What is the difference between self-care and self-indulgence? In my mind, it all comes down to what serves me. Many a night I’ve kicked off my shoes – and pants, and bra – at the end of a rough work day. I’d pour myself a glass of wine while booting up my latest Netflix obsession and finally allow myself to unwind. This is self-care. Right? I certainly thought so, except my ritual wasn’t nourishing me. While treating myself to retail therapy, a fancy coffee drink, or Netflix binge provided me momentary joy, there was no lasting satisfaction.
When practicing self-indulgence, I tend to tell myself, “I deserve this!” But what do we really deserve for ourselves? What makes our bodies and minds feel good, on a consistent and deep level? Now, please don’t think I intend for folks to give up wine and Netflix. That’s just silly. (I mean, have you seen Stranger Things yet? So good). Rather, an approach I recommend is to be more intentional about finding a balance that fulfills. It can also be helpful to ask ourselves why we gravitate to the particular indulgences we do. Could a slight alteration in our routine better achieve what’s needed, while still offering the gratification we seek?
For me, herbal foot baths and face masks have been an accessible and fantastic way to honor and show love for myself. While many daily activities pull me out of my body, this ritual gently guides me back into myself. Aside from the incredible benefit I feel from consciously taking time to fill a bucket with water or slather something onto my face, there are a myriad of herbs I can add to guide a brew towards the intention I’m seeking.
Whether you’re looking to encourage restful sleep, reinvigorate before that next work shift, or simply show yourself some serious love, finding the balance between self-care and self-indulgence may just be the key. To learn about and experience a few of my favorite rituals, I am offering an Evening of Herbal Self Care at CSCH on Friday, March 17th at 6:00 pm. While delving deeper into different tools and techniques, we will examine our self-care routines and formulate personalized herbal blends. A materials fee for this class will be offered on a sliding scale of $10-$20 per person. To learn more and reserve your spot, RSVP at 720-722-4372 or firstname.lastname@example.org!