In thinking of ways to promote self-care, I immediately thought of pedicures. Not only because my mom and I made a habit of getting them done on occasion, but also because I finished a book recently (Little Bee by Chris Cleave) that mentioned nail polish. In the book, one of the main characters — Little Bee — survives her time in a detention center by painting her toe nails with red polish:
“Because this is what I did that place, to remind myself I was alive underneath everything: under my steel toe caps I wore bright red nail varnish. ” – Little Bee
The circumstances are very different, but it’s a nice reminder that little things like that can help us keep going in difficult times. I don’t always get pedicures to deal with difficult, but it’s certainly something I enjoy doing for myself because it IS just so relaxing and a nice luxury that I can afford occasionally.
Many years ago my mom started taking me every other month or so and it would serve as a kind of mother/daughter bonding time. We would go all year round, though of course the visits were more frequent in the spring/summer when we were more likely to need pretty toes to show off while wearing our sandals. It was especially nice as a teacher constantly on my feet to have someone rub and massage them before making my toe nails look pretty with a polish of my choice. And while we can’t always make our schedules align, I can safely say that my mom and I make it to the nail salon (separately) at least once a month or, in my case, every other month.
My original plan was to visit a nail salon during Spring Break — but that’s not going to happen now. I haven’t been since early February and I was really looking forward to having someone take care of my feet. Obviously that is no longer an option and in these uncertain times it is definitely one of the practices I have to cut from my life at the moment.
However, I decided over the weekend that it doesn’t have to stop me from having pretty toes. It won’t be quite the same, but I plan on giving myself a pedicure this week — possibly even later today.
First, I’ll run a hot bath to soak my feet in. I’m sure I have some foot scrub or even body scrub hiding in a cabinet somewhere. Giving yourself a foot rub isn’t exactly the same, but I have lotions and can take some time to massage my feet as best I can.
I may not have the hot wax they provide, but I can just as easily heat up some hand towels and wrap them around my legs. I’ll definitely remove my old, professionally done polish and replace it with some polish I picked up. It probably won’t look as nice — it’s always more difficult to pain your own nails — but I’ll do my best. After all, it would seem for the next several weeks that only my dog and I will see it.
As for other methods of self-care, might I also recommend some yoga for writers either before or after your self-pedicure. I have definitely been slipping in my yoga practice as of late, but since the weather here refuses to turn to spring I may as well find my exercise elsewhere. Yoga has definitely made me feel better in the past, and Adrienne is one of my favorite yogis to watch.
My third, and final, self-care activities will be nightly medication using the Calm app. I don’t know if it still applies, but earlier this year I learned that the Calm app was free for teachers/educators to use. There are a lot of guided meditations, music, and even stories to help relax and release anxiety. I know I used it just a few weeks ago when I felt like this pandemic news was crashing around me. A few minutes of Calm and I was feeling better about where I was in life.
Today’s blog post was brought to you by the Spring Fling hosted by @Teachr4 and now if you will excuse me I think I’m going to go back to getting my supplies together for a nice self-pampering session.