I’ve had a hard time accepting and handling having a disabling case of Fibromyalgia and like everyone I have a hard time looking for the good in something bad. Recently I had the incredible opportunity to see a little silver lining to being so sick. Fibro has caused the signals between my body and brain to get all mixed up (maybe my nerve system is male and doesn’t want to stop for directions? *laugh*), so sometimes a hug or even a casual touch can feel like I’ve been punched, and leave me sore for days or weeks. Top it all off with chronic illnesses and the feeling that I have a bad case of flu every single day, and I tend to forget that silver linings even exist. We all have something in life that we get lost in despite our best intentions.
When I was chatting with a new tester recently we really dived into the topic of exfoliation and when I asked her how she applies the products on her face she had to pause to think about it (I’ll pause here for a moment for you to try to remember what fingers you use…*queue the Jeopardy music*). We think we found a few things that she can try to do differently and while we discussed alternate techniques I realized that in learning to adjust to my new needs that I’ve also learned to be gentle to myself. Most people never realize how much pressure they’re using or even how rough they’re being with their skin when they’re rushing through the little daily tasks, like washing, applying things, or even toweling off. We’ve all done it, but if you can catch yourself and alter your routine, your skin will usually show the difference pretty quickly.
I had the opportunity to learn some fantastic techniques from a great Spa Consultant, Michelle Ayers, a few years back. (I know it’s a faux pas to discuss someone in the same field, but she really deserves credit for helping a lot of people and showed me to describe things in more relatable terms, which isn’t a natural skill for me since I’m usually a textbook regurgitator.) While talking about applying anything near the eyes she said to use the ring finger on my right hand, since it’s weaker, and therefore unable to apply too much pressure. As time has gone by I’ve had to become even gentler with myself and went to the most awkward finger that I could – my ring finger on my non-dominant hand (we all know that it’s not either of my middle ones since those get a lot of exercise *sassy wink*). Ahem. I’ve learned that using this awkward finger has made a world of difference for me. I never get that extra bit of puffiness around my eyes when I apply face cream as it reacts from too much pressure, plus when I exfoliate I use that finger and I don’t get that bright rosy hue that makes me look quite feverish. I also pat dry instead of rubbing, massage the shampoo in for a moment instead of roughly lathering it all up, etc. Figure out what your odd man out finger is, try it for a week, and let me know if you feel or see the difference. From exfoliating to that secret wrinkle banishing cream that’s hidden behind the mega box of band aids, and everything in between. Rub a dab of something on your arm with one of your super strong pointers (I won’t judge if your pointer is one that supposedly isn’t fit for society *grin*) and then rub a little bit in with the other one. See if you feel a difference between them. I have a little extra luck with that, since I have Super Senses (cape not included, dang it!).
Being kind to yourself isn’t always about a special meal or a vacation without kids. It’s kind of like those instructions on a plane about putting on your mask first and then helping the child, because if you aren’t taken care of you can’t take care of anyone else. Try to take a moment to be kind to your body. We all want you to feel good, even when you can’t pamper yourself. If you can manage to slow down for a moment and gentle your movements when you take care of those little things, your body, healthy or not, will thank you.