In the midst of school, work, and life in general, it can be quite hard to take a time-out and focus on yourself. Taking time to de-stress is absolutely essential for maintaining ones sanity, health, and overall well-being.
In the wise words of Tom and Donna from Parks and Rec, remembering to “Treat Yo Self” is vital. This especially holds true as temperatures turns colder, evenings grow darker, and the weather gets a whole lot snowier (at least for us Midwesterners).
For those of us that can’t afford a day of pampering at a real spa with a massage, luxury cashmere sweaters, or fine leather goods, there are lots of ways to get creative and treat yourself to a relaxing day without spending a lot of money.
Start of your spa day with a relaxing bath or a hot shower if baths aren’t your type. The steam from a hot shower can help clear sinuses, which may be a good option if you treat yourself to a spa day during cold and flu season. Add a few drops of an essential oil like lavender to your bath for a relaxing aroma. You could also light a candle in your favorite scent before preparing your shower and leave it on your bathroom counter. Or, light small candles and place them around your bubble bath, then dim the lights for a relaxing soak. I highly recommend laying your towel over a warm vent 10 to 15 minutes before you take a bath or shower (a trick you can employ on any day to pamper yourself a little). It feels luxurious and cozy on a cold winter day!
After you unwind with your preferred bathing option, change into your favorite comfy pajamas, because why pass up an opportunity for a pajama day, too? I recommend fuzzy socks or slippers as well for a full effect. You may want to keep a cozy blanket nearby for after you pamper yourself to keep warm while you drink some relaxing tea and binge-watch your Netflix favorites.
No spa day is complete without a facial! For a store bought option, try one of the many Freeman Beauty Facial Masks, which you can find at most drugstores and at stores like Ulta. There are lots to choose from, including a cucumber peel-off mask, a dead sea minerals anti-stress mask, an avocado and oatmeal clay mask, and many more. You can buy a travel sized single use mask (perfect for trying lots of different kinds to find your favorite!) or a full-size bottle for multiple uses, and can check out the different options here.
If you prefer a DIY facial scrub that you can make at home, try a sugar and olive oil scrub made with ingredients you already have in your kitchen. Combine three tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons of honey, and half a cup of brown sugar in a mason jar (the measurements do not have to be too exact). Put the lid on your jar and shake to combine (or stir, but that’s less fun). To use, spread in a broad, circular motion around your face, making sure to avoid your eye area. Leave it on for a minute or two before rinsing it off, and then pat your face dry. Recommend use is once a week for sensitive skin, or two to three times a week for more oily skin.
During the colder months, a key part of pampering yourself includes making sure to take care of your skin, so don’t forget to spend some time moisturizing with your favorite lotion. The Body Shop’s body butters are fantastic and smell delicious. For sensitive skin, try Lubriderm Daily Moisture Fragrance Free lotion (you can find a cheaper off-brand version too at stores like CVS). For those who like natural products, consider using straight Coconut Oil or Cocoa Butter, which you can find at places like Trader Joes or Whole Foods.
Bonus Tip: The pajamas, fuzzy socks, slippers, and beauty products featured in this article’s Polyvore sets are also great gift ideas for the upcoming holiday season!
To finish off your spa day, light your favorite candle, grab a cozy blanket, and settle down with a good book. I always opt for easy classics like “Peter Pan” or “Alice in Wonderland,” and any of the Harry Potter books are a great option also. A few more suggestions based off Amazon’s current bestseller list that I’ve been itching to read include “Yes Please,” by Amy Poehler, the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series (yes I’m behind the times), “The Best of Me,” by Nicholas Sparks, and “The Silkworm,” by Robert Galbraith. If you prefer to have the ultimate lazy day, try finishing off that Netflix series you’re in the middle of. As long as you are relaxing, the possibilities are endless.
Have a favorite must-read or must-watch for your next day off that didn’t make it on this list? Tell us in the comments section below!
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