When you’re feeling stressed and exhausted it’s easy to imagine a day at the spa as a heavenly escape from it all! However, it’s not always easy to find the time or money to get away and spend a day in a beauty salon, even for an hour let alone a whole day.
But what if I said you could recreate a spa at home, no sauna required? It easy when you know how!
How to relax if you’ve only got 10 minutes
Tip 1: Light some scented candles and focus on your breathing.
Scents that can help you relax are Lavender, Rose, Chamomile or Vetiver. Avoid citrus or peppermint based candles as these tend to be more invigorating than relaxing.
There are two breathing exercises that can really help with lowering blood pressure, as well as reducing levels of anxiety and stress.
Breathing Exercise 1: The Relaxing Breath Exercise
Sit in a comfortable position in a chair, hands loosely on lap, back straight. Keep your eyes closed if that feels comfortable.
Step 1: Breath in through the nose for a count of 4
Step 2: Hold your breath for a count of 7
Step 3: Breathe out through the mouth for a count of 8.
Do no more than four cycles up to twice a day for the first month, then gradually increase to up to eight cycles twice a day.
Breathing Exercise 2:
This is a good one to try if you find your mind wandering during the previous exercise.
Sit in a comfortable position as above.
Breath in through the nose, then slowly breath out through the mouth and count ‘one’. Continue this exercise counting to five, then restart again at one. This exercise can be done can for up to 10 minutes.
Tip 2: Dry Body Brushing to stimulate and invigorate your skin
Not only will body brushing help with the exfoliation of dead skin cells, it will also stimulate blood circulation and speed up lymphatic drainage.
Done regularly it can also reduce the appearance of cellulite, which is much less painful way of dealing with it than liposuction!
How to dry body brush:
Using the brush on completely dry skin, work upwards from the ankles. Be sure to move in the direction of the heart, as this is where lymphatic fluid flows.
I like to use long, relaxing upward strokes but you can also mix it up with smaller circular strokes of the brush in a clockwise direction.
Work on the ankles, then lower legs and knees, thighs and stomach. Follow that with the chest and arms.
When working on the back, be sure to use the brush in a downward motion, moving from your neck to your lower back.
Be sure never to brush skin that is sore, bruised, sunburn or in any other way compromised.
After this, jump in the shower and use a moisturising and hydrating shower gel to feel the effects of your newly soft to the touch skin.
Dry body brushing should be done no more than twice a week.
How to relax if you’ve got 10 – 20 minutes
Whether you choose to give yourself a head massage or persuade somebody else to treat you, an Indian Head Massage is a deeply relaxing and enjoyable way to spend 15 minutes.
For an extra boost, apply Coconut, Olive or Almond oil to the scalp before starting for a super treat that stimulates hair growth and nourishes the scalp.
There are loads of great videos on Youtube showing you how to carry out an head massage, and you’ll find that after a few attempts you’ll remember the steps on your own.
Tip 4: Nourish your skin with a homemade face mask
You should ideally leave 15 minutes for a face mask to be fully effective. The best time to use a face mask is at night. This is so your skin isn’t immediately confronted afterwards with either makeup or pollution/external irritants and allows you to get maximum benefit from your treatment.
Here are two examples of homemade face masks, one for dry or dehydrated skin and one for oily skin.
Ingredients for dry skin mask:
2 large, fresh strawberries
1 cooked peach
1/2 ripe papaya, mashed
1 teaspoon organic honey
1 tablespoon oatmeal
Place strawberries, peach, papaya, honey in a mixing bowl, and mix until the fruits are blended.
Stir in old fashioned oatmeal a little at a time until the mixture forms a paste.
Apply the papaya and strawberry mask to the face and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes.
Rinse the papaya and strawberry mask with lukewarm water and finish by applying a good moisturiser.
Ingredients for an oily skin mask:
– 1 tablespoon plain low-fat or full-fat yoghurt or milk, anything but skimmed milk
– 1 tablespoon of natural, raw, honey
Let yoghurt or milk come to room temperature (or close to) so you don’t get a chilly shock when you put it on your skin.
Mix 1 tablespoon of milk or yoghurt thoroughly with 1 tablespoon of honey.
You can apply the mixture with a cotton pad, but scooping it up and patting it on works just fine as well. Let each layer dry before adding a new one, until the mask is the thickness you want.
Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Wash your mask off and use a washcloth to gently scrub in a circular motion, getting rid of loosened dead skin.
Once you’re finished, moisturise as usual.
How to relax if you’ve got 20 minutes or more:
Lucky you! If you find yourself with more than 20 minutes to relax, it’s time to work on really recharging your batteries.
Tip 5: Do something you love
Take a nap. Read a book. Watch your favourite TV comedy show. Anything indulgent as long as it feels like a treat. I’d always vote for taking a nap, but that’s just me. And most dogs.
Don’t feel guilty about it, and if you can possibly bring yourself to do it, you might even consider turning off your phone for half an hour. The joy of not being distracted is underestimated but hugely beneficial to your wellbeing.
Tip 6: Have a bath!
Set the scene and light candles or play relaxing spa-like music. Shut the door and dim the lights.
I find a rolled up towel or inflatable pillow behind me head means I can lie comfortably for longer in the bath.
Add to the bath one of the following:
For soothing sensitive skin, or nourishing dry skin, dry an oat soak.
Add a scoop of oats into a muslin cloth and tie to the cloth to your taps using an elastic band, so the bath water runs through it.
For a mood-enhancing aromatherapy boost:
Create your own bath oil using a base of jojoba or almond oil. Add a few drops of lavender, clary sage or chamomile essential oils and mix thoroughly. Be careful to use no more than 3 drops of each essential oil and avoid if you’ve got sensitive skin.
For an extra boost, you can also add a cupful of Epsom salts or magnesium flakes to your bath. Magnesium is fantastic for relaxing muscles and as an aid for sleep.
So there we have it! Six ways to turn your home into a spa. Comment below if you’ve got any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them!
Call us at 07958502645 if you like to book for a beauty treatment or massage in North Finchley.