By now, a lot of us may be at home in voluntary or mandatory isolation. While isolation does not necessarily mean feeling alone, it does lend itself to behaviors we may otherwise not do amongst others. Like giving into the tempation of constantly refreshing our browser and addictively scrolling our feeds almost on auto-pilot; filling our minds with the latest anxiety inducing-updates. (P.S. Has your IG activity also risen dramatically in the past few days?)
We may feel further weighed down by the notion and stress of the unknown. But if there’s something we’ve come to realize recently is just how powerful our health and wellbeing can be on others. In times that feel so heavy, it is important to find moments of lightness and relief. Especially since we’re already taking the most important stance by staying within the four walls of our humble abodes.
And while there’s an undeniably eerie feeling in the air (even if you don’t go outside), there’s also an air of hopefulness, compassion and kindness. From this climate of uncertainty emerges a sense of togetherness and an inspiring collective shift from “me” to “we”. But that also includes taking care of the self.
So how do we find the balance of self-care within self-isolation? If we can’t go out to the spa, we’ll make the spa at home! Here are 5 ideas for creating the ultimate at-home relaxation experience.
While this isn’t traditionally seen as a spa treatment, science says practicing gratitude can have a positive effect on your wellbeing, and we’re taking our chances on it. If there was ever a sign reminding us not to take anything for granted, consider this it. Practicing gratitude can become part of your daily habit - whether it be writing in a journal as you wake up, whispering words of affirmation while you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, or right before going to sleep. The only rule is to give thanks.
There’s a reason spas include bodies of water not only as decor, but as treatment options. Think pools and jacuzzis. Water is said to bring us to a state of relaxation (some even claim it’s because it makes us feel like we’re in the safety of a womb!). When cold, water can also stimulate our blood circulation and is said to aid digestion. While water therapy is used in spas, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use it at home too.
There's almost nothing more soothing than taking a nice bath or shower after a long day. And these days may have felt longer than usual.
Take a warm bath at the end of the day if you want to ease into better sleep. Be careful not to keep it too hot, as hot baths can actually harm your skin’s natural barrier and cause your temperature to rise more than it should.
If you’re looking for an afternoon pick-me-up, consider a cold shower. The perk of being home is that you can beat that 3pm slump with a cold, immune-boosting shower rather than your normal caffeine dose that ultimately may lead you to the deep-end of lethargy.
Escape Into Music
While spas generally play nature-mimicking, waterfall splashing “Spa Music” (a.k.a. New Age Music), the music at your at home spa can be different. There’s something genuinely relaxing about the rings of sound baths, but there’s also something completely freeing about the choice being yours.
With the rise of people making coronavirus and quarantine themed Spotify playlists, including Rita Wilson and her fan-based “Quarantunes”, it’s easy to feel a certain optimistic “togetherness” while we all listen to the same sounds.
You could also create your own playlist. It could be nostalgic songs that bring you back to a certain time in your life, or ones that inspire you to focus on the future. Use this as a time of reflection, with the string of instruments taking you on a personal journey.
Feeling like taking an extra challenge? *Really* listen to music. No distractions and no mindless scrolling. Just feel-good tunes. Remember that music can boost memory and mood. When was the last time you focused on a single task anyway?
Put on a Face Mask
No, not those ones (the heroes in the medical field at the forefront of this pandemic need them). The skin benefitting ones. The same ones you may have done at a sleepover in middle school.
Today, face masks are arguably the epitome of self-care and the pursuit of actively bettering our wellbeing. There’s something gratifying about not only applying a face mask but also about wiping it off to see the results. If you’re going for an extra satisfying experience, try Mud Mask - crafted with mineral-rich mud direct from the ancient Dead Sea, and watch it do its magic as you rinse it off.
If there’s a silver lining to any of this is that social media is immune to social distancing. And if you’ve always wanted to try yoga but could never find the motivation, there’s precisely no better time than the present to learn something new.
Many yoga studios and private teachers are generously offering free classes online. If you’re a practicing yogi, consider requesting your studio to offer classes online too.
There are also online only resources like AloMoves and Glo for yoga, and meditation apps like TapIn (free!), and Headspace that create great structure for finding moments of tranquility.