Written by Wife of Mike, mother of Henry, and psychotherapist to many...
I grew up in an era when there was no wellness movement. Beauty-centric products were the only offerings that existed to help women feel good. And back then, beauty was defined by all things big: big hair, big tan, big shine. And I, a then-naïve believer in the promises of mass-marketed beauty, was hooked on products at a tender age. But not without natural consequences.
At age eight, my powers of beauty observation told me that nothing gave a girl an enduring, high shine like nail lacquer. So why not use it as lipstick, I reasoned? Using my grandmother’s “Cherries in the Snow” Revlon polish, I not-very-carefully, painted both lips. Bet you won’t see that technique at the Nordstrom beauty counter… Then, at age 13, I read a DIY beauty tip from my mother’s Cosmopolitan: For soft tresses, sleep with hair drenched in olive oil. Believe me when I say it took weeks to wash that bottle of Pompeian olive oil from my head. (There was no Dawn back then.) And who could forget the Lee Press-On Nails craze that tragically dovetailed with the advent of Indian Earth bronzer (liberally applied with a cotton ball)? I remember getting all bronzed- and nailed-up for a high school dance, and, while chatting up the BMOC, watched a poorly glued nail spring off my finger and rocket across the room, leaving me with only nine perfect nails and one naked, gnawed digit.
Hungry for something a little deeper than beauty to feed my soul, in my 20s, I made a brief foray into the world of holistic foods. Thru some artist friends, I was introduced to make-your-own fermented foods (because who doesn’t want to stare at Mason jars of pickled beets on your kitchen counter for months?) and salads made with chickweed. (I swear I tried it only once.)
Although long gone are the days of press-on nails and chickweed salads, one self-care habit has traveled with me from my early childhood until now: climbing into a hot bath. The tub has always been my refuge, the place where I found warm comfort and quiet, a respite from life’s chaos. And it’s the place where I conduct my grown-up wellness routine: a nightly detox bath with my favorite Pursoma products (Body Bouquet, Minerals de Mer, and Resurrection.)
If you keep traveling down the wellness road, you’re bound to find what works for you. And in my case, I’m afraid Freud was right; the answers are found in childhood: eat well, sleep well, and take a hot bath before bed.