Every girl loves going to the spa. Not every girl has the kind of cash to shell out for going on a regular basis though. I'm definitely a not-enough-cash kind of girl! My spa-trips used to be quite frequent, but after having kids, they've dwindled down to a mere three or four trips a year (Birthday, Valentine's, Christmas, and Mother's Day)... and that's if I get the gift certificates I've been asking about! However, I still treat myself as often as once a week to a spa-like experience at home. Here's how I do it:
Regardless of what treatment you give yourself, make sure that you have all your supplies set up ahead of time. You can't relax if you have to jump up and down thirty times just to get what you need. If you end up rummaging around for a nail file while you have wet fingernails or something like that, you're just going to end up more stressed than when you started. (Especially if you never find what you're looking for. Don't you just hate that?)
2) Set the mood.
Ask your husband (or bestie, mom, sister, neighbor, etc.) to watch your kids (for free preferably) for just an hour or two. Grab a few candles in relaxing scents, a robe that is decadently luxurious, and soft music for the background. I like to find something to play online that has soft notes mixed with nature sounds. This will all give you that spa feel, especially if you close your eyes and relax for a little while.
3) Give yourself spa "perks".
Does your spa give you a complimentary glass of champagne when you come in? Pour yourself a glass at home. Do they have hot coffee waiting? Chilled cucumbers to put on your eyes while your nail polish dries? The latest & greatest magazines to read? If there is something your spa does that you love to do while you are getting treatments, get if for yourself at home! One of my spas always brought over a salad from the fancy restaurant next door, complete with cloth napkin, glass plate and crystal goblet with a small serving of wine. So you know what I do? I make it myself at home. I only spend about $4.00 each time grabbing salad mix and fancy toppings. I make it ahead of time and then sit down to it sometime during the course of my at-home spa session.
4) Research your treatment.
Thank you, God, for the internet! A quick peek through just about any search engine will usually show you a ridiculous amount of ideas for just about any at-home treatment you want to do. For instance, if you Google at-home foot soak, you'll see that the first things that pop up are recipes for foot soaks you can make with common household ingredients. No need to shell out for fancy foot-soaps, just see what sort of foot bath you can make with what you have in your kitchen. Don't limit yourself to things you think you can do on your own either - research any fancy treatment that you love to have. Even massage! There's nothing wrong with inviting a friend now and then to help you with your spa day - as long as she (or he) gets to get the same TLC from you in return at some point. And you'd be amazed what you can learn about giving yourself mini-massages on your hands, face, feet, etc.
5) Set a timer and close your eyes.
When you're done with your treatment, find a cozy spot in the house to rest and close your eyes for a while. You don't need to sleep, but it's best if you enter a state of deep relaxation. If you do fall asleep, there's a good chance that you'll want to keep sleeping, and if you have to force yourself to wake up, you might end up just feeling tired. I usually have a little bit of coffee or right before this I relax so that by the time I'm done with my rest, I'm feeling perky and refreshed instead of ready for nap-time!
So find a luxury spa robe and light some candles! Then go test this out and tell me how it worked for you!