HEALING TOUCH & TRASHY TV
BY ORIANA LEWTON-LEOPOLD
1. Have a project that is yours and only yours
I know the idea of having a “project” separate from work (whether that's a job you go to or if you are a stay at home parent, then the 24/7 job of being a mom!) or caring for your kids seems unfathomable to most moms. But having something that is just YOURS is kind of an amazing thing when you spend so much time giving to your kid, your work, your partner. I am not able to get into the painting studio nearly as much as I did before having a baby, but even sneaking in twenty minutes does wonders. It reminds me that before I was a mom I was ME, a person with ideas, creativity, secret thoughts and feelings. And I still do have those things, I just have to work a little harder to carve out the time and mental space to tap into that part of myself.
2. Monthly facials
It may seem obvious that I would be a cheerleader for this, but I am honestly speaking from my experiences on the facial massage table rather than at the head of them. I relish my monthly facial. As a mom, every time I lay down on my own bed I am three quarters relaxed, one quarter on edge, waiting for the inevitable “MAMA!” from daughter’s room because she needs her diaper changed or more milk or, or, or…so to have that one hour where I KNOW I can relax and just enjoy the experience is the ultimate treat. The other thing I love about getting my facial is that as moms we spend so much time holding, comforting, hugging our little ones, that to be touched in such a sensual, non-sexual way really replenishes me at a core, human level. When else do we have our faces, shoulders, legs and feet gently massaged, our heads wrapped in warm towels and our scalps scratched and hair played with like we do to our own children? But if facials aren’t your thing, get a massage, get your nails done, basically let yourself be pampered without interruption as often as your life allows.
3. Be kind to yourself
It is so important to stay healthy, meditate, exercise, read, etc. But some days between taking care of my kiddo, dashing to and from work and trying to keep the house (moderately) clean, at the end of the day I am so exhausted I just want to collapse on the couch with a trashy TV show and a glass of wine. I used to spend a lot of time feeling bad about myself for that, feeling that I should be productive every second of every day, especially during those precious evening hours after the baby goes to bed. But at a certain point I decided that it is OK to have evenings where I “check out,” and that judging myself for it only wastes valuable relaxation time. We mamas work too hard to judge ourselves for every small indulgence. So now when I’m having one of those evenings, I just immerse myself in it and allow myself to enjoy it 100%, knowing that come morning, I will be on duty again, just a little more refreshed.
Oriana Lewton-Leopold is a Portland based licensed esthetician and certified Reiki practitioner. She specializes in holistic facials using organic, plant based products that incorporate massage and healing touch, as well as natural sugar hair removal.