I spend quite a bit of time washing little people and things so my hands are in water a lot. I know that many folks deal with dry skin during the winter, myself included. My hands being wet so often would be a recipe for really rough, painfully dry and cracked skin. So when washing dishes or cleaning, I diligently make sure to put on a pair of latex gloves. My favorite kind are Mr. Clean Mega Grip Latex Gloves with Grippers because they are durable, come up high on my arm and have little grippers that keep things from slipping out of my hands. They are also orange which is a nice change of pace from yellow (tee-hee). Wearing the gloves also allows me to wash using very hot water which is essential for cleaning things like my cast iron cookware. I'm mindful to take the moment or two to put on the gloves even though many times I'm tempted to just wash the one or two things in the sink and not bother.
After bathing the Z's or washing their hands or my hands, I'm diligent about putting on lotion. My favorite is Avalon Organics Lavender Hand and Body Lotion. It is an all-natural lotion that is luxurious. It absorbs quickly to leave my hands feeling soft and looking healthy. My second favorite is Trader Joe's Lotion which is unscented and is a little cheaper than the Avalon. It works well too.
In addition to gloves and lotions, I pay attention to keeping my nails clean and trimmed. My nails are naturally strong and grow very long. I've never worn tips or had any kind of set and every time I go to get a manicure, I'm always complimented. (This makes up somewhat for my hair issues). With young kids though, long, manicured nails are impractical but I still like to have a nice looking hand (and feet too).
Every night before I go to bed each night, I put lotion on my hands and feet and lip balm on my lips. I may not be able to go all out in terms of a beauty regimen but I want to keep things looking healthy and beautiful, keep the foundation strong. Believe it or not, these little actions of putting on gloves, lotion and lip balm are some of the ways in which I put myself first, take care of myself first. Often times, I am doing these things while a child impatiently waits to be picked up or is loudly demanding a snack. It's so easy to just try to rush to get things done and forget the tiny little things that make me feel better about me.
Who knew that putting on latex gloves, applying lotion and lip balm could be such powerful expressions and affirmations of self-love?