Pampering: No longer a dirty word. (Plus a giveaway!)

There is something unsettling about the word “pamper” to me. It conjures up images of doing something a bit sneaky or sly, like playing hooky or getting a treat for something you really didn’t earn. Pampering has a connotation, for me, of being extravagant and wasteful. Gosh, no wonder I tend to feel guilty for “indulging” in anything that comes close to “pampering.”

But that’s just a definition I’ve created over time. And what I’ve learned through this journey is that I can change my definition any time time I want. So pampering is no longer a negative. Instead, it’s about little, everyday pieces of joy. It can be as simple as staring out the window at the beautiful blue spring sky while sipping coffee or as elegant as having my dinner off the good china. Pampering is not about spoiling myself, it’s about reminding myself of my own innate value by taking the time to appreciate it.

For the last week, I took the notion of pampering myself down to my soles, testing three products from Gilden Tree, a natural, organic foot and body care company. I’ve been using their signature foot scrubber, nourishing foot cream, and shea butter balm. The company professes values that resonate with me, including concern for the environment and taking care of the people who make their products, so I was excited and curious to try out their foot care line. I have to admit that ever since my bout with plantar fasciitis I have been more aware of my feet, understanding that they need care and attention. It started with a nice scrub in the shower.

Some fantastic foot pampering products from Gilden Tree.

The foot scrubber is a terra cotta version of the pumice stone meant to help remove rough spots and callouses. I admit, I was bit apprehensive about scrubbing my feet with a rough terra cotta stone, but it felt wonderful. The two-sided tool has a rough side to work away tough spots and a smoother side to buff the foot. My feet take a pounding, not just from running but also from swimming as the pool water tends to dry out my skin. The foot scrubber served as nice little foot massage after my workouts and felt like a treat.

The nourishing foot cream was applied to my feet after each shower. While opening the jar offered a bit of a strong scent, once I scooped out a bit of the thick cream to massage into my feet, it was light and refreshing and my feet felt lovely. I don’t know that I’ve ever used the phrase, “my feet felt lovely” before. But there it is. It sounds strange, but I like it.

The shea butter balm is thick and paste like. Taking a small portion, I would rub it between my fingers to “warm it up” then apply it to the needed area — in this case the heels of my feet and also some patches of dry skin on my legs and hands. Again with that light, refreshing scent, the balm was soothing and seemed to not only give some immediate relief to dry skin, but to form a protective barrier. The travel size is great for my gym bag and especially useful after a swim workout.

Taking the time to pay attention to my feet, a body part which rarely, if ever gets attention, was a form of pampering for me. And I have to say, I didn’t feel extravagant or guilty or like a high maintenance girl. For a few moments, I just focused on feeling good. And that is worth making peace with pampering.

Giveaway Time

Now for the fun part. Gilden Tree is giving away free products to the winner of this month’s Byline to Finish Line contest. How to enter? Leave a comment on this blog post about pampering. Are you comfortable with pampering yourself? How do you pamper yourself in small or big ways? The winner will be chosen at random, so leave a comment by Friday, May 13!

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