I had a marvelous weekend this one past (August 2015) as all my beauty needs were serviced on Friday and Saturday. Mark had won a beauty basket from a raffle at a town fundraiser. On Saturday, I enjoyed the free facial and manicure and added a pedicure and of course tipped my gals. With the haircut and brow waxing from Friday, I felt buffed and waxed and ready for a cruise up the coastal highway honking at boys in Jeeps and convertibles. I was self-care high.

Fiona in my chair on Shalavee.com

As I was having my face massaged, a strangely intimate exchange, it occurred to me that this shared experience with another human being is a real gift of connection. We are unaware of the primal need we have to connect with others until we are having it fulfilled. A chat over the counter at your favorite establishment, the hand massage and small talk with the manicurist, or a back and forth about a favorite book online. All of these are so very necessary to us yet I doubt we know it.

In the beauty and wellness community, there are a few strange-sounding services that people can buy and experience. There’s Reiki, ear candling, and an ionization bath. Each has their specific benefits and should be judged by the people getting them done as necessary.  Chiropractic care and Acupuncture are Eastern well-being disciplines that my family uses and we wholly believe in now. Yet, what I realized was that each of these services is an opportunity to be touched and cared for by another human being. And to allow for the exchange to be a gift you give back to yourself by accepting the generosity of the spirit of giving. Even if you are giving money to the service provider, you are still generously giving it to yourself so it’s a gift all the same.

I will note that sometimes we have negative experiences that taint our opinion of self-care services. I had a facial that went awry damaging my skin. I’ve had a chiropractor who smelled of the alcohol he’d ingested the night before. And I’ve had manicurists dig too far into my cuticles and make me shriek and bleed. There was that time when the hairstylist didn’t realize she’s put her curling iron in the wrong holder place and got hot plastic in my hair. All of these experiences, plus the many bad hair cuts, can lead you to believe that you’re just not going to risk getting any kind of beauty services done again ever. But that would be a mistake. Because what it really tells you is that you aren’t worth it. And you really are.

Connecting on a personal human level is necessary and priceless. Mentally and physically. And that when we don’t allow for this to happen, as in deny ourselves beauty care, we miss out on the mental connection and the possible hormonal Oxytocin high from the befriending. To think that depression and grief could be alleviated just by feeling worthy enough to have someone care for you. Undeniably, the need for touching is primitive and necessary to our validation as humans. Plus it just feels plain good. Have you any thoughts on self-care?

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  1. The “gift” is why, in addition to a tip, I always thank my hairdresser and fingers & toes lady. I don’t necessarily leave from getting a haircut relaxed. But I know my minimal personal maintenance routine will be simplified! Fingers & toes leaves me so relaxed and pampered. For a while…life is ahhh. Such gifts these folk give!

    1. I’m glad you got it Shannon. I honestly know some people don’t allow for fingers and toes people. Shoot, I didn’t start getting regular pedicures until I was in my forties.

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