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Self-Care on the Cheap

I'm not sure we really know the value of self-care until life challenges us. I am constantly amused when somebody compliments my dresses. No, I don't wear dresses because of a religious reason. Yes, I wear dresses because I like to feel like a lady. But the real reason I always wear dresses is because it takes one second to pull a dress over my head versus the minutes it would take to don jeans.

Anders Janssen of Chicago, IL. Photo by Great Heart of

the Prairie Productions.

I first realized the value of time and self-care with my first son, Jacob, now a sophomore at Indiana University's Hamilton-Lugar School of Intergovernmental Affairs. Like every politician, Baby Jacob wanted a lot of attention, so I mastered the art of going to the bathroom in only four seconds.

As a single mom of four with exceedingly little help, if I wanted self-care, it had to be fast and cheap. Extra honey packets from Popeye's made an amazing facial mask. Hotel coffee packets made great exfoliation, if a bit messy. I tried to have a spa night once a week. As a kid, I used to marvel at why my mother could take such scaldingly hot baths. Now, I knew. It was no small issue: Nobody wants to be friends with the pastor's family, who never curses, stop smiling, etc. Then, as today, I'm on my own. Cozy books were one amazing refuge. So were dollar stores. You could save pennies all week, nab a gold dust facial at the dollar store, and feel like a queen. (Note to self: Do NOT jumpscare kids while wearing your facial mask!)

Whatever you do, enjoy--and definitely don't feel guilty. If you do feel guilty, just remind yourself to be your own best friend. Otherwise, I give you full permission to take that second doughnut! Please comment below with your best ways to undertake self-care!

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