While wellbeing itself might not be something we can package and tie with a bow this Christmas, a spa break definitely is.
76% of us who have had a spa treatment in the last year agree that it has helped to promote mental wellbeing, and that’s not including the benefits of the general spa environment.
Mindful eating and nutrition support. Learning positive breathing techniques to manage stress. Or simply having a little time when you’re not scrolling through Instagram with a vague sense of comparison-induced anxiety. A spa is a space where we can all find a little down time.
The problem with self care is that most of us won’t give it to ourselves. That means it’s up to the rest of us to remind our loved ones just how good it feels to look after number one, with something as simple as a spa day.
Of course it’s not a one stop shop for mental wellbeing, but it is a very good start and here’s why…
Something as simple as getting outside and going for a gentle walk can work wonders for perspective. It encourages deep breathing, it gets us away from computer screens and it exposes us to the hearty goodness of the fresh air. Spas have a habit of being in beautiful locations, which only serves as an incentive to get outside. If you go with a friend it might also be a good chance to talk about what’s on your mind.
We all know that looking after our physical health has a positive effect on mental wellbeing, and a spa can be a good opportunity to try a different class or simply to make the time for exercise. Maybe take a peek at Pennyhill Park – if it’s good enough for the England rugby team…
It sounds silly to think you might need to learn to breathe, but breathing properly can make a huge difference to stress management. At Grayshott Health Spa for example, they have pranayama sessions that really look at your breathing and help provide you with the ability to control it, which in turn has an impact on your capacity to control your emotional reactions. Alternatively, you might give meditation a try, if you haven’t already.
Never underestimate the power of touch when it comes to mental wellbeing. That caring, non-judgemental connection with another person, touching you in kindness, can be a real healer. We can be so hard on ourselves from the inside out – making judgements on our bodies and our achievements – a spa treatment can work wonders not simply to relax tight muscles and soothe dry skin, but also to ease those internal tensions. That makes a massage, a facial, reflexology or whatever else you happen to choose, so much more than a physical way to relieve muscle tension, and a much deeper, powerful experience.
Increasingly we’re beginning to acknowledge just how important diet is for mental wellbeing. If you speak to the team at Grayshott they will tell you all about the gut brain axis and the chemical impact that eating the right foods can have on all manner of mental health issues. The right spa, with the right expertise, is a brilliant opportunity to really learn, understand and experience healthy nutrition in a luxurious and enjoyable environment. Diet is another thing that is so often made to fit into a busy schedule, this is the time to really address any concerns and maybe learn something new.
Mobile phones are really persona non grata in the spa environment, which makes a spa break a good excuse to put it away for a while. Whether it’s the anxiety of thinking everyone else is living their best life when you’re not. The unavoidable urge to check work emails out of hours. Or the generally addictive, mindless nature of scrolling for the sake of it. Mobile phones can be as damaging as they are helpful. So in the nicest possible way, a spa is a good excuse to ignore the digital world for a while. Leave your phone in your locker and have a really good digi detox for a few hours.
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