SUMMER SELF-CARE SPA SESSION
Having written five Spa self-care books in recent years, I thought I’d share a few of my own home spa ‘we-time’ tricks that have inspired me over the years, and help me make more of my own aromatic home self-care routine.
Create a SPA in your home …
Get Scentered Start by working out which key aromatic notes you like best to help inspire that 5* luxury hotel spa feel in your home. Think lemon, sage, thyme, cypress, rosemary and geranium essential oils - a classic ‘spa blend’:. Mix 1 drop of each together in a bowl of hot water (or in a diffuser), place somewhere flat (on a radiator or on a windowsill, close the door to the room you’re spending time in. This will allow this beautiful blend to fill the air, lift your spirits and your senses while you treat yourself to a few mini treatments. Buy pure essential oils from nealsyardremedies.com
Light Up You guessed it, light an aromatic candle. Sure I’m biased, but never underestimate the powerful ability of a tiny flickering flame on relaxing your energy and making you pause for a precious moment. Search for candles with pure blended oils and waxes - no artificial, synthetic fragrances or paraffin wax, as these are way less emotive - plus paraffin wax candles are renowned for giving off an aroma (like diesel oil) that often contributes to headaches. My own favourite for a summer spa scene is GOJO with lemongrass and frankincense; or choose relaxing SLOJO with balancing geranium and lavender essential oils plus soporific labdanum and sandalwood, to help you unwind, plus all three of our candles (MOJO included) contain lots of woody notes that men love too.
Unknot Yourself Now sit comfortably and focus on 7 breaths in and 10 breaths out: repeat 5 times. We so underestimate the importance of our breath in helping to calm our entire system. It’s one reason meditation is so invaluable - how ever you choose to practice being still. Take a small amount of rosehip oil (or any body oil you love) and rub between the palms of your hands. Now using the thumb of your right hand, press five small circles firmly into the palm of your left hand. Next, move your right thumb to the fleshy part of your palm at the base of your left thumb, and circle here five times firmly: this zone is meant to help calm and relax breathing. Repeat five tiny circles in the area known as ‘the valley’ above the base of the thumb, between the thumb and the index finger. Keep the pressure light but firm - with practice you’ll soon recognize what feels pleasurable yet is actually ‘doing something’. You can do this anywhere, anytime: when you’re travelling, sitting at your desk, watching TV, lying down, listening to music, sitting in a bar… any where whatsoever…
Take Time For Toes As an MS sufferer, particularly affecting my legs and feet, I am the first to be up for any footsie reflexology-style treatments. I apply the same principles of massage to my feet as I do my hands - it makes them feel loved (something we all need to do a little more. Grab a favourite body oil, I adore Templespa Drift Away and using your knuckles, really massage deeply' ‘but kindly’ into the soles of your feet and become aware of areas that feel particularly tender as these really do correspond with how your inner self is coping in life.
Lie back and get your senses going. So, I love relaxing mindful music such as Nu Meditation, or take a long moment for a motivational podcast such as episodes from Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, or The Minimalists Podcast (and watch out for our very own full length JoOnTheGo video series to be available on podcasts very soon.) Then in this position, close your eyes and encourage your senses to embrace the sounds and the aroma of your chosen body oil and/or candle, by placing an eye mask over your eyes and ensure all your senses are heightened to the extreme. Self care means making moments matter… feel good whenever possible.