Everyone talks about self-care. Whether it’s a massage, a pedicure, or a new balayage, I think everyone can acknowledge that these creature comforts can put a smile on anyone’s face.
But these are largely one-time splurges.
Before COVID, I hadn’t really thought of ways to make myself happy on a regular basis. Things were fine and we could go out and have our usual family outings or date nights. Since things shut down though, it became harder to find joy in anything, big or small. One day, I visited a friend’s house and she had really nice hand soap in the half bathroom off her kitchen. I thought to myself, “I want nice hand soap in my bathrooms!” – and thus began one of my small indulgences. I decided to forgo the cheap hand soap and go for the nice stuff, which I could usually find on sale a couple of times a year. I got really nice smelling soap in pretty bottles for every bathroom sink in the house, and it made me smile every time I washed my hands. In the big picture, it was only a few extra dollars a year, and it became completely worth it once I realized how much I enjoyed it.
So I thought to myself – what other small things make me happy?
I quickly remembered that I LOVE candles. So whenever I go to the store, I pass through the candle aisle and see if something catches my eye – or better yet, my nose. More often than not, nothing does, but sometimes I find myself putting several in my cart and getting excited to light them later on in the season. I mean, who doesn’t like a good smelling room? Surprisingly, I don’t have a huge stockpile or anything, but it’s nice to know that when I’m feeling cozy and my house is clean, or we’re having company, I can light some candles to add to the ambiance and feel of our home.
I also remembered that I love fresh flowers. My husband – bless his heart – is not a big flower-giver. We have a beautifully landscaped and maintained yard thanks to his efforts, and he is so generous in so many ways, but flowers are just not his thing. I get cards on every holiday and random gifts throughout the year, so I really can’t complain about the way he demonstrates his affection. But one day a couple of months ago I decided, nearly a decade into our relationship, that if I wasn’t going to get flowers from him I’d just buy them myself.
And so I buy my own flowers!
They’re nothing crazy – whatever catches my eye when I hit the grocery store. The ones I buy usually last a while, so I’m only getting a bouquet every couple of weeks. I’m not sending myself flowers at work or home (although it’s tempting, ha!) – but in the last several months it’s brought a smile to my face to always have fresh flowers in our home. They’re always put in the vase that held the unity candle from our wedding and it’s monogrammed with our names and wedding date, so that makes the display extra special. But regardless of their display – the flowers make me smile and they are totally worth it!
I realize that these are not in everyone’s budget.
Sometimes an extra five or ten dollars a week isn’t feasible for everyone, whether it’s because of COVID or other circumstances. But if it is, I recommend figuring out what YOUR small indulgences are. What makes YOU happy? What puts a smile on your face when walking around your house, or puttering around the yard, or driving in your car? Is it a little garden decoration or some really nice lotion? Sometimes as moms we don’t think of the small things we can do to make ourselves smile, and I encourage you to find joy in the small things. Not every day will be filled with happiness, but I hope one day when you’re feeling down, you can use that pretty soap to wash your hands and it’ll lift your spirits…even if it’s just for a moment to help you through your day.