For me, a spa day is the ultimate time of relaxation. Switching off your phone (unless your Mum wants you to Instagram your lunch), relaxing by the pool and having a relieving massage can really help you feel brand new, renewed and ready to get started again, and the new year is the best time to escape from the last year’s events and get your mind and body reset for 2015.
After having a few spa days now, I’ve learnt a lot of things of how to make the most of your time there and the after effects of your treatments. Spa days are pricey but the benefits of a mud wrap, Indian head or even a manicure can last for days, so if you do it right you can feel like a little marshmallow for days.
Whether you’re heading to a spa soon, or you’re thinking of buying a bespoke day for you and some close ones, here are some essential tips for how you can make the most of your time relaxing.
When You Book: Scheduling treatments for the right time of day
Most of the time, the spa reception will just have to pop you in wherever there is a gap depending on your chosen treatments; however, you obviously get some choice the more in advance you book. If you’re going for a full day, plan when you want your lunch (usually between 12-2PM) and try to have you main treatment after you’ve eaten.
The reason for this is because your main treatment will be the time the most products are used – all beneficial to your relaxation – and if you have a few hours to kill after all these products are sinking in, and decide to jump in the pool, the products wash right off. Your plan of action? Allow enough time in your morning session to either use the gym facilities, swimming pool or sauna rooms, then shower your body clean off all the sweat and chlorine before you head off clean to your treatments. This also maximises your time at the spa, as if you can arrive from 9am and your first treatment is 11:30am, you can get in an hour in the gym, a quick swim, sauna and a shower before you go to be pampered.
So when asked ‘when would you like your treatments?’, get them as late as possible after lunch as you can.
3 Days Before: Start Stretching
A common misconception is that spa days are to treat your back problems, not relieve and relax them. Spa days should be spent with you half asleep with a peppermint tea, walking around in a fluffy dressing gown, not thinking ‘ooh I’m so uncomfortable, I just want my back massage now to sort this pain’.
By incorporating some stretching, yoga and pilates into your daily routine before your spa, you allow the muscles to relax, move stuck energy, and get used to being pulled and moved before some stranger starts to ‘use the force’ and make your back tense up even more than before – done that, not fun. Do this daily and on the morning of your spa day.
2 Days Before: Drink lots of Water
Massages help to move lots of stuck energy, fluids and pain, and can make you feel quite lightheaded afterwards, so it’s important to prep your body to deal with a lack of hydration. Drink 2 litres of water if you can, or lots of herbal tea to get your body detoxing and clear before the day, and you’ll feel a lot lighter and more comfortable.
The Day Before: Relax and Detox your Muscles
If you have a local TK Maxx, go and get some affordable Epsom or Detox Dead Sea Salts for your bath, and glug a good quarter to half a packet into your tub for a long soak. Epsom and Sea Salts help draw out impurities, top up your magnesium and sulphate levels (which we are all apparently lacking in these days) which leads to better digestion, flushed toxins and heavy metals in the bloodstream and pancreas, relieve stress, and relax the joints, muscles and brain – and that’s just the jist of it.
By having a long, deep soak, you are releasing and preparing the body for a full day of relaxation, and it allows each individual treatment to work better for relieving your body of pains and tension, thus for giving you a longer lasting relaxed outcome. Chug back some night-time tea and have an early night, and you’ll be all set.
On The Day: Making The Most of Your Spa Day
Go in your casual comfies, and get someone to drop you off if you can – marshmallow driving isn’t the best! Get there early, and when you’re asked what you want for lunch, go for light and healthy meals packed with minerals, protein and essential fats (think soup, salad, salmon, chicken, fresh vegetables), skip the bread and complimentary champagne (you’ve detoxed for a reason, plus it’ll probably go straight to your head) and grab some water or herbal tea to keep your fluids topped up.
Get changed into your swimming gear, throw on the complimentary dressing gown and slippers and go swim or hit the gym for a bit. About 40-50 minutes before your first treatment, head to the steam rooms for a quick detoxing muscle relaxant that works: Have a cold shower, sit in the steam room for about 7-10 minutes, have another cold shower, sit in the sauna for 5-7 minutes, have another cold shower, sit in the sauna for 5-7 minutes, cold shower again, and then hit the steam room again for 5 minutes and shower off at the end. Why so long and lots of showering? The extreme change in temperature will keep your blood pumping and boost circulation, allowing your body to pump clean oxygen and fluids around. It also helps to release toxins, clean your skin of any dead skin cells, and relax your body and muscles deeply before your first treatment. It’s totally worth it.
Other than that – relax! Enjoy the day, allow yourself to let go, and become a dead weight whilst all your tensions are released and your body goes all mushy. Don’t do much for the rest of the day, just drink water, eat clean food and put your feet up; you and your body deserve it!
Are you a fan of spa days? What is your favourite massage? Where is your favourite spa and what is the best treatment?
Lots of Love,
Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.