As women, our expectations and preferences for self-care, whether it be cosmetic, aerobic, or through relaxation, indulgence, or gentle restriction, are as varied as our physical/emotional/spiritual selves. I have friends who use soap and tea tree oil for fresh, clean skin and others who use prescription-strength lotions. I know women who wash their hair once a week and others who couldn’t imagine starting her day without a good hot shower. Some practice yoga every day, others shake their bootay at Zumba, and still others climb mountains. Indulgence can be a few pieces of rich dark chocolate, a pint of ice cream shared with a friend (or enjoyed solo…), or watching a movie when they “should really be doing something else”. The range is enormous, but the underlying connection is that all are preferred forms of self-care and self-love, with the true goal of feeling beautiful and content.

Why did I choose to write on this subject? Besides its enormous importance for ladies (and men!) I find myself struggling sometimes with the quest for beauty, especially the exterior variety. Although I try to accept myself as I am, pimples, hairs, soft spots and all, I do spend a good chunk of time, money, and energy in “looking good”.

Where does one draw the line between all-natural and mostly-contrived?

I suppose the answer lies, as most questions of extremes often do, in the middle. Celebrate the parts of you that are easy to love. For me, it is easy to love my dark, thick hair (we’ll concentrate on the eyebrows, eyelashes, and head hair), my strong legs and back, and my sensitivity to others’ needs and emotions. Many other things are difficult to love. Pushing myself towards gentle self-improvement is an interesting and eye-opening path.

In case you were interested in reading how another woman takes care of yourself, look here (not recommended to try fitting in all 55 things in a given day…the effort might offset the good work!).

The Freedom Experiment: 55 gentle ways to take care of yourself when you’re busy busy busy

Enjoy your imperfect selves!

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