On a recent visit with a friend, I listened as she explained how stressful her life had become. A full-time job which supports her family had become unstable, her father was moved to a nursing home, a child who decided to experiment with drugs, another who is being bullied, and one child on their way to college had left her emotionally and physically, drained. Anyone facing a deluge of problems rushing at them without end would feel the same.

I confess I  feel helpless and inadequate in these situations. I never know what to do or say.  What could I say that would make a difference?  So I told her the one thing that always seems to work for me. I told her that she needed a tiara day. She chuckled and looked puzzled, so I explained what I meant.

When the world gets the better of me, I don one of my tiaras (I keep three on hand just because they make me happy), grab a glass of Merlot, and hop into a bubble bath. I might follow this up with a facial, a manicure, a chick flick or all of the above. All while wearing my tiara. I think only about me and what makes me happy for a whole day.  My family is banned from speaking to me or coming within ten feet of me on tiara day.

This sounds selfish. It is, and I’m unapologetic.

Val the drag queen in Bookended by Beauty Queens says, “Everyone gets twenty-four-hours to feel sorry for themselves. . . . buy yourself a new dress, or a new pair of shoes, or whatever you need to do to pick yourself back up. Then get on with your life.” I added that scene to Bookended by Beauty Queens because it’s what I believe, and what I practice.

Women are in special need of the twenty-four hour rule. We spend so much of our time caring for and thinking of others that we rarely think of ourselves. We’re too busy being wives, moms, daughters, sisters, employees, chefs, maids, friends, teachers, preachers, and all the other standards we bear. We are the rock that everyone else leans on. This leads to burn out, fast. We need to recharge so we can be more effective at dealing with life’s stresses. After all, how can we be the well others draw from if we are empty?

The next time I went to visit my friend, I brought with me two tiaras, my favorite Merlot, and two shoulders she could lean on.  After an evening of laughing about two grown women playing princess, the warming of the merlot, and a lot of chatting, I could see the knots she’d wound herself into start to unwind.

Someone created an official International Tiara Day that takes place on May 24th. I don’t know what their mission is or how they celebrate, but mine, which takes place as needed, serves to relax and recharge me.

When was the last time you were completely selfish and spent time recharging yourself? That long, huh? Then it’s time to grab your tiara and celebrate the wonderful, fabulous you. Give yourself permission to be selfish and enjoy your own tiara day.

 5 Tips for a Personalized and Successful Tiara Day

1)      Choose the perfect tiara. There are many styles and colors available from very plain to fantastically elaborate. Find the one that fits your budget, and makes you smile. One of my favorites is a blue plastic tiara that only cost me a few dollars, but it makes me so happy.

2)      Prep your favorite relaxing beverage. For me it’s Merlot but for you it could be a wonderfully rich hot chocolate, or a Diet Coke.

3)      Gather the things that make you happy: books, magazines, music, movies, whatever it is that makes you smile.

4)      Make your intentions clear to your family. Tell them it’s a me day and you are not to be disturbed. Unless there is arterial blood, or active fire, they will have to sort things out for themselves.

5)      Lock yourself away and indulge. Relax and let yourself recharge.

Victoria Marshal is the author of Bookended by Beauty Queens and a Tiara Day advocate for all women.  You can learn more about Victoria and her work on her website www.VictoriaMarshal.com