This Year’s Word Podcast Shownotes: Episode 8, The Power of Pampering

This Year’s Word Podcast Shownotes: Episode 8, The Power of Pampering

Hello and welcome to This Year’s Word Podcast, I’m your host, Courtney Symes. I’m an author, entrepreneur, mum, and wife. In this podcast series, I will share my Word of the Year experience as I explore the meaning of the word “Love” and how you can use this word to change your life, one day at a time.

In today’s episode I continue to explore how to LOVE the skin you’re in by touching on the concept of pampering. “Pampering” can mean different things to different people. What is the first thing you think of when I mention the word “pamper”? For me personally, pampering includes activities such as massage, taking a long hot bath, or getting my haircut, among other things. I’m going to touch on a few of my favourite activities in today’s episode in the hope that you will be encouraged to establish your own “pampering self-care rituals”.
Let’s being with The Power of Touch:

When you touch a body, you touch the whole person, the intellect, the spirit, and the emotions.
– Jane Harrington

I am a very tactile person – I love being touched (and no, not in a creepy way). For as long as I can remember, I have always loved massages – from my mum’s loving back tickles as a kid to facials as a teenager. As an adult, I enjoy a professional massage to release tension, ease sciatic pain, and stop a migraine in its tracks.
One of my favourite pampering treats is getting a quick massage (or longer one if I have the time to spare) at my local shopping centre. They often have an off-peak deal during the day – $15 for a ten minute neck and should massage. It is pure bliss!

I’ve been getting quick massages since my children were small. Initially, I would time my children’s naps with a visit to the mall, and once the sleepy small person was out-cold in the pram, I would make a beeline for the massage shop. I hoped like hell my little one stayed asleep while I was pampered for ten minutes – even if that meant constantly rocking the pram while being rubbed.

I highly recommend a shorter massage if you are short on time and watching your dollars, or even if you just want to focus on a specific body part. Most massage parlours are happy to receive your custom, regardless of how long your massage is.

I aim to get a massage once a month, ideally two weeks after my chiropractic session, to reduce muscle tension and maintain a good level of movement in my neck and shoulders. A massage is also a brilliant way to reduce stress – the power of human touch can’t be underestimated! I really resonate with Robin S. Sharma’s philosophy on the benefits of massage: “I take a massage each week. This isn’t an indulgence, it’s an investment in your full creative expression/productivity/passion and sustained good health.”

My next favourite pampering treat (which is often more accessible than a massage), is a warm bath.
Water is naturally soothing and healing – perhaps because we feel clean and ‘renewed’ after bathing, having washed away the unwanted. I agree with Hippocrates’ view that:
“The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day.”

I especially love a bath on cold winter evenings, and take one nearly every night. For me, baths offer so many benefits, such as:
• Muscle relaxation – warm water for tired, sore muscles is what cheese is to wine – they are perfect companions. While a warm shower will sufficiently relax muscles, there is something more effective about immersing yourself up to your neck in a hot bath.
• Healthy skin – warm water and steam from a bath helps to open the skin’s pores, making it easier to remove dirt and absorb moisture. I like to add magnesium salts and essential oil (diluted in a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil) to my bath. The benefits of essential oils used for aromatherapy are numerous, such as reducing stress, inflammation, and promoting sleep.
• Reading time – I love to read in the bath. This is one of the few uninterrupted times of the day I have to myself once the kids have gone to bed. I haven’t dropped a book in the bath yet, but I choose small, light-weight paperback books or magazines that are easy to replace, should the worst happen. For me, reading is a wonderful way to escape and relax, but you could also listen to music, or simply enjoy the sound of silence.
• Improved sleep routine – getting into bed feeling warm and relaxed after a bath sets you up for a great night’s sleep, especially if you are a light sleeper or prone to insomnia. A warm bath is a trigger for the start of my sleep routine, which I often follow with herbal tea and reading a few pages of a book in bed or journaling to wind down further.
• Rehydration – I often feel thirsty after a warm bath, which encourages me to rehydrate with a glass of water or a mug of tea.

A couple of words of warning: while I enjoy a hot bath, hot baths can increase your heart rate, make you feel light-headed, and scold or dry out your skin by stripping the natural oils. Hot baths are also not recommended during pregnancy, so always double-check the temperature before jumping in.
My third pampering treat I am going to mention today is loving my locks – aka getting a haircut. This is perhaps one of the things many people have missed most during lockdown. Whether it’s just a trim to tidy up the ends, or spending hours in the chair overhauling your colour, most people can relate to the challenges of “COVID hair” or DIY COVID haircuts.

Before starting a family, I used to get my hair cut every three months. Now that I’m a mum, my time is more limited, and I’m lucky to get to a hair salon twice a year. I’m happy to colour my hair myself, but absolutely love the experience of getting my hair cut by a professional. This was a self-care activity I rated highly throughout my Year of Love.

I book a haircut whenever I feel the ends of my hair getting dry or lanky and aim for 2-3 times per year.
I have a little trick for maximising the “event” of getting a haircut. Knowing how amazing my hair looks and feels after a cut and blow-dry, I always try to coincide my appointment with an evening out with friends or other social events to maximise my enjoyment of my new, fluffy hair. Going home and chilling out on the couch feels like a cop-out after investing my time and hard-earned money on this luxurious experience, especially when I can’t get it done as frequently as I’d like. This also applies to beauty treatments such as manicures, pedicures, facials, and eyelash extensions.

Here’s how you can maximise your next haircut or beauty treatments:
1. Look at your calendar to identify what social events you have coming up and try to schedule your hair or beauty appointment earlier that day. The work Christmas party or your birthday are perfect occasions.
2. Make time to get your hair done at least once a year, and book it in advance, so it happens.
3. Enjoy every moment of your hair appointment. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your stylist, take a great book or favourite magazine and politely let them know this is the only time you have to catch up on reading.
4. If you have time and don’t have children in tow, make a date with yourself and grab a coffee or lunch afterwards to maximise the experience.
5. Book your next appointment while you’re there, and put it in your diary. You can always reschedule, but you’ll be less likely to once it’s in your calendar.
6. Try a few different salons until you find a stylist you love and trust. Then you won’t have to explain what you want and hope for the best every time you get your hair cut.
I hope this episode has inspired you to look for ways to pamper yourself every day, as well as maximise your pampering experiences. I share many of these experiences and more in my new book, A Year of Love: Finding peace one day at a time which you can find at

Thanks for listening, and I hope you can join me next time.

I’ll leave you with today’s manta: I am worthy of pampering, and look for opportunities to pamper my body every day.