Since I can remember, I have always totally enjoyed a spa day. It gives me an opportunity to relax, it’s a timeout from daily life, it’s a complete change of scenery and the treatments make me feel positively refreshed and chilled out. When I leave, I have this light and happy feeling as if I’m walking on air and that I can and will achieve my goals. The longer I’m there, the better I feel both physically AND mentally! It really is a win-win and I’m all about finding and making the most of a win-win opportunity. Why is it then that a spa day can have these amazing benefits? The physical aspect is obvious, the treatments are designed to relax us, the scents and oils themselves can have almost immediate well-being benefits and the massages literally aim to relax our muscles and ease tension. The mental benefits are less apparent but, from research and experience I have found that it has much to do with the fact that when we feel physically well, our mental health is positively impacted as a direct result from it. The other reasons are that we are able to completely switch off from the hustle and bustle of daily life and escape to a beautifully scented, lighted and aesthetically pleasing surroundings (many spas are in natural surroundings, have beautiful gardens, smell heavenly and are covered in positive pictures, images and paintings). Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the inspirational music which alone has the magical power to relax and heal our troubled body and soul!
The problem with spa days is that they are not easily accessible and here are some reasons why:
- You have to take time off work or to give up a precious weekend (meaning chores and responsibilities are delayed or not attended to in time)
- The hassle of travel to and from the spa, especially if you do not drive or have the use of a car
- The high price of spa weekends themselves make them impossible to use at all for some people
- The cost of travel to and from the spa
- If you have young children, there is the added cost and hassle around finding childcare
So, with so many benefits of a spa day or weekend, what can you do to gain the benefits without the possible problems they may present? The answer to this question is that you can create a very similar experience in your own home! If you have like-minded friends, it will be even easier as you can apply treatments for one another and also the social aspect of this can be super healing and can fight against the negative effects of stress. Here’s what to do:
Find the right place
If you have a spare room full of junk, make the effort to clear it as this would be a perfect place to create your home spa. If not, then you can temporarily turn any room into one. Try to pick somewhere you can close off the rest of the household from so that you can appreciate the full benefits of some quiet, quality time. You will also need to make sure that the bathroom is free throughout the time as well.
Arm yourself with the ingredients of a great spa experience
Here’s a perfect recipe:
Exfoliating scrub for body and face
Hair mask / conditioner
Body moisturising cream / oil
Inspirational quotes, books
Anything else that appeals to you!
Find the right time
Set aside as much time as you can. Ideally, block out the entire day but, if that is not practical, then plan for as much time as you can get away with. If you only have an hour or so, decide on the treatments that you’ll easily be able to fit in without having to rush. After all, it would be completely pointless if you ended up feeling stressed out trying to fit in everything and failing!
Set the scene
Be sure to create a calming atmosphere. Try to keep the lighting low and subdued. Put on some calming music that you love, light candles or incense sticks and, while waiting for treatments, read inspirational books or your favourite novel.
If you have willing friends
You can really make the most of it if you have friends that are interested as you can help each other by applying treatments, having a heart to heart and sharing ideas.
If you have kids
Not to worry, you can still try and have a spa experience but with a few modifications! Try and enlist the kids to help you or simply join in! It can become a family treat if you are very lucky!
Create a routine
Once you begin, schedule in this time on a regular basis. If you are lucky, have your spa experience weekly but if free-time is scarce for you, put a monthly date in your diary.
You will not regret scheduling in this very precious ‘ME’ time. The benefits far outweigh the effort involved in carving out the time in a busy life for this purpose. Besides the physical benefits, you will be telling yourself subconsciously that you matter which is an act that should not be underestimated. When we have a high self-esteem and feel valued, the results we see in our lives and the lifestyle choices we make have a much higher chance of being positive. So, what are you waiting for, start scheduling your spa days!!
Written by Sherry Taylor, Author of The Anti-Diet Lifestyle