Day 27: Me Time: ‘Take some time for yourself, through exercise, meditation or pampering. We all need to find our own ways of coping’

Contributor: Chris:

The new self indulgence?: The bath time clay face mask

As week 4 of shielding draws to a close I wanted to reflect on the time I now dedicate every week for looking after and pampering myself. Prior to the Covid cloud overshadowing the world, life always appeared to be quite frenetic for myself… alarm goes off, go to work, come home, do housework, cook dinner, watch a little TV with the family and then off to bed. This became the standard routine barring the days off whereby I might stay in bed an extra hour and also sneak some time in down at the West End Brewery.

One of the few positives to come out of shielding however, is the time I now get to dedicate to myself for pampering and relaxation. Long soaks in the bath have now become the norm for me at least 3 or 4 times a week and one of these will include a clay face mask (try not to laugh too much at the piccy).  I also take the time to carefully trim and polish my nails on a weekly basis which may appear trivial on the surface but deep down provides a feeling of pride in my appearance even when it matters least. I also try to dress smartly on occasion even when stuck at home… A smart crisp shirt for a beer in the garden with family makes me happy.

My wife and I have started doing yoga sessions this week and this is something that will definitely continue throughout and beyond isolation. Due to the joint issues that I suffer from due to my Crohn’s disease, the first couple of sessions have been really tough but the positive psychological impact far outweighs the physical constraints and I’m sure over time they will improve also. 

The main evolution of my self indulgence has come around my beard, the days of a vigorous scrub of my face with shower gel are now a thing of the past due to some research.

I would like to share a couple of pointers if I may for anyone looking for support with facial hair but with limited access to resources:

  • Your beard should ideally be brushed or combed at least twice daily and especially after being washed.
  • NEVER use shower gel or soap on your beard, these chemically laden products are not good for your follicles. Ideally a specialist beard shampoo should be used but I have found using a good quality hair conditioner works well.
  • Don’t use very hot water to wash your beard in the bath or shower – if the water is too hot it will strip the ‘Sebum’ oil of your face that occurs naturally and prevents dry skin. It can also cause deep skin irritation due to the blood vessels in your face becoming damaged Luke warm water only.
  • Having finished washing and rinsing, don’t scrub your beard with a towel to dry it, only pat it with the towel to remove any excess water. Again this will prevent any of the sebum oil from being removed from under your beard where it is needed most.
  • Following the removal of excess water, use a hairdryer on a cool setting to completely dry your beard  to retain all natural oil and protect your beard for the day ahead. 
  • After your beard is completely dry, a beard oil or balm should be applied (again if you don’t have access to either then a good moisturiser will do) and your beard brushed and shaped.

If you stick to this regime, you will be proud of your beard and also be brimming with self confidence when you look in the mirror.

I can’t recommend enough that you all take some time every week for yourself, whether it be through exercise, meditation or pampering. The Covid storm won’t be moving away soon and we all need to find our own ways of coping with the isolation.


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