I was awakened this morning by the thought of my Mom pampering and moisturizing herself from head to toe each day. There is a phrase that seems to be commonly used more than ever, "I'm going to run and jump in the shower." Why are we running? Why are we figuratively jumping? (smile). When was the last time you actually took a nice long soak in a bathtub? You deserve it; more specifically your skin deserves it.
Showers can be very harsh on our skin to the point of drying it out. When we hurriedly care for ourselves, many times we do not cleanse completely, when we dry off, we rub our skin harshly with the towel and/or miss drying certain areas. Harsh rubbing once again adds to skin dryness. Leaving certain areas damp can lead to fungus and bacterial issues. Showering is fine for periodic use but bathing allows us to add things to the water that can help us relax, like lavender, or things that exfoliate, like sea salt and things that moisturize, like bath oil. Soaking adds an element of relaxation that we all need. This can be a time of meditation, reflection and even stress-free brainstorming. Upon departing the bath, instead of rubbing harshly, simply pat the skin dry so that some of the water remains and follow up immediately with a lotion or moisturizing cream to form a seal...from head to toe.
This brings me back to the memory of my Mom. Though she had Alzheimer's, I encouraged her to do as much as she was possibly able to do for herself, as I stood nearby to help if she asked me to or if I felt she needed me. In doing this, I was showing her respect and simultaneously helping to keep her brain active. Some tasks had been a part of her life for so many years, the actions accompanying the task seemed to naturally trigger and this practice lasted for many years. She may not have remembered 5 minutes later, however, that she had done the task but this is the nature of Alzheimer's.
After I helped her out of the bath tub, she would cover her body to keep warm and also because she was a very modest lady. Then, she would very methodically remove her favorite skin care products from the cabinet. While standing, she would uncover each part of the body as needed and like a trained masseuse, after patting most of her body dry, she would take time to thoroughly apply creams and lotions. It was incredible to watch and it taught me a lesson. Lastly, she would thoroughly dry every single toe, and then dry in between each toe. Next, she would sit down to massage and moisturize her feet. You could tell each toe was special to her, and I truly believe the pinkie toe got a little bit more love. Knowing my Mom the way I did, I bet she thought often about the many miles and experiences her feet had walked her thru. She and my Dad always expressed how thankful they were for even the simplest of things. Baby powder and after bath spray completed the ritual, She looked radiant on a daily basis and just thinking of this brings the memory of her scent to my mind.
This may take you up to an hour...maybe more. Adding candles and your favorite music is the piece de resistance. It is time well spent friends. Just ask yourself, "Am I worth it?" I believe you will hear a resounding, 'YES I AM!