Nourish yourself with a mini retreat or DIY spa date
‘Re-treat’ yourself by planning a mini retreat just for you, or nourish your body with a DIY spa date. It doesn’t need to cost much, says naturopath Annaliese Jones.
Taking the time to nurture yourself is always worthwhile, whether it’s a week, a weekend or just a day. I suggest booking a few mini retreats throughout the year. It may seem hard (and selfish) to find the space in your calendar, but you’ll never regret it. Everyone’s notion of a retreat is different, but at the heart of the idea is withdrawing, for a time, from the pressures of everyday life, whatever they may be. It helps to think of the military meaning of a retreat: ‘to withdraw from enemy forces’.
What has become the ‘enemy’ in your life? When brainstorming this question with clients, it’s amazing what can come up. It’s a great question to start with when planning your personal retreat. Other questions to ask yourself are:
- What are you most longing to retreat from? Social media, your phone, having to make three meals a day?
- What’s missing in your life that would nurture you? Time, peace and quiet, exercise?
- How can you include nature in your mini retreat? Hiking, beach walking, swimming?
- What would bring you joy? A bath, novel, magazines, a puzzle or movie?
Once your retreat starts to take shape you can think about details, such as when and where. Just like an upcoming holiday, the planning and anticipation will be half the fun. Plan healthy but delicious food and include something that feels indulgent, like a massage or home spa treatment. If you love music, be sure to have some good tunes on hand. Most of all, listen to what your inner self is yearning for, and try as much as possible to meet that need. No one else can do that for you, but everyone is bound to benefit from a happier, calmer you.
DIY spa date
Indulging in a spa treatment can seem a little superficial but for many people it’s a great way to start exercising the self-care muscle. The more you take time for yourself (and indulge in occasional treats), the more natural it will feel to take your own needs into account in everyday life. Here are a few home spa treatments to try.
Manuka honey mask
This golden gloop is deceptively good. As well as being excellent for your health, manuka honey makes an amazing face mask. It draws moisture to the outer layers of the skin, reducing dryness and creating softness that lasts for days. Its anti-inflammatory properties help with redness and its natural antibacterial ingredients can assist in treating acne and infections.
- Spread a tablespoon of honey onto your clean, damp face and leave for as long as possible.
- Rinse off with warm water.
Oat milk and Epsom salts bath
This makes the perfect mini retreat or a great weekly ritual. When soaked, oats release a silky, cloudy milk that softens and soothes dry, red or itchy skin. It’s an amazing home remedy for eczema. Add in some muscle-relaxing Epsom salts and you’ll have the best bath ever.
- Place 2 cups rolled oats on a muslin cloth or in an old pair of tights or stocking. Tie to close.
- Tie this around the tap so the water will flow through the oats as the bath is filling.
- Add 2 cups Epsom salts to the bath as it fills, mixing with your hand to dissolve.
- In the bath, remove the oat pouch and rub over your skin to get the full benefit of the oats.
- Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the water for a blissful finishing touch.