By Sally McGraw from Already Pretty
Tell me that you hate getting presents and I’ll tell you that you’re full of lies. We ALL love presents, for Pete’s sake. I mean, when someone puts in the time and energy to pick out a thoughtful gift, receiving that gift lights us up from the inside and reminds us how beloved we truly are. And that’s priceless and precious. But it’s also just plain fun to get stuff, and gifties from friends and family provide little surges of joy whenever they land in our eager laps.
But there are some gifts that you can only give to yourself, and many of them will make you feel happier than a gorgeous pair of Prada boots or a brand new iPod. There are some gifts that center around self-knowledge, self-care and self-esteem, and it’s best for us to procure them on our own terms and on our own time. There are some gifts that we deserve year-round, not just around the holidays or on our birthdays, and now seems like as good a time as any to enumerate them.
You deserve every indulgence, you gorgeous thang, but just in case that whole “economic crisis” dealy that I keep hearing about is hitting your wallet hard, here are two lists: Gifts for your self-esteem that require some shelling out, and gifts for your self-esteem that won’t cost you a dime.
1. Get a silhouette evaluation
Several salon-spas have begun to offer this service, a personalized consultation that teaches you how to maximize your best assets and minimize your problem areas in a matter of hours. It can be a bit pricey, but if you’re looking for some style and fit guidance, this is a fantastic shortcut to figure flattery. Your self-image will skyrocket when you have learned to dress your bodacious bod in a way that highlights its best features.
2. Take a yoga class
Even if the prospect of hard-core cardio makes you miserable, even if you have the hand-eye coordination of a glazed donut, even if you’d rather throwup than work out, you’ll probably still like yoga. Yes, yes, it’s the trendiest thing in the history of time, but there’s a reason for that, friends. Yoga is relaxing, effective, and fun. It’s something that folks of all shapes, sizes, and skill levels can do. Yoga just FEELS GOOD and it awakens body awareness like no other type of exercise can. Stretching and posing and letting that lovely energy course through your muscles will reconnect you with your inner strength and remind you about your own physical fabulosity.
3. Trim your lovely locks
When I get my hair cut, I usually get about an inch trimmed off at the bottom. At Cost Cutters. For $12. And let me tell you, I feel like a NEW WOMAN every damn time. Sure, you’re going to feel utterly transformed if you plunk down a couple hundred for highlights, lowlights, and a stylish new ‘do at a swank salon … but a simple trim is usually all it takes for you to really see yourself in the mirror again.
4. Throw on back at the Brow Bar
I wear lip gloss. Brush on a bit of powder when things get shiny. But that is IT, and if you held a gun to my head and told me to apply mascara I’d be a goner. However, I groom my eyebrows carefully and daily. If yours are in need of a little de-caterpillar-ization, see if your local Macy’s now features a Benefit Brow Bar. Or stop by any beauty salon for some brow beautification. Your eyebrows frame your whole face, and you’ll feel gorgeous once they’ve been shaped to suit your features.
5. Organize your closet
Not something that screams, “gift,” I realize, but hear me out. Each morning, most of us extract unspeakably wrinkled garments from overstuffed, disorganized closets that resemble post-explosion Laundromats. We forget what all we’ve got stashed I there, and throw on the same dull outfits day after day, or stick with items that are the least mangled and pet hair-encrusted. Investing in some hanging sweater shelves, shoe racks, sock drawer organizers, and quality hangers will force you to clean that bad boy out AND arrange the remaining goodies with care. A clean, organized closet that reveals its contents quickly is key to creative mixing and matching. The more creative you are with your wonderful wardrobe, the more compliments you draw, and the more marvelous you feel.
CHEAP AS FREE
1. Demand a hand, foot, or scalp massage
Do you have a friend? Roommate? Lover? Spouse? Mother? Father? Sibling? If you answered “no” to all of these, please accept my condolences, but if you can answer “yes” to JUST ONE, you are mere moments away from arriving at the Relaxation Station. Demand one of the above three as repayment for your all-around awesomeness. Many people suck at back and shoulder rubs, but anyone with even the tiniest nubbins of fingernails can give your scalp a relaxing scritch-scratch. Anyone in possession of thumbs can ease the tension out of your hands and feet with a few well-placed strokes. These quickie massages are ridiculously relaxing, and relaxation and self-esteem are best buds, don’t ya know?
2. Run yourself a bubble bath
Sure, this is a deeply predictable item to include on a list of self-pampering delights. You wanna make something of it? More importantly, you wanna tell me that taking a soothing, serene, scented bubble bath isn’t a fantastic way to reconnect with your body? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
3. Create a morning playlist
Unless you’re one of those superstars who pre-selects outfits the night before, you probably spend a good 15 minutes staring into the depths of your closet each morning, stymied and uninspired. Make morning dressing fun by creating a mix CD or iTunes playlist of songs that get your juices flowing. Throw it on once you step out of the shower and play catwalk in your own bedroom while Madonna croons or Franz Ferdinand rocks. You’ll pull together awesome outfits and start your day feeling energized.
4. Indulge in a home mani-pedi
This might not be 100% free if you’re running low on polish and emery boards, but it’ll be hella cheaper than hitting the salon. Spend an hour laquering those fingers and toes, listening to your favorite album, and noshing on Hershey’s Kisses. The process is fantastic fun, and even if your tootsies will hide inside your sneakers once you’re done, you’ll glimpse your glossy fingernails every time you grab for your coffee or ruffle your kiddo’s staticky hair. Hardly a thing in the world makes a girl feel girlier than polished nails, and girly = good.
Why wait for someone else to step up and fork over? If you could use a little soul-nourishing giftage, make yourself the giver AND receiver of one of these easy, confidence-boosting presents. You’re totally worth it, you know. And you won’t even have to thimple around with wrapping paper.
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