I know this isn’t really just an ME thing and everyone has down days when you’re not feeling so good so this is probably just a general low energy treats that I like to do on days when I don’t have the energy to do much but want a bit of a pick me up. All of these are pretty much beauty/skin care things but I’m trying to think of other things that can give that happy relaxed feeling that don’t take energy so any ideas you guys have I’d love to hear as well, I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few and it’s always good to find a new way to pamper yourself anyway.
This post is just general ideas, I am thinking of doing my favourite products for some of the things I’ve put here as I’ve tried quite a few face masks or nail varnishes.
Starting out with one that’s a fairly standard in any pampering post and that’s the face mask. I love face masks and how many different versions there are for any kind of skin tone. I have recently tried some of the sheet face masks and they’re so easy, especially on a low energy day, you open the sachet, put it on your face and it feels a bit like a wet wipe, and then you pat in the excess when it’s time to take it off. There’s not mess with tubes or pots of face mask getting on your fingers and no need to wash it off and dry your face afterwards which I always find takes more energy than I expect as I miss bits. Also as they’re individually wrapped these can last for a while so you don’t have to worry about a half open tube drying out. Superdrug have some nice ones which are easy to access in the UK, otherwise Korean ones have so many different versions available online and some places sell bumper bags of assortments.
I do love the more traditional masks and have recently been using a Dr Organics one and some from Superdrug which are all cruelty free, easy to find and a reasonable price. Lush ones are nice but you have to use them pretty quickly, one tip for them is to separate it into teaspoon sized portions and then freeze them in freezer bags so you just open one and use it. I’ve ended up with so many mouldy Lush face masks in my fridge but this tip really helped. There are some good recipes online for face masks if you feel like giving them a go and a lot seem to be fairly low energy if you get someone else to chop up the fresh fruit or veg. Face asks can also be good if you want to have a relaxing day with friends, whether they have ME as well or not it’s always a fun afternoon especially if you sit with them if they make it even if you can’t make it yourself you know there’s going to be some mess and laughs.
Alongside face masks hair masks are fun if you have the energy to wash them out afterwards or have someone who could help you wash it out over the sink. There’s something really relaxing about massaging in a hair mask especially if you have someone else do it. If you have the energy then you could apply it someone else’s hair and they do it for you and have a nice sit down and relax while it sinks in. Having them sit on the floor and you sit on a chair might help make your arms less tired if you do this. Like with face masks you can find some good online recipes and I’ve found just pure olive oil works well though it’s rather messy if you put on too much and can be hard to wash out. Avocado seems popular in a lot of face and hair treatments and they’re fairly easy to mash up once you’ve cut and peeled them if they’re ripe enough.
The second thing that I normally do on a pamper day, often at the same time, is to use the foot spa that I have. I got it for Christmas years ago so it’s looking a little messy and worse for wear as I’ve used bath bombs in it to get a bit of scent and extra skin conditioning. Mine is from Champneys and I think it was from Boots. I would say I’ve had it for 5 or 6 years now and it’s still going but it is pretty loud. If you don’t have a foot spa then a kitchen bowl you can fit both of your feet in with warm water and either a bath bomb, some bath oil or a bubble bath product will do as well. The foot spa does have the benefit of keeping it warmer but do not use bubbly things in there, you will end up with a mound of foam as it has jets that just make it keep bubbling. Also the foot spa is louder as it has a pump sending the water around so I always have something relaxing on my mp3 player and have my headphones in so it’s harder to hear. Whichever method you use then a nice coating of foot cream, or as I’ve done recently hand cream, and some nice fluffy socks if you have the energy to do it can make your feet feel completely pampered. If you don’t have the energy then maybe see if your parents or someone would help, especially with the emptying the bowl at the end as that can be a bit heavy if you have a lot of water.
A similar thing to the foot pampering, and possibly less energy sapping, is to soak your hands in a nice oil or moisturising bath product in a warm bowl of water and then cover them with a hand cream or cuticle oil. This can be a bit problematic if you end up with greasy hands but in a pamper day you don’t need to do anything else so you can try to relax and wait for the product to soak in as part of the experience. Otherwise you can get some gloves for manicures but I think a cheap alternative would be those stretchy one size fits all gloves you get in Primark and other cheap shops that would work just as well at keeping the product on your hand for it to soak in.
Other nail things I always find nice on a pamper day is to just do my nails, take my time and rest in between doing the coats. It’s relaxing and not too much concentration needed though it can be a problem if you have shaky hands like I do sometimes. Luckily a lot of the time if you go over the edges most nail varnishes will peal or wash off with soap the next day, you just have to be patient and leave it for a bit. Since having the gel nail varnish kit doing my nails seems even more papering, it takes less time (at least for me 45 minutes is less as I always end up smudging my normal nail varnish if I do anything that fast) and you are good to go straight away. There are some in Boots that are one nail mini lights that are pretty cheap though I don’t know how they work, I might have to give them a go and compare them to my current one. If you really like having your nails done and like the idea of gel manicures then the travel sets are often cheaper than the full size ones and will plug into USBs so you can do it on your bed and plug it into the computer.
I do love baths but sometimes they can take more energy from me rather than relaxing but if you find they help then a nice bath with a luxury bath product, keep a more expensive product or a scent you love for these days to add to the treat feeling, and just sit there for a while. Relaxing music, candles or a book if you have the energy and don’t think you’ll drop it in the water can add to the relaxing experience
Non-beauty things that work well for a pamper day might not use much energy are things like watching a favourite movie with a blanket and some snacks or a hot drink, this is especially good in the winter when it’s cold outside and just the feeling of being all snuggled up under a blanket feels a bit pampering if you’re actually planning on doing it and have a ‘duvet day’. You could also find a nice relaxing CD or TV show and just lay there and listen to it if watching things hurts your eyes too much. The TV shows or YouTube can be good on a laptop as you can often turn the screen down completely so it’s black and then the room is a lot darker. Fairy lights are nice if you want a dim room but don’t have a dimmer switch, if they’re static ones then you can just turn them on and there’s a bit of a glow wherever they are and the warmer white ones aren’t too harsh. I have a set of battery operated ones on the top of one of my pictures in my room which are good for evenings when I want a dimmer light and they don’t need to be near a plug.
I did a bit of a book review recently on an adult colouring book and I have found it pretty relaxing, it does take a bit of concentration so not necessarily something to do if you’re severely affected by ME but it can be relaxing if you have the energy for it. They’re available pretty much everywhere now, it seems like every shop I’ve been in recently has them if they’re remotely related to what’s being sold and sometimes even if they’re not. Something I used to have that I found really relaxing, until it broke, was a toy I got when I was younger and it had a sort of liquid inside with iron filings and you’d use a pen with a magnet in the tip on the outer surface and you could just draw on it then swipe a thing on the bottom and it’s erase it. It is designed for younger children and you don’t have anything after you finish but it’s very relaxing to doodle and I found it a lot smoother than using a pen. There’s something oddly therapeutic and relaxing about doodling or colouring in intricate shapes which seems odd to me as I always used to hate colouring and I’m still not a huge fan of it now but those books are designed well and make me want to keep doing it.