Its Evening around sun down, my Mum has freshly showered, donned her ironed clothes, nothing fancy, just some clean ironed Shalwar Kameez and Dupatta, her hair is dripping wet from the shower and she is applying her moisturiser and a slick of lipstick, Revlon burgundy, and applying kajal, and her beloved Charlie perfume which never went out of style for my Mum. She made it her own. This is a typical weekday I am talking about. My Mum has always been stylish and after hearing " hmmm which perfume are you wearing ? " or "where are you off to ? going to a dinner somewhere ? " , I was like I need to write this down somewhere. But I did not need to because when I started my own home life, this routine was ingrained in me and I started doing the same.
During my school age, my Mum was the only lady on the gates of the apartments in the morning, wearing a full 3 piece shalwar kameez, i.e. Matching Shalwar Kameez and dupatta and donning a lipstick at 7:30 am while other mothers coming to drop off their kids in the morning for the school vans to pick us up, were still in their pyjamas ready to go back to sleep while my mother had put the daal on the stove and clothes were already in the washing machine half way through to be put up on the clothes line to be dried.
Its no wonder that I picked up a few tricks from my Mum. So here are some self care tips from her:
1. First thing in the morning, wake up a bit earlier than everyone, if you wake up for fajir, then do not go back to sleep after prayer time, (weather permitted). Get up start a cleansing routine, or better yet as everyone is sleeping put on a face mask after cleaning your face. ( My Mum's go to was egg whites or honey)
2. Put on a full set of clothes rather than being in your pj's all day long, as soon as you wake up change your clothes. And put that apron on to protect your clothes from the kitchen.
3. Eat something before drinking tea, at least a fruit or almonds or toast. My Mum's breakfast to be which has not changed in a long time is still really small, toast, almonds, apple and tea. Nothing too much or too little. Sometimes she has something different like a last nights' roti or a veggie dish made a day before.
4. Drink at least 2 litres o water daily. I shared on my instagram stories a few weeks ago that drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses is easy. Drink 1 glass of water before every meal, or before and after every prayer. drink as snack with a small fruit like a satsuma or a plum. It really is not difficult.
5. While you are in the kitchen put on the radio or listen to music, my Mum used to love instrumental music so Yanni was her go to. I love listening to the radio or a podcast. Another way to utilise hours spent in the kitchen.
6. Do a facial for yourself by your self every week. Mum made us rub our hands with lemon and soft sugar as a scrub. A hair oil treatment was a must every weekend Saturday morning, a face mask made with either crushed masoor daal and gram flour or crushed rice and yogurt was a must.
7. Do not wear any undergarments at night. This is one thing which I cannot emphasise enough. This is so liberating at night. No Bras ahhhh! Your night dress needs to be co-ordinated, it does not and should not be 2 different things, pin striped buttoned down pyjama set yay, grey pjs and some other shirt nay nay. And they need to be cotton, no satin, no polyester. Cotton is breathable and your skin needs to be breath at night. The reason behind this is, you should feel good in your night clothes, what if there is a fire and you have to go out of the house, you will be out looking like a homeless person. Yes this was her reasoning although very extreme but I get the point. Thus co-ordinated pyjamas it is.
8. Mum's cup of tea in the evening was a half hour long, which included us interrupting her and her precious digest hour with our school tales which Mum always listened intently but we used to leave her alone for this was her time out of the day to read her beloved digest stories, Mum loved telling us the stories that she read or any line that she loved would go in her fancy diary written with a fountain pen which we were never allowed to touch. The little quotes were read to us if they had a sentiment to it or something related to Allah and His Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)
9. A shower in the evening is a must, no compromise. Freshly ironed and clean clothes is another must after that, always wear kajal and lipstick in the evening. A must which is still my Mum's staple at I dont know what age my Mum is but still is her go to. My Mum always wears stylish good quality clothes. She has never followed trends and will never. Always bought good quality fabric to be tailored to fit her according to her taste which is exquisite in its own right. That is why my Mum repeated a lot of her clothes as they were such good quality. This taught me, quality over quantity.
10. Use. Perfume. Every. Day. For the morning Mum used a flowery perfume which was not too strong, for the evening Mum used Charlie or Aramis. Both are masculine scents but she always liked her scents stronger. So that when she entered a room everyone should notice.
I am surprised and ashamed to say I do half of these, after having 3 kids these self care tips went out the window and I only followed a few which was unfortunate. Slowly as the girls have grown up I have found a simple routine in my busy life and I try be glamorous as my Mum has paved the way for me and my girls. I have followed a morning and night time skin care routine since I started a skin care routine. SPF although was a later discovery for Mum and Me. Remember those white sheen sunblocks in the 90's uff! they were awful. Further away from what we have today with some skin care moisturisers in them or tints too. My kajal is a must, I am not a lipstick person and I still get told off for not wearing lipstick whenever I come on video chat with her. I do change into my morning clothes after I wake up and yes I have started doing more facials and hand and feet massages now as the girls are getting older and leave me enough time to do my own thing.
I do hope my dear reader you found these self care tips useful. These tips if summarised tell you to drink more water, look after yourself no matter what you are going through, your mood will instantly light up when you wear good ironed clothes, put on a lipstick and just generally take care of yourself.
Love and Peace All