By Kim Robson:
From time to time, we all need to indulge in a bit of self-care. The daily stresses of juggling home, family and career can take a cumulative toll on our health and wellness. Sometimes we need to stop putting everyone else first and take care of our own needs for a few hours. A rejuvenating trip to a day spa works wonders. There’s nothing like a fresh cut and color, or a perfect mani/pedi, or a soothing massage or facial to make us feel like a new woman.
But all too often, life gets in the way. We don’t have the time or the money to indulge in luxuries like these. That doesn’t mean we can’t have a spa day at home, though! First, arrange for your spouse or a trusted friend to take the kids to the movies or the park for a few hours. You don’t want your serenity broken by kids banging on the bathroom door, insisting on knowing what on earth you’re doing in there.
Set the Scene
Ambience is everything. Clean the bathroom and set out all your spa needs, preferably in pretty containers if they’re homemade. Turn off your phone. Get undressed and don a long fluffy robe and slippers just as though you were at the spa. Dim the bathroom lights, pull the curtains, and set out several scented candles. A sprig of eucalyptus in the corner of the shower creates a lovely scent while the hot water’s running. Play some soothing spa music like or on your iPod. Set out a vase of fresh flowers and plenty of fluffy clean towels. Have a trashy novel or a couple of celebrity gossip magazines handy. Open a bottle of wine and pour a nice glassful. Use the good crystal.
A Few Ideas
You don’t have to do all of these things; they’re just some ideas for customizing your perfect at-home spa day.
Take a long hot soak.Ring the bathtub with candles — the more the better. Add scented bath salts or bubble bath or Epsom salts or one of those fizzy bath-bomb things. Throw in a few flower petals. Have a couple of hand towels available for making a head rest or covering your eyes. Use a loofah sponge to exfoliate your skin. Use a bath brush to scrub your back. Close your eyes, meditate, breathe deeply. Stay in until your fingertips are thoroughly wrinkled.
Hate baths?Indulge in a foot soak. Use a foot file or pumice stone to soften calluses. In a bowl or basin large enough to fit both feet, combine ¾ cup Listerine mouthwash (clear is best), ¾ cup distilled white vinegar, 1-½ to 2 cups hot water, and ¾ cup Epsom salt. Add a few river rocks that you’ve warmed in the oven on the lowest setting. Throw in a few flower petals from that bouquet because they’re pretty! Kick back and soak your feet for 30 minutes. Read one of those magazines. After that, dry your feet and treat them to a thick layer of shea butter lotion, then slip on a pair of socks.
Make a hair mask.Combine ½ cup honey, 1 cup coconut oil, 1 egg yolk, and 1 avocado in a blender. Apply to damp hair and wrap tightly in a towel. Let sit for 30 minutes to an hour, then wash and condition as usual.
Try a body scrub.Good for elbows, knees, hands, feet, upper arms, face and just about anywhere else that could use some exfoliation. Combine 1 cup coconut oil, 2 cups granulated sugar or Epsom salt, 2 Tbsp melted honey, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Or try utilizing leftover coffee grounds! Using a gentle circular motion, apply to warm, wet skin in the shower. Rinse off with warm water.
Give yourself a facial.First, wash your face in warm water, using your favorite cleanser. There are innumerable recipes for DIY facials, but I’m partial to mud masks made from , which is renowned for its skin toning and detoxifying effects. (Also great in baths, BTW.) Combine 1 Tbsp bentonite clay, 1 tsp raw honey, 1 tsp water, ½ tsp dried calendula or chamomile flowers, and 2 drops lavender essential oil. Apply to face (avoiding eyes) and let sit for 15 minutes or until hardened. Gently remove mask with a hand towel soaked in hot water.
Do a self-massage.There are all varieties of gadgets and on the market for rubbing out muscle knots. They can be applied to sore places like your arms, legs, neck, back and the soles of your feet. Use your own body weight to refine the amount of pressure desired. Or save your dollars and use a tennis ball instead.
Get rid of tired, puffy eyes with a cucumber eye gel. This works far better than cucumber slices alone. Peel a cucumber and chop into cubes. Puree in a blender. Strain out the juice with a cheesecloth and discard the pulp. Add 5 to 8 Tbsp . Chill in fridge, apply around eyes, and watch as those bags magically firm up.
By the time your fam returns home, you should be so chill and relaxed and pampered that they may wonder who isthis unflappable Zen Mom? Got your own home spa routine perfected? Share with us in the comments!