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By Katie Jenson-Hull / The Radiant Nutritionist
Ok, it’s January. It’s cold, dark and a tiny bit dismal. Now I don’t know about you but I’m going to use this dank and dreary time to invest in myself. Acknowledging that I need to take time out. Time to retreat. Space to breathe. Space to think. Retune my brain. Replenish. Rejuvenate. Feel more like “me”. A time for rest. I’m going to use this time wisely so that come spring, I’ll emerge like a beautiful butterfly. I’m going to weekly homespa.
Modern day living saps the energy from us. Rushing here. Rushing there. Keeping up with the neverending to do list and commitments. You are last on the list of importance and are often treading water and merely surviving. Getting through the day and congratulating yourself on doing so. Hence I began scheduling a weekly retreat in my bathroom. Escaping from everyday pressures and stresses by creating my own cocoon and sanctuary. Drawing upon my experience as a spa therapist many moons ago.
One of my goals in life has been to help inspire people and alter mindsets that taking time out isn’t selfish. It is necessary. You can’t keep running on empty to thrive in life and appreciate all you have. When life gets hectic we neglect ourselves rather than giving our mind and body a little nourishment. Brushing the signs and symptoms under the carpet that our body is trying to shout at us. That it simply can’t keep going. If life has been a little hectic and you are feeling like you have neglected yourself, then this homespa tutorial is for you.
So gather around, shhh, I’m going to give you a little insight into how I create my own home spa and create a little zen space in my own bathroom.
Now dim the lights, press play on your favourite relaxing tunes…
Eliminate disruptions. Hard I know, but not impossible! For this you need to switch your phone off and sort out a babysitter. Do whatever it takes it to make this precious time and space all yours.
Make sure you have everything you need for the next half an hour or so. Ok so first up, you need to cover all your senses. Taste, smell and sight. The aim of the game is to turn your bathroom into a blissful sanctuary so think of little things that will add to your experience and bring you joy. For example, a gorgeous scented candle. I especially like Octo candles as they are non toxic and smell amazing. I love to watch the flame flicker on my candles as a lie in the bath. It’s like meditation and allows you to stay focused on the moment. Get your slippers and your fluffy dressing gown at the ready. There’s no place for passing up a luxurious setting in my home spa. Make a vitamin water, detox water or herbal tea, like you get in a real spa. I love getting creative with my vitamin waters. One of my favourites for this time of year is apple and cinnamon sticks mmm. Don’t forget to take lovely soft towels preferably sprayed with your favourite essential oil. A good book and some beautiful flowers may also add to your experience.
Depending on your time limit there are a few different treats that you can do for yourself. I like to start with a very easy facial steam to open up my pores and to induce relaxation. First make sure you have cleansed your face and have removed all make up etc. You'll need a large bowl and a towel. www.helloglow.co has some amazing recipes, inspiration and how to create your own facial steam. The water can be very hot so be super cautious here. Those with sensitive skins must be very careful with this, you may want to skip this step. But I enjoy this stage as it's a good time to do some affirmations, to meditate or simply take a deep breath.
Then turn to a facial exfoliation and face mask. Exfoliating the face is very important for cell renewal and to get rid of any dead skin cells on the face. leaving a bright and glowing complexion. Select your preferred exfoliation, I tend to turn to AHA exfoliation (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) at this time of the year rather than the grainy scrubs you can get.
While your exfoliation is working, pick up your dry body brush. Start at the bottom of your feet and work your way up your body using firm light pressure circular strokes towards your heart. Helping to tone skin and move the lymph around the body. Once this is complete, grab your body scrub and again start from the bottom and work up. Body scrubs can help cellulite, toning, glowing skin and moisturizing. Now run your shower.
While the shower is running add a few drops to the bottom of your shower. Allowing the steam to infuse your senses. Alternate between hot and cold water therapy to revitalise and tone the body and mind. I like to wash my hair and apply a quick and easy hair mask at this stage. It always feels more luxurious if the towel is warm. It will also help the mask to penetrate further into the hair shaft.
Ok, how are you feeling? New women spring to mind? Now run your bath. Apply your chosen face mask. Then lie back in the bath with a homemade bath soak and let any remaining tension free itself from your body. To finish off my spa experience I create a magnesium bath.
Magnesium is great for stress relief and muscle aches. I also like to create my own seaweed bath using Cornish Seaweed bath.
Think about which beautiful moisturiser or body oil you will finish your experience with. Think carefully as this will be the lingering scent and sensation that will stay with you. Apply with a self loving massage saying kind words or affirmation to yourself.
Remove your face mask, apply your serum and moisturiser. Then, either get into bed if you can or leave the bathroom as a refreshed human being ready to face the day's challenges.
Take it easy and remember taking time out for yourself isn’t a luxury, it is a necessity to a smooth-running happy life. Please share your experiences of creating your home spa. I would love to see how you get on. Go on invest in yourself, the future you in spring and summer will thank you for the time you spend looking after your nervous system now.