There is nothing better than winding down after a long day and feeling the weight lifted off your shoulders. But a lot of us can’t switch off so easily and even when we’ve stopped working, our minds can still race with deadlines and phone calls that we are already dreading. Well tomorrow is another day and today its time to put yourself first for a change!
There are probably thousands of different beauty hampers or pamper kits available on your local high street, but what you usually find is they can be very generic and contain items that you will never use, so they just sit there collecting dust until you get round to a big clear out. If you create your own pamper kit or pamper hamper, you will have everything in there that you love and will definitely use and in the long run will most likely save yourself some money.
Why is it Important to Pamper Yourself?
It’s simple really, self-care is the most important yet underestimated thing in the world. So many of us have lives so busy that we don’t have time to think about ourselves, or we put on our self-care and mental wellbeing to the back burner.
If you are a parent or guardian, this will especially ring so true as you have your own little person to take care of each day, so any thought of your own appearance and wellbeing may come later, if at all!
We all have the potential to burnout from time to time and if we don’t stop and think about ourselves and make sure our mind and body are in good shape, we can wear ourselves thin, age quicker than we should and feel snappy or resentful about what our lives have become.
We all have our own ways of making ourselves feel relaxed and some thing work for you that may not work for someone else, but ultimately, as long as you are taking your own self-care and mental wellbeing into account each week, you will start to feel refreshed and feel good about your routine.
Get into the Mood
Before you can start to think about the contents of your pamper kit, you need to make sure you can do a few things first. Without these, even the most expensive and luxurious pamper kit won’t do the trick at relaxing you!
Set some time aside – First and foremost, the only way you can fully relax is by giving yourself the time to do it! Even in the busiest of lives, everyone can afford 10 minutes to themselves each day, so why not stretch it to a good hour to really feel the benefits.
If time is not quite on your side each day, having some quality “Me time” once a week is not too much to ask for, so pick a day that suits you, whether it’s a Friday after a long week, or a Sunday in prep for a work-filled Monday.
Find yourself a quiet place – Your house may be filled with people or it might just be you living the single gal life, but either way, relaxing can only happen if you are undisturbed and in a comfortable room that has nothing to do with work or other aspects of your life.
If you have a bath, amazing. If you are like me and only have a shower, find a quiet but comfortable corner that will suit the perfect pamper parlour. It may even be your sofa, but as long as you can avoid all distractions while you are there, then it works.
Get rid of distractions – That means your phone, your laptop, workbooks or other people. To fully get into the zone, putting down the electronics or other things that could get your mind wandering is really important.
Blue lights from phones are known to have health risks and looking at them all night after a day of looking at computers or books can be damaging to your eyes. On top of that it stops you from relaxing and fully shutting off, so do yourself a favour and unplug from the world for a bit while you pamper yourself.
If you can’t completely shut off… grab a book – But nothing to do with work or studies. Escapism is an amazing form of relaxation as it takes you away from the daily grind and into a different world.
Audio books are everywhere now, so if reading isn’t your thing, download a book or a podcast you can listen to for a while. Failing a good read, a music playlist does the trick just as well! I have my own perfect playlist for relaxing evenings that works well for background noise when silence invites my mind to wander back to work worries.
Invest in cotton towels – I don’t know about you but there is something about spending a night in a good hotel and stepping out of the shower to wrap yourself in a fresh cotton towel that just relaxes me. Wouldn’t it be great to replicate that same feeling back at home?
Trust me, towels, bathrobes, slippers, whatever you can get your hands on to have that same hotel fresh feeling is totally worth it.
Get Started with your Pamper Kit
Now you have the scene set in place, you’re pretty much halfway there. Alone time is the backbone to relaxation so you’re already pampering yourself by allowing time to wind down. But its time to pull out the big guns now and create a kit that works for you.
The best part? These homemade little numbers work just as well as Birthday or Christmas gifts too. I don’t know how many compliments I’ve had on giving these away as presents. Personalised pamper kits are so much better than a standard selection box of body sprays and assorted soaps, and if you can give the gift of relaxation to someone else, remember how much they will appreciate their own chance to pamper themselves.
Ok, so what will you need? Well, only you can decide what goes into your own pamper kit, but here are a few examples of what is in mine. Tick a few of these off your list and slowly begin to build your own.
The Box – Time to get as creative as you want here. You can take the minimalistic approach, something logical, formal and discrete, or you can go crazy with decoration and elaboration. Either way, just make sure it suits you and its purpose. Hey, you can even use a shoe box if it works!
Mine fits perfectly on my shelf in the bathroom and is big enough to hold the key items I need for the big pamper. I just remember to keep my daily makeup and cleansers somewhere else, so they don’t cross over. This kit is for the really heavy days that call for it.
Body Scrub – No pamper kit should be without something for your skin. I’m not talking shower gels or body wash or the standard daily washing soaps, get yourself a scrub or exfoliator that smells good and really banishes any dry skin on your body. It will probably cost you a little more than your normal scrub, but it will be worth it once you have glowing skin that smells like cocoa butter!
Cleansers, Toners and Moisturisers – I love a good set of skincare products, and as much as I wish I could treat myself to this kind of pampering every day, some days there just isn’t time to go the whole way. I cleanse, sure, and I aim to get a lick of moisturiser on my skin each day, but it is usually in a hurried rush as I’m trying to eat breakfast in a bid to become queen of multi-tasking.
