October 12, 2018
Don’t have time to go to the spa but desperately need a spa day? To make your life a little easier, I’ve put together a relaxing routine featuring some of my favorite products.
There’s nothing quite like a long, luxurious bubble bath when you’re feeling stressed. Treat yourself to this cost-effective at home spa treatment by adding aromatherapy infused bath bombs and salts into warm water. If you choose to bathe in the morning, use products containing more invigorating oils like peppermint and eucalyptus; if you’re bathing in the evening, opt for more relaxing and calming oils like lavender, ylang-ylang, and chamomile. Dim the lights, listen to some soothing music or enjoy a good book—whatever you need to do to create your own sanctuary. End your bath with a hydrating moisturizer to alleviate or prevent dry skin.
Gentle daily exfoliation gives you a healthy, natural glow by aiding in the removal of dead skin cells and improving circulation. I recommend using an exfoliation glove or a body brush before you begin your bathing ritual. After exfoliating, try using a mask on your face and body; use clay-based masks for blemished skin and mud masks for dry skin. A hair mask is also a quick treatment that promotes radiant, soft hair.
Take time to unplug. Create a technology-free zone in your home where no devices are allowed and allow that space to become your breakroom. Select a window of time during each day that smartphones, laptops, computers, televisions are turned off. Find an activity that allows you to focus to keep you from multitasking or listening to the constant chatter in your mind. Activities could be a puzzle, drawing, painting, reading, listening to music, or even meditating; choose activities that allow you absorbed in full concentration and solid relaxation at the same time.
Sleep is critical for a healthy body and mind and many of us are not getting as much as we need. Allow yourself to take a nap during the day if you’re feeling tired and make sure to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night!
I recommend “unplugging” from electronics at least 90-120 minutes before bed. If you absolutely have to use your smartphones late at night, use the “night mode” to avoid disruption of melatonin production. This is a difficult task but so critical for brain health, stress reduction, and a better sleep! I turn on music that is calming and relaxing for me. Then I put calming essential oils on my pulse points (wrists, ankles, neck, and feet). When I lay down on my bed, I put on an herbal eye mask and lay on an acupressure mat for 30 minutes to reduce stress. Sometimes I find meditation to be extremely helpful if my mind is really overactive.
Lori Vargas founded Spa Vargas Wellness in 2001 and currently has 3 locations in the Chicagoland area. Since then, she founded Vargas Consulting with projects that include Hilton, Sheraton, Wyndham, and Key Lime Cove, and in 2009, the International Massage and Spa Academy. Based on her experience in the spa industry, the curriculum focuses on educating students to become business minded nurturing massage therapists. As a mother of two boys, Lori strives to create a balanced life and is always in the pursuit of living in the present. “My children have become my inspiration, and I am grateful to them for the happiness they have brought to my life. Of course, we have a dog, two cats, two parakeets and three fish, so our home is not a tranquil environment!
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