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Is shaving your legs “self-care”?

So, this weekend I tackled the forest that had appeared on my legs over the past few weeks. I know speaking to many friends and clients, winter can be a time when hair removal becomes less of a priority. Part of me feels, well no-one can see so why bother? We have enough on our plate to start thinking about being beautifully groomed as well. There seems a crazy pressure to have perfectly shiny, tanned, hairless legs and it feels like a big old faff!

hairy legs menopause

However, I did tackle my legs this weekend as it’s time to get the 3/4 length running leggings out as I’m just getting too hot in my winter layer. Rather than feeling like a faff, having nice smooth legs actually made me feel better. It made me think who was I doing or not doing this for?

In reality, every time I caught a glimpse of my hairy legs it reminded me I hadn’t spent any time looking after me. Taking the time to remove hair, blow dry your hair, apply make-up – whatever feels good for you is actually a small part of self-care. When we tell ourselves constantly that we don’t have time for that small thing that might make us feel good, we’re telling ourselves we’re not important enough.

During this rollercoaster hormone journey we’re all on, “self-care” gets talked about a lot, but what do we actually mean by self-care? To me there are the small things, the big things and sometimes the uncomfortable things:

The Small Things

To me hair removal comes into the small things, shaving your legs in itself is not necessarily self-care, but setting aside enough time to do something that makes you feel good about a part of your body is. Lots of small things add up and we need to prioritise the things that are important to us.

The Big Things

To me these are the things like exercise, nutrition, rest, sleep, managing stress. They can feel overwhelming as sometimes it can feel like we don’t know where to start. To me, start anywhere but just make sure you start.

  • Drink more water
  • Plan your food
  • Go out for a daily walk
  • Go to bed 30 mins early
  • Turn of technology an hour before bed
  • Have a massage

Start with one thing but make this part of a bigger plan to truly start looking after yourself.

The Uncomfortable things

These often don’t get mentioned under the umbrella of “self-care” but tackling your finances, making decisions about your career, creating a home space that fills you with calm, fixing difficult relationships. Starting to focus on the things that make you feel uncomfortable and stressed is an important part of self-care. These are often the things that cause stress and anxiety that can build up. As with the big things, take the first step. If your finances are in a mess, firstly take an honest look at everything, you can only tackle a problem once you really understand the scope of what you’re dealing with. If your home causes you stress, start small – one drawer, one cupboard and keep going.

In my coaching I used the Life Evaluation Circle to ask my clients to take an honest look at what is working and isn’t working in their life.

Where do you rate in each area? Where do you want to be? What are you going to do to get there? Pick 1 action for each area – use our free Life Evaluation Action Planner as a guide.

So, whether you shave, wax, laser or leave your hair growth natural it doesn’t matter, it’s your choice. What does matter is how well you look after yourself in what ever way that’s right for you.

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