out, and when you are (beyond) broke. And when you feel that with the limited energy you have, you should be using it to catch up on things you are behind on and do work.

But self-care is important. All of the chick-blogs and sick-blogs out there tell me so.

So I’m trying to not feel guilty about spending a little money here and there on things that make me feel slightly happier or looked after, even though overall I’m really worried about my finances. Realistically I want to be spending my money on travelling the world or doing something exciting or life-establishing. So some small indulgence is barely even compensation for that… right?

One surprising and kind of silly thing that has made me feel slightly better about life/myself has been beauty products. Considering I have never paid much interest to this before and have thought it an indulgence to spend $15 on a moisturiser, it is really very surprising, but perhaps now that I am am 30 my skin is crying out for nourishment. Plus changing medications and weight and the brutal winter and so on have not helped on this front over the year.

I’m not at all interested in makeup, since I barely go out or wear it, so a BB cream (chichi brand), mascara, lip gloss and eyeliner are all I ever need on that front, but good moisturisers are my lovely things, or things for the shower. Things that smell beautiful and make my skin feel nice. Even if I am stuck in bed feeling terrible, even if I am thinking how gross and defeated I feel about having put back on all the weight I lost last year, having smooth skin makes me feel slightly more human.

Two things I have fallen in love with lately are Aesop’s Parsley Seed Antioxidant Serum, and Lush’s Angels on Bare Skin cleanser. They are both so nice and have helped my skin a bit because it has been a pimply mess this year. I also got some samples of Aesop’s mandarin facial moisturiser, which smelled amazing and was really nice, so that might be a future investment (perhaps next winter). Aesop’s hand creams are also divine, and I ‘test’ them whenever I am in the Canberra Centre. 😉

I also really like Antipodes Jubilation Hand and Body Cream (which I got 40% off last time Priceline had a skincare sale, making it pretty reasonable–it’s worth being on Priceline’s email list for when they have their big sales). Lush’s Dream Cream is also really nice. And after trying Kit Cosmetics Hand and Body Cream at Mecca Cosmetica, whenever I have any amount of money again I am soooo going to buy that because it smells amazing.

For cheaper stuff, the Natio Spa range is really nice for the shower (Natio products are a good, affordable, Australian option for skincare too) (again look for Priceline deals). And for a cheaper moisturiser, I like Milk & Co’s Ultralight Face Moisturiser. I was also using Moreish Anew Exfoliator before I got hooked on the Lush cleanser, and it was also a really nice option.

Other (non-medical) things I have spent some money on this year that I can’t really afford are some on sale bed linen (to be fair, I spend a lot of time in bed), a mindfulness colouring book and pencils, occasional ‘gourmet’ things from the supermarket (like the tub of coconut and dark chocolate frozen yoghurt I bought this morning) and the occasional takeaway dinner (is there anything that dumplings cannot temporarily soothe?). Plus coffee each morning. I can well and truly do the math of how much it costs each week, but the real question is, how much grief does it save?

It seems like a ridiculous indulgence to buy this kind of stuff, especially when I am broke and working part-time for the foreseeable future. Sometimes I beat myself up over it. And I am of course taking other non-retail measures to look after myself — for example, I’ve been slowly working through a free MOOC on mindfulness on FutureLearn, run by Monash Uni, and now see a cavalcade of health professionals. But sometimes having something nice to use feels like a little comforting squeeze on the arm that’s like ‘it’s OK. You might look and feel like shit, you might be stuck in bed, but your bed looks super cute and your skin smells fucking fantastic’.

One Response to " Self-care… the retail way "

  1. Ashlee says:

    I have to just put an update here to rave about Aesop. After using for several weeks, the Parsley Seed serum has my skin happy, soft, smooth and bright despite being sick (normally regular exercise would be the only thing making my skin this healthy…), and the calming shampoo has really fixed up my dry flaky scalp (which is always a problem for me, especially if I am run down). So it is worth all of the money! The evo conditioner in the photo above is also excellent.