The big thing about a spa is that it’s a multi-sensory experience. It’s about sight, sound, scent and the power of touch. It’s about the fusion of feeling comfortable, but also special – it’s the cashmere lounge trousers to the flannel PJs you put on when you don’t feel well. Creating a sense of spa at home is about taking elements of these sensory experiences and applying them, either for a dedicated moment in time (if you’re creating a spa day at home), or to bring a little of the spa experience into the everyday.
Scent is extremely powerful, it can change your mood in an instant, and through the power of aromatherapy it’s a little bit of the spa world that you can bring into your home, and your life in general, every day. When you go to a spa you are often invited to do a scent test before a treatment. This is because the idea is that you are drawn to the essential oil that you need at that time – whether it’s relaxing, calming or energising. One of the reasons aromatherapy is so wonderful is because the lovely smells also encourage us to do that other ultra relaxing thing – breathing deeply. It’s a nice idea to have a little collection of essential oils at home, but here are a few ideas:
Uplifting, nurturing aromas can fill the rooms of the home with sunshine. Lovely lemongrass brings a cleansing freshness to the air and is also anti-bactericidal. A few drops on a cloth and you can wipe surfaces whilst at the same time being emotionally propelled to Balinese landscapes.
Rose is also an extremely healing scent, and a lovely way to imbue it into your home is to use rose hydrolat (rose water) in the steam iron. It’s the product of the distillation process so it is ideal for the steam iron and leaves a subtle clean fresh perfume on linens. It also adds something a little more joyful to the ironing process itself. The heart healing qualities are confidence building, skin toning and spiritually nurturing. A really lovely rose essential oil for daily feel-good factor is a lovely way to bring spa into the home.
Lavender is well known for helping you to relax before, if used subtly. A few drops on a tissue placed under the pillow in the morning will leave a soft aroma towards the evening when the molecules will have evaporated a little. Add an additional drop of clary-sage if you have been experiencing stress. It’s like a glass of champagne for lifting the mood.
You can also make aromatherapy part of the little rituals in your day. From washing your face in the morning to moisturising your hands after all that hand sanitiser. Choose products that have essential oils added to them, and pick them for the times of the day you use them, be they energising or relaxing for that sense of spa at home in all the little moments of the day.
Note: If you have any serious illnesses or are pregnant, please consult a doctor before using any products or aromatherapy oils.
Music is one of the things people so often think about when it comes to spa experiences. But you don’t need to have the panpipes on a loop to create a sense of tranquility at home. Much like scent, sound can have a profound impact on how we feel. There are therapies completely dedicated to sound, but even if you’ve never indulged in sound bath healing, you will know that your favourite songs can make you cry or laugh or dance like no one’s watching.
Taking the time to choose music that you know makes you feel a certain way is a wonderful way to set the tone and enjoy a bit of spa at home. Perhaps choose classical music to soothe or uplift for example. The key is in taking the time to think about how you want to feel, choosing your music, and letting yourself enjoy it.
Candles are always associated with a spa day because they create a nice atmosphere. In addition to being another source of aromatherapy, they change the light in a room and really create a sense of tranquility. There’s also something really luxurious about lighting a beautiful candle. You don’t need to wait for a special occasion – light it in the middle of the afternoon for the sheer enjoyment of it.
A sense of spa peace is also enhanced by creating a space that’s neat, tidy and clean. It isn’t always easy, especially when you live with other people or children, but even if you dedicate a small part of your home to being clutter free so that you can go and sit there and ‘be’ to relax and unwind, it can really make a difference. Make it somewhere you can retreat just for you, and imbue it with those scents and sounds that mean a lot to you.
Also, bring plants into the house. Adding a little nature into your home can really change the way it feels, especially if you don’t have any outside space of your own. Plants can really help to counteract the intensity of all those electronic items in the house, and there is something inherently peaceful about their presence that’s intrinsically spa like! There are whole spa experiences dedicated to being around nature, and increasing spas are fusing inside and outside space (for example, South Lodge has a wild swimming pool that’s a great way to get back to nature!), and pre lockdown, Forest Bathing was becoming an extremely popular spa pastime.
The power of touch is something we talk about a lot in spas and for obvious reasons – massage, facials and other therapies are all about the healing power of touch. However, that sensory experience doesn’t have to come from someone else. The fabrics and products that you use, or even the attention you pay to the little daily rituals can turn them into a therapeutic experience.
Spend time in the evening wrapped up in a cosy robe and slippers, or opt for really lovely loungewear instead of items that just make you feel messy. You can be ultra comfortable in soft blend wool trousers, silk or satin or good quality, simple cotton and linens, but still feel really special.
Equally, when it comes to washing your face in the morning or washing your hands in the day, take a little extra time to really massage products into your skin. Breathe scents in deeply, and pay attention to how everything feels. With the right products and a hand massage, you can turn the smallest and most mundane of experiences into a sensual moment in your day that’s all about you.
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