You’re completely and utterly burned-out, and it’s going to take more than an energy drink for you to re-attack your life with unbridled enthusiasm. It’s time to bring out the big ones: the A list of splurges. Here, a few over-the-top ways to pamper yourself. After one of these indulgences, you’ll be recharged in no time.
1 Book a session with a real fashion photographer. We’re not talking Sears portrait studio or cheesy mall glamour shots. Make fun splurges such as a session with a photographer who regularly shoots for fashion magazines will give you an afternoon of diversion and an album of hot pics. You’re never too old for dress-up, so don some daring fashion and work it like you’re competing for the top slot on America’s Next Top Model. If you’re chronically un-photogenic, fear not: A fashion photog worth his salt knows what to say to make even the stiffest of the camera-shy cover-worthy. To find a photographer near you, log on to Guru.com.
2 Hire a personal concierge. Tedious tasks typically suck up what little free time we have: picking up the dry-cleaning, scheduling dental appointments, stocking up on coffee and toilet paper, reorganizing kitchen cupboards. Take a vacation from tedium and leave the grunt work to a personal concierge (available on retainer or hourly fees; check out www.headconcierge.com for more information). Even just a few weeks of handing over your to-do list will give you the breathing room to catch up on your downtime.
3 Hit the hydrotherapy at a nearby spa. For thousands of years, the tired and the weary have turned to the water for rejuvenation; for today’s bogged-down career woman, urban day spas replace Roman baths as the oasis in a desert of stress. Submerge yourself in a giant hydrotherapy tub loaded up with rose petals and delicious scents (think almond, chocolate, champagne, or honey), or go rainforest with 30 minutes on a Vichy table, a row of showerheads raining warm water the length of your tired body. Tack a pedicure or facial onto your treatments for head-to-toe bliss.
4 Drink chocolate. If you think hot chocolate is what happens when artificially sweetened cocoa powder meets hot water in a Styrofoam cup, your life is about to change. The growing popularity of European drinking chocolate (real dark chocolate melted and combined with hot water or milk) has taken hot chocolate out of the ice rinks and into fine-dining establishments. Seek out a chocolate café in your city and savor the cocoa shivers running up and down your spine. Makes that “chocolate or sex” question even harder to answer.
5 Enjoy a weekend away in your own city.Take a vacation from your life for a couple days without venturing far from home. Check into an amenities-heavy boutique hotel in your city (a change of scene without the accompanying hefty travel bill) and dine on room service and cheesy flicks on pay-per-view. Drag a girlfriend or two along for city tours and prepubescent slumber-party antics.
6 Hire a chef. Hungry for a gourmet meal? Let someone else slave over your hot stove. Whether you’re craving down home comfort food or a culinary journey through the Far East, a professional chef will cater a meal to delight your taste buds. Haul out your neglected flatware and überchic dishes, invite friends you haven’t seen in ages, supply the bubbly and delectable conversation, and let the chef do all the rest. For a list of chefs in your area, log on to the American Personal and Private Chef Association.
7 Have a hot night out. It’s hard to believe you’re a sexy thang in the prime of your life when your Friday nights are characterized by spreadsheets, stale coffee, and number crunching. Strap on your strappiest heels and head out for fruity cocktails at your city’s hot-spot-of-the-moment. So out of touch that you’re not sure where you’re going? Pick up Us Weekly (no joke), ’cause it’s bound to be hot where the paparazzi are skulking.
8 Jump-start your gym routine. For some women, breaking a sweat is all the splurge they need to feel renewed. If your body is your temple and you’re in major need of renovation, consider Gyrotonic. Marrying the principles of dance, gymnastics, Pilates, and yoga, Gyrotonic (performed on a pricey pulley tower that unfortunately resembles an S&M unit) stretches and strengthens muscles in circular exercises that’ll leave you limber and rejuvenated. Seek out a Gyrotonic gym in your area and jump on this fab trend before it goes cliché.