I’ve always been envious of ladies who have the opportunity to embark on a luxurious spa and wellness trip. These outings seem to be out of reach and reserved for only the extremely affluent or the childless. (I realize that may not be the case but the delusion helps me cope.)
Just because I am not in the position to book myself a week at a resort in Montana, doesn’t mean I haven’t found ways to work a spa experience into my annual vacation. Au contraire! In fact, I am much more intentional in my focus on self care and wellness. (No matter the location. Yes, even Disney World.)
Working mini-spa experiences into a vacation is not nearly as difficult as you might think, so take heart, ladies! If you are also on a quest to DIY your spa-getaway, the following suggestions will help:
Start a journal.
The most devout, nonjudgmental friend a girl can ever have is her journal. It’s true! In fact, there is increasing evidence to support that journaling provides a bevy of benefits like the ability to clarifying your thoughts and feelings, solve problems more effectively and creatively and increase your self esteem. The key is finding a bound journal you like and will actually write in. Once you find your new BFF, there are a ton of online sites with journaling prompts to start you on your self-reflection journey. I personally try to carve out time for journaling in the morning before anyone else is awake. It feels more like “me time” and I’m able to concentrate more fully.
Convert your bathroom into a makeshift spa.
Before you leave for vacation, be sure to stock up on items that will take your routine to the next level. Pick out a selection of essential oils and body scrubs in scents you enjoy (like lavender, rose oil, or chamomile or lemon verbena). Then draw a warm bath, sink into it, and let Mother Nature do her botanical best for you. (If you have small children, I recommend a big fat lock on the door, as well.) I like to also indulge in a heavier body lotion and overnight conditioning treatment for my hair. I wake up the next day feeling deliciously pampered for a fraction of the cost.
Seize every opportunity to try something new while you are away! Revel in the opportunity to taste unfamiliar foods, embark on an adventure or simply try that amazing looking cocktail the gal next to you is sipping on. Branching out into your personal uncharted territory can yield results far beyond what you might expect. In fact, a researcher at Winston-Salem State University who studied 30,000 event memories ranging from durations of 3 months to 4 years, concluded that “people who engage in a variety of experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions and minimize negative ones than people who have fewer experiences.” Great news! Now who wants to go zip-lining with me?
Relax outside by candlelight.
When was the last time you had a real moment by yourself? If there’s nothing on your evening agenda try clearing your mind, pouring a great glass of vino and setting out dozens of tea lights, Your favorite tunes, or the natural harmonies of a summer evening, will sound especially sweet when they have your full attention.
Indulge in a vacation-reading binge.
As any self-respecting escapist can tell you, stealing away time to lose one’s self in a magical tale is second to none. Be sure to create the ideal reading nook by filling it with the necessary accouterments like pillows, your favorite beverage, a throw for when it gets chilly, etc.
Relaxation may be the number one goal for a typical vacation, but purposefully carving out time to keep your body healthy will benefit you long after your trip is over. Exercise releases all sorts of happiness-producing chemicals in our brains and can even enhance the whole vacation experience: food tastes better, drinks go down a little smoother, and you sleep more deeply. And let’s face it, exercise is a vital part of self-care.
Make staying hydrated a beautiful thing.
I don’t know about you but I can never pass up a container filled with infused water. There is something simply splendid about the experience. Regularly fill your water bottles with ice water and slices of lemon, orange, or cucumber. It’s a small detail but one that adds a bit of panache to your daily experience.
Our culture generally frowns upon catching a few mid-day zzzzs and that is exactly why working a nap into your afternoon agenda can be so luscious. Aside from the general awesomeness of a comfy bed, research proves that a brief siesta improves patience, lessens stress, increases learning, efficiency, and leads to overall improved health. Vacation is the perfect time to indulge!
Put your phone on airplane mode. (Sounds easier than it is.) Resist the urge to hop on Facebook every five minutes and simply be present and mindful of the special moments.
As you can see, working some self-care time into your family vacation doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. So sit back, relax and enjoy the experience!
Have any other suggestions to add to the list? Leave a comment and share!
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