Get yourself something special for your own kit, considering your skin type and what it needs. Dry skin, combination or oily skin need to be balanced with proper skin care products, so this could easily form part of your kit to make sure your face gets the royal treatment at least once a week.
Bubble Bath/Bath Bombs – I know I said I don’t have a bath, I have a shower, but it doesn’t mean I’m able to just walk past counters with arrays of different bath products that smell like unicorns made out of ice cream and covered in glitter! They are great for gifting anyway so when I can bring myself to part with my sparkly bath bombs, I tend to just make sure I’m using a luxurious shower gel that leaves behind a glittery shimmer.
Foot Scrubs – When you are on the ultimate mission to pamper your body, don’t neglect your feet. They take a lot from us, walking and standing on them all day so they deserve to be invited to the pamper party.
In my kit I have a fresh smelling scrub and moisturising socks that I keep on overnight. When you’re sitting back with your eyes closed and a good playlist going in the background, these babies remind you to stay off your feet while you relax. Definitely a good thing to have in your own kit if you are prone to getting distracted and wanting to get up and start doing something when you’re supposed to be relaxing!
Candles – There’s definitely something about a scented candle that helps you relax. Whether you’re into lavender or camomile, scented candles are great to have in your pamper kit. I’m a vanilla girl, I love the smell it sends around as floral scents tend to make me sneeze so just watch what you put in yours as you don’t need it to have an adverse effect.
At Christmas I swap my vanilla candle out for a cinnamon one. Very stereotypical but the Christmassy smell has a way of making you feel warm and fuzzy inside. As well as my scented candle I have a few other little ones in my kit that I just place around while I’m enjoying my hour of Me time, all house lights go off and I settle back into the ambiance of cosy lighting.
If you’re having a relaxing bath, candles around the edge are on point! Never under-estimate the power of a good candle!
Face Mask – All good pamper kits will have a face mask in them. Whether its small sachets or a big tub of charcoal face mask, have something in your own box that you know works on your skin. Don’t make the mistake of buying something new and trying it out to find out your skin doesn’t get on with it. Relaxing is about taking stress out of the occasion, not creating more with red and puffy skin!
I have a few different sorts in my kit, and I top them up when I need to but I especially favour cucumber masks as they have a cooling effect on the skin and are full of antioxidants to help clear out all the bad stuff. Once the pamper session is over I’m left with smooth and dewy skin that is blemish free.
Pore strips and peel off face masks are probably what everyone is into right now and as much as I love a good charcoal mask, I tend not to use them when I’m relaxing. Pulling my skin to within an inch of its life while I yelp in pain is not my idea of pampering, so I save those masks for the big occasions like before a party or event.
Lip Care – While you’re looking at filling your kit with lotions and scrubs, you may forget about the little things that also need a pamper from time to time. What better time to do it when you’re feeling fully relaxed and the rest of your body has had a treat.
In my own pamper kit I have a little tube of EGF Intensive Care Lip Balm by Xlash that basically helps to repair and heal damaged and dry lips from the moment it is put on. I love this stuff as it stays put and isn’t gloopy which I find can come off easily.
A lot of people carry petroleum jelly or other forms of moisturisers for the lips, but they may only last short term and you find yourself reapplying it often. With this balm in my pamper kit, I know I’m giving my lips a real treat and getting rid of sore or pale looking lips in the process.
Eyelashes – Again, this is another one that you’d be forgiven for forgetting, and if you haven’t given much thought to your eyelashes, well now you know they need a pamper too!
If you are a fan of eyelash extensions or wear false ones from time to time, then your eyelash health is in need of upkeep. Xlash Eyelash Serum is the one for me, it actually leaves my pamper kit and has become part of my daily routine, but I never skip a beat and still apply it when I’m indulging in my pamper session.
Helping to keep your eyelashes strong and healthy, it also encourages them to grow longer and promotes a long eyelash growth cycle. If you’re going to take the mind, body and soul mantra seriously then you should also add eyelashes into the mix. If you look great, you feel great and that goes for lashes too.
Sleep Mask – Whether your pamper kit is to help you unwind from a long day at work or your own bid to get to sleep early, you can keep a sleep mask in there for the nights where you feel fully relaxed but have trouble getting some shut eye.
Sleep is the most important thing for our bodies, we can’t recover from illness or injury without it and our body and mind don’t function well if we are sleep deprived. I have an eye mask in my pamper kit for when I just want to unwind with some music and lounge on the sofa, but it also helps at night especially as the street lights from outside seem to love shining right into my bedroom window just as I start to feel tired.
If you are putting one in your kit, make it fluffy and comfortable and non-restricting. Sleep will soon follow as long as your body and mind are fully relaxed, and you are in the right mindset.
The emphasis on the pamper kit is not so much the content as there are no rules. The main thing is that you feel relaxed and you have allowed yourself time to get there. We all need to stop from time to time in a fast-moving world and your mental health and wellbeing depends on these little breaks to regroup and rejuvenate.
When you give yourself the time to pamper yourself, your world slows down, so stop and appreciate it from time to time and let your body catch up with your mind. Happy Pampering!