In May of 1955, Housekeeping Monthly published an article entitled, “The Good Wife’s Guide,” detailing all the ways that a wife should act and how best she can be a partner to her husband and a mother to her children. In light of International Women’s Day on May 8, here are some self-care routines inspired by the popular 1955’s housewife.
1.) Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.
Reconnect mindfully with your body every time you eat by preparing delicious meals that are nutritious, sustainable, low or zero-waste. When you eat a meal with friends or family, leave electronic devices in another spot so that you can focus on the food entering your body. Enjoy the conversation around the dinner table and reconnect with the people around you.
2.) Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
Make food your friend, not your enemy. Explore cooking classes in your area or take out a cookbook from the library on another country’s cuisine or time period. Expand your palate and you might discover your new favourite dish!
3.) Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
Go to bed a little bit earlier if you’re tired and work-weary. If you have a busy household, openly communicate your need for a nap on weekends or down-time to recharge. Extend the same courtesy to your family members. Balance is important! There are days that pajamas all day is great for the spirit. Taking care of your physical appearance does enhance your mental health and science has proven time and again that when we look better, we feel better. What outfit makes you feel like you can take on the world? Dress to impress yourself at the start of the work week.
4.) Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
What hobbies have you neglected? Is there a new, interesting course, book, craft or skill that you want to explore further? Make it a priority as part of your self-care routine. Ask members of your family or friends if they want to participate in this new activity as part of building lasting memories together. Think new sport, new adventure or new physical activity!
5.) Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up school books, toys, paper, etc. and then run a dust cloth over the tables.
Start a budget (if you haven’t already done so) and stick to it in the following months and preferably for the remainder of your life on earth. Visit your financial institution and get a personalized financial plan. It’s easy to declutter and then just buy more things we don’t really need. Financial stability is an essential part of self-care. Decluttering starts with knowing where your money went, what you truly need and how to save for what you really want.
6.) Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
Take a mental break! Anxiety, burnout, overwhelm can all take a toll on our physical bodies. Meditation, visualizations and journaling are all ways in which you can provide comfort to yourself and provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
7.) Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes.
Make a special day for members of your family or pets. What would they like to do for their special day? It’s easy to celebrate people’s birthdays or special occasions, so pick one day that isn’t related to any specific holiday and make it that person or pet’s day! It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, it can include doing their favourite activity, them wearing their favourite outfit or playing their favourite board or go-fetch game. Rotate the days so that everyone in the family gets their special day, including you.
8.) Children are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
Incorporate music into your daily life! Turn on some soothing music at dinner time, intimate time (whatever works for you) and just for fun and have a dance party in the living room. Music lifts the spirits and can change the mood in the home. Classical music is known to increase concentration, thus try some Mozart while studying.
9.) Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him. Listen to him.
When you look in the mirror every morning, give yourself a big smile. Say something nice, empowering and kind to yourself. What we do first thing in the morning is the foundation for the rest of the day. Be sincere and choose one phrase that will brighten your day. It could be the same phrase or seek out a different one every day.
10.) You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first — remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
Slow down your thoughts and become mindful of what is important. Journaling is an excellent way to decrease overthinking. When our mind is in a more calm state, our bodies will react accordingly. When you speak, try to speak just a tiny bit slower and breathe more deeply. This will decrease anxious energy and improve your confidence.
11.) Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
Become flexible with life when things don’t always go the exact way you planned it. With meditation and journaling align with your higher purpose and allow yourself to go with the flow. Balance it out with planning events and important aspects of your life in a calendar to gain control over your time. When you feel strained or pulled in too many directions, look at your calendar and see what you can control and then be flexible with that which you cannot control. Adjust accordingly.
12.) Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where you husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
Your goal: Make your body, home and surroundings a place of peace, order and tranquility where you can renew yourself in body, mind and spirit.
13.) Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.
If you are dealing with challenging circumstances, work through it in a holistic, substantive and proactive way. If we fall victim to our circumstances, we disempower ourselves and can become very negative in our outlook on life. Find support, a guided journal and/or therapy and work through your difficulties rather than suppressing them.
14.) Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
Be compassionate and kind to yourself in times of hardship. Every step that you take towards healing is a victory. Your circumstances are not comparable to anyone else’s. We are all on this earthly journey to learn, grow and experience. If you need some time away, communicate it with those who love you and come up with an action plan to support you through this trying time.
15.) Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
HYDRATE! Switch up that third morning coffee with a herbal tea and drink enough water in your reusable water bottle throughout the day.
16.) Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
The tone of our voice reflects our current emotions. Think of the most beautiful, wonderful and inspirational thing you want to say to a loved one. Now say it back to yourself. Write it down in your journal and reflect on it as often as needed.
17.) Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment of integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
Everyone has a right to their opinion, no matter how bizarre it may seem to you. You respect yourself and your views, be respectful, fair and speak the truth. Do not take the bait to go into a heated discussion with someone or authority that isn’t open to another point of view. This causes unnecessary tension and conflict and is very draining on your own mental energy. If the situation requires action or attention, enlist the help of a mediator or counselor. Find a tribe that explores new ideas in a non-judgemental way where everyone can learn and grow together.
18.) A good wife always knows her place.
Know your boundaries. Go on an inner self-discovery and explore your own triggers, upsets, past and future goals. Journal down what you’ve learned so far, what works for you and what doesn’t. Know your place: where you want to be and with whom you want to share it.
We have come a long way since the 1950's, however there is still much to do! Education, empowerment and embracing our differences for an equal and peaceful society with a sustainable planet. Happy Women's Day!
Photos courtesy of Pixabay
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