Many of us are still wary of visiting our favourite haunts for fear of crowds and coming into close contact with strangers. This includes visiting our favourite spa for a day of pampering. The solution – pamper yourself at home. With a little planning, you can experience a blissful spa day without leaving the safety of your home.
To recreate spa conditions, be sure to follow this checklist:
- Minimize interruptions from family, pets or phones.
- Keep the lighting dim – candles are the best, but dim electric light will do.
- Use your softest bathrobe, towel and washcloths.
- Frequently hydrate with warm or room temperature water to which you have added slices of lemon, orange or cucumber.
- Diffuse a soothing essential oil such as lavender or ylang-ylang.
- Don’t rush any treatments – make this afternoon or evening for yourself.
Here are some of the best spa treatments you can do on your own:
Start with a soothing bath
Spend 15 or 20 minutes in a warm or hot tub. To make your soak more healing, add any one of the following:
- Epsom salts – add a cup or two to your bath as the water is running and stir until it has dissolved. Epsom salts contain magnesium which can get depleted when you are stressed. These salts also relax the muscles and help with stiff joints.
- Baking soda – add about 4-5 tablespoons to your bath while the water is running and make sure it dissolves. Baking soda helps soften the skin. Be sure to exfoliate with a loofah.
- Oats – Put 1-2 cups of oatmeal into a cheesecloth sack. Add it to the bath as it is filling. Oats are perfect for itchy or irritated skin.
- Rose oil: Add a few drops of rose oil to a carrier oil such as almond and add it to you bath. Rose oil is said to help hydrate the skin.
Give Yourself a Facial
There are many good commercial facials you can buy. Apply according to instructions and keep on during your bath. You can also make your own. Here is one you can whip up in a few minutes.
- Brew one cup of chamomile tea with two tea bags and let cool completely.
- In a tiny bowl, stir together one tablespoon of manuka or raw honey, and one teaspoon of nutritional yeast.
- Add just enough chamomile tea to the bowl to create a thick paste that’s still runny enough to spread across your skin, but not too watery.
- Apply a thin layer to your face and leave it on while you take your bath, for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- After you bathe, rinse off, pat dry and moisturize.
Treat your Eyes
During the bath keep slices of cucumber over the eyes. Cucumber has an anti-inflammatory effect that helps in reducing puffiness. The high water content aids in hydrating the skin, and the coolness decreases the flow of blood around your eyes. Together they can soothe the skin and
alleviate any swelling.
Repair Damaged Hair
Before you start your bath, apply some almond or olive oil to your hair and scalp, cover your hair with a hot wet towel and leave on while you soak in the tub. Or you can apply this home-made conditioner to your hair before you bathe: take a bowl and beat an egg in it. Add about six tablespoons of yoghurt and mix the ingredients thoroughly. Massage the mixture into your hair and keep it covered. Leave it for about 15-30 minutes before you wash it off with normal water.
Note: If you don’t like to take baths or don’t have one, you can still treat your hair, face and eyes. While the treatments are working their magic, relax to some soothing music. If you want to create a spa experience in the shower, exfoliate your whole body with a luffa. Finish by moisturizing with tea tree oil. Your skin will love it.
Treat your Feet
To get rid of the rough, dry skin on your feet, give them an exfoliating soak
To a bowl of warm water add:
- 2 cups of vinegar
- 3 cups of Epsom Salts
- the juice of 1-3 lemons – keep the skins
Before soaking your feet, rub them with the inside of the lemon skins; this will help clear and soften the skin. Soak your feet for 15-20 minutes while listening to some relaxing music, or just enjoy the silence.
After soaking, rub your feet with a luffa or pumice stone, and dry and trim your toenails.
Get a Good Night’s Rest
Take it easy in the evening after your spa; turn off your mobile devices and TV screen early and get a good night’s rest.
The Value of Rest for Beauty and Youthfulness
Of course, you can’t stop at just one good night’s sleep. Rest is critical for maintaining good health and youthfulness. This is where TM can help. Regular practice of TM allows you to experience deep rest every day, and this helps prevent stress and fatigue from damaging the mind and body.
One study* done in 1982 showed that short-term meditators had a biological age 5 years younger than their chronological age. Long term meditators showed a biological age 12 years younger than their actual age. The deep rest of meditation really is a magic bullet for maintaining our youth.
*Robert Keith Wallace, Michael Dillbeck, Eliha Jacobe & Beth Harrington. (1982). The effects of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Program on the ageing process, International Journal of Neuroscience, 16:1, 53-58.