Celebrating You

Five DIY Ways to Pamper Yourself in the New Year

By Sandra Bolan

The cold temps have set in, and the ramifications of over-indulging throughout the holidays is not only noticeable around the waistline but in our sallow, puffy skin, which might even be breaking out despite being decades removed from puberty.

By now, you’ve no doubt mastered how to DIY your mani-pedis, concealing the greys and concocting homemade facials, but you’ve likely let much of it slide. After all, with good lighting, you can look 20 years younger on your Zoom calls.


Thanks to the dry, cold winter air outside and even drier, warm temps indoors, your hair probably feels like straw.

Avoid shampoos with sulphates because it strips out the hair’s natural oils. Before you blow dry, curl or straighten your hair, apply a thermal protectant to your locks to avoid frying and breakage.

After a week of shampooing, product slathering and styling, apply a deep moisture mask once a week. This will help keep your hair from getting dull and slow down the damage.

Believe it or not, what we eat has a huge effect on our hair. During the winter, consider upping your intake of protein, iron, zinc, B vitamins and healthy fats to combat dull, dry hair.

DIY Body Scrubs

We all know how important it is to exfoliate our face, but it’s just as important to scrub off those dead skin cells from our entire body.

There are a multitude of DIY body scrubs to cater to your specific skin type (overly dry, sensitive), and while it’s true most of the ingredients can be found in your kitchen, stay away from the harshness of apple cider vinegar and lemons.

Exfoliating will make your skin feel baby soft, but too much of a good thing can distress it or be painful. Exfoliate only once or twice a week, and don’t rub your skin raw. Try a simple sugar scrub, with sugar mixed with coconut oil, instead.


Facials are the easiest way to knock years off your age and leave people gasping when they find out just how old you are, as they leave your skin feeling and looking more rejuvenated. Facials can even help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

If you want to replicate a spa facial at home, set aside a couple of hours for “me time” and be prepared for a multi-step process.

The first step is to double-wash your face to remove make up and loosen the pores’ sebum.

Second, apply a toner to remove leftover dirt. Toners also help balance the skin’s pH level.

Next, exfoliate with alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic, lactic or citric, as well a salicylic acid to remove dead skin cells and improve collagen production.

Step four is to steam open those pores. No fancy equipment is required – just a bowl of boiling water and a towel to put over your head. Put your face over the bowl and let the steam do its work.

Next, apply a mask and leave it on for about 30 minutes. Once the mask is washed off, apply those lotions and potions to those areas that need a little extra attention attention, such as wrinkles around the eyes and scars. 

Finally, moisturize with a product that contains a sunscreen.

If you’re so inclined, at any time, you can use a massaging face roller. Massaging stimulates cellular activity and lymphatic drainage, which helps reduce puffiness.


One of the great treats we give ourselves is splurging on mani-pedis. But it’s actually one of the easier DIYs – as long as you have the right equipment. There are a multitude of kits available, just find one in your price range.

Brain Health

Self-care isn’t just about buffing and polishing our skin, it’s also about stimulating our minds.

Up there with losing weight and going to the gym, a popular New Year resolution is to read more.

But your days are already jam-packed and there aren’t any plans to add more hours to it, so how are you supposed to do one more thing?

Start by replacing your screen time with book time. Instead of mindlessly skimming through social media or watching TV before bed, spend that time reading a book.

Multitask. Audibles are a great way to listen to a book while you drive, cook, clean or workout.

Join a book club. Scheduled meetings can help you complete a book by a set date. Book clubs also take the “what to read next” problem out of the equation, which can be more difficult than actually reading a book by a deadline.

Book clubs expose you to authors and genres you may have previously never considered but end up enjoying.

Even though most social gatherings are still a no-no, book clubs never stopped during the pandemic – they just moved online. Talking about a plot twist that blew your mind with other people over Zoom is another way to maintain social bonds.

When you find that perfect spot in your house – comfy chair, great lighting and solitude – it’s amazing how easy it is to immerse yourself in a book – or your favorite magazine – West Georgia Woman (wink).

This past year has been tough on us all for a variety of reasons, which is why it’s so important we take care of ourselves and indulge in some me-time. The more you practice loving self-care, the better you’ll be for those who need you. 

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