When I was younger, I had a weekly self-care routine that I practiced almost religiously, inspecting and touching things up mid-week. On these days, I’d spend some extra time in the shower or at the sink scrubbing, tweezing, and fussing with my face, hair, and skin in general. These were the days I usually employed some expensive product that I could barely afford that promised “youthful-looking” or “clearer” or some other desirable skin quality. Though I was in effect pampering myself, it never felt that way. It felt like work. It felt like obligation. It felt like necessity. And I’m pretty sure it’s because I was never doing it for myself, I was always doing it so I could look good for everyone else.

If I was going to be fat, at least I’d be the prettiest fat girl I could be, dammit.

Man, was that a messed up frame of mind.

I was spending all that time, making sure I truly put my “best” face forward, yet inside I was feeling so negatively about my body and my self. Outside of the “beauty” days that could have been enjoyable had I not been doing them for the wrong reasons, I spent quite a lot of time during the week abusing myself through negative self-talk, over-exercising, and beating myself up whenever I did something “bad” like eating what were then bad foods.

Being fat doesn’t mean that you need to compensate with some other, more positive trait. Being fat is not a bad thing. And you can choose this to be your truth as well.

Once I realized this and made the commitment to make it my truth, I was on the road to loving my body. I devoted several years unlearning the self-hatred and shame I had been taught and learning how to appreciate my body as-is. Funnily enough, today you find me here, embracing my body but often forgetting to do some basic self-care things like simple exfoliation.

I mean, I shower and wash my face daily. That’s just important for my mental health. And after a friend of mine that is into makeup, hair and pretty much all things beauty introduced me to the very insane idea of oil washing a few years ago, each time I wash my face I feel like I’ve had a mini spa day. But that’s pretty much the extent of my self-care routine: just the necessary stuff.

Though having a clean body is part of my mental health routine, it’s also quite important to do more than just the necessities to help reconnect you with your body and just plain feel the self-love. So this past weekend I took a much-needed mini-vacation and splurged on some lovely bath and beauty things from Lush. I bought myself a Dragon’s Egg bath bomb and watched a movie while soaking in a golden, lemon-scented bath. I even went further than simple relaxation and got myself an exfoliating face mask called, very cheekily, Don’t Look At Me. (If you’re not quite sure what exfoliation means, don’t worry. I’m simply talking about using a mild abrasive to gently scrub dry skin and impurities away.)

These simple pleasures had me starting the week feeling fantabulous! (And smooth, my face is smooth and soft like baby butt… and I know what that feels like since I’ve got one of those at home now.)

Taking the time to care for yourself can be rejuvenating. It’s not indulgent, it’s not selfish, it’s not wrong. When you feel well taken care of, you are better able to take care of the things (and people) that need your attention. So make the time this week to do a little self-pampering. Try to make it a regular occurrence. You deserve it.

When was the last time you exfoliated your face?

Not sure how to start a self-care practice? Then check out my 6-week e-course on how to use self care to reunite yourself and your body by clicking here.