Everyone needs some pampering, sometimes. When you find yourself on your own, because you're widowed or divorced, it can be paralyzing and depressing. You feel lousy and getting back out into the world is work.
While this is not the time to splurge wildly on a trip to Antigua or a Mercedes convertible, now more than ever you need to be good to yourself.
So rev up. Get going and pay a little attention to your needs. Mental health is as important as financial health. Money may not be too plentiful these days, but there are things you can do to bring a smile to your face and soothe your tension -- without sinking your financial plan.
For starters, give yourself permission to do something special for at least once a week. Maybe you want to spend an hour listening to music, reading a book or taking a frothy bubble bath with vanilla scented candles burning.
Here are some other ideas:
- Treat yourself to a free makeover at a big department store like Bloomingdales or Lord & Taylor. Don't go nuts buying all the fixings, although a new $15 tube of lipstick won't break the bank and might be just the thing to pick up your spirits.
- Ask a friend to meet you for lunch and talk about something other than men.
- Cruise the local bookstore and sip a cappuccino. Just soak up the atmosphere and lose yourself.
- Sign up for a weekly yoga class. It shouldn't set you back more than $10 to $15 a class and the physical and psychic rewards will be your payback.
- Take yourself to the movies once a week with or without a friend. I'd opt for the matinee.
- Consider volunteering at a senior's center or another organization that needs help. Check your local paper for ideas. Your child's school might need a teachers' assistant or help with field trips.
- Get a dog and start walking! Upfront costs might be hundred or so, and there are the kibble bills each month, but again the rewards of exercise and love will be worth it. Trust me.
- Get involved with your church or social group. It's free. It's a community of folks who respect you, and you are all working for the common good.
- Sign up for a course on something you've never had time to do, say, a program on flower arranging. Learn French or Spanish. Check with your local community colleges to see what is currently being offered.
- Laugh. Seriously, take a course on how to tell jokes, read a funny book, or just try to remember to smile at least once a day until your cheeks ache. A dog can help with this. Just ask my yellow Lab, Becky.