A most needed holiday is upon us, one that could end up being beloved by many a busy New Yorker: August 15th – National Relaxation Day. In the noisy chaos of life, this day is a reminder to slow down, breathe, and come back to yourself. While a day at the spa is certainly an appropriate outing for this sacred holiday, consider the idea that you don’t have to leave home to luxuriate. Your home is your sanctuary, and on this day—or any day—your home could also be your spa. Leave the crowds and the costs behind, and let yourself relax in an environment of your own making. Here are some easy ideas for turning your home into a sacred place of peace, quiet, and spa-like tranquility.
Set the Mood
Give your home the proper spa-like makeover by focusing on the senses—what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch.
First of all, lighting: when your goal is to relax, the last thing you want is bright, stimulating light. If you have dimmers on any switches, use them. Choose cozy lamp lighting over anything overhead. For a truly relaxing atmosphere, use only candles—the more, the better. Just be mindful of where you place them, and remember to blow them all out when your spa day is done.
Another calming sight, one which provides myriad health benefits, both physical and mental, are plants. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which is a delight to our bodies. They’ve also been proven to clean the air, deter illness, and boost healing, among other benefits. Plants are so beneficial to human health that NASA researchers recommend one potted plant per 100 square feet of indoor space. Some great ideas for indoor plants are succulents, peace lily, English ivy, gerbera daisy, bamboo palm, and spider plant, all of which are stellar at removing indoor pollutants.
“Alexa, turn on meditation music.” “Siri, put on nature sounds.” “Google, hit play on my favorite ASMR station.” It’s been proven that sound has an effect on the brain. It can elevate mood, and even alleviate the perception of pain. For these reasons, most places of healing and relaxation employ it. Alternatively, the effects of silence on the brain are even greater than that of sound— even calming sounds. A recent study on the effects of sound on the brain showed that silence had the greatest benefit, promoting cell development in the hippocampus. And as Herman Melville once wrote, “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.” So, maybe what you should be saying at the start of your spa day is, “Honey, can you leave for a few hours? I just need some silence.”
Aromatherapy can improve your mood and your health. Depending on what scent you choose, it can give you energy, help you sleep, improve your concentration, ease your tension, or simply help you feel happy. There are many ways to use scents, from essential oils to scented candles to soaps, lotions, and creams. For relaxation, try lavender essential oil in a diffuser, which will imbue your home with calm. For an invigorating bath, spritz eucalyptus right into the tub. If candles are more your style, go for ones made of pure beeswax. They’re non-toxic, non-polluting, and they actually release negative ions, which purifies the air of dust and dirt.
Many spas provide healthy cuisine along with their services, and it’s a good thing a significant amount of water and energy are lost in spa amenities like hot baths, saunas, heated rooms, etc. Give yourself the same nourishment by keeping healthy food on hand. Snacks like carrots with hummus or nut butters provide vitamins, protein, and fiber, and are great for sustained energy. Or make yourself avocado toast on sprouted bread. Fill a carafe with water and infuse it with cucumbers, lemons, limes, or coconut. Not only will this added infusion entice you to drink it, but these fruits and veggies are all alkalinizing to your body, which is highly beneficial.
Begin your spa day with gentle stretching or dancing. Wear a soft robe. Give yourself a facial with a homemade scrub of brown sugar, honey, coconut oil, and two to three drops of lemon essential oil. Cover your eyes with cool cucumbers. Take a hot bath infused with a fizzy bath bomb. Prop your feet up on a soft pillow. Call Zeel for an in-home massage. Tailor your in-home spa day to whatever it is you like, whatever makes you feel good. Because at the end of the day, it’s not an agenda that matters. What matters is that you feel rested, rejuvenated, and restored, ready to go about your everyday life with centeredness and calm.