We live in unusual times filled with excessive stress. Work, rent, and health remain uncertain. All this time stuck indoors isn’t exactly helping either. It’s time to give yourself a break from obsessively refreshing social media, news sites, binging shows, or sitting in your sweaty pajamas for the third day straight.
Today is the day to pamper yourself and let go of some of that stress. That’s right, we’re calling for an in-home day spa experience to take your mind off the the world for a while.
The following recipes, images, and story come from my experience trying them out in a studio apartment with limited resources, ingredients, and room during my own 2020 mandated staycation. They still apply pretty well to 2021. I’m just as worried about the future as anyone, but also know it’s good to let go and enjoy yourself. I spent this spa day with my girlfriend, but you deserve a spa day too, whether with friends, family, loved ones, or just yourself. Here’s how to go about it.
Start your spa experience by getting comfortable. I put on some clean, comfortable, and loose clothing. If you have a robe, now is the time to break it out. You can also pull some freshly laundered towels out of the dryer and toss them over your shoulders.
Put some soothing music on in the background. It doesn’t have to be whale songs or meditative chanting. Play what makes you happy and relaxed, whatever that might be. Mine was more angsty than you might choose, or you could go harder. That’s fine.
Light a few candles, turn on that diffuser, or run your shower over some essential oils for a minute. Create an atmosphere of warmth, energy, relaxation, or joy with your scents. Lavender is calming, citrus is invigorating, eucalyptus is healing, and many others work too.
I cut a few lemon slices and strawberries and put them in filtered water with a splash of matcha. I didn’t go heavy, just about a fourth of a packet of our Sweet Matcha was enough to get me feeling energized. I took this to my patio, sat in the sun, and enjoyed the cold, sweet, fruity refreshment in my toasty clothes and fuzzy socks.
I chose not to do this one today, as I had already planned plenty of soothing activities, but I wanted to give you the option. Boil water, pour that into a bowl, add a dash of matcha, essential oils, fresh herbs, teas, and other pleasing, natural scents, place your head over it with a towel to trap the steam, and let that hot water vapor soothe and clean your skin while filling your sinuses with wonder. Steaming is also good for colds and flus.
Matcha Face Mask
I mixed a teaspoon of matcha, a teaspoon of turmeric, and a teaspoon of avocado oil with a tablespoon of aloe. I broke open a capsule of turmeric for this, as I didn’t have any in my pantry. Don’t have these ingredients, don’t worry. We have plenty of other matcha mask recipes available for you to try. Each one has their own benefits, but the matcha part stays the same. It is especially rich in antioxidants that have a role in protection, repair, and revitalization while the caffeine invigorates. Let it sit about ten to fifteen minutes and then wipe it off.
I soaked a small towel in the hottest water out of my tap, wrung it out, and let it steam and soften my mask after time was up. It is soothing, opens pores, and helps you wipe away that mask. There’s something special about a hot towel.
This concoction was made with a teaspoon of matcha, a teaspoon of honey, two teaspoons coconut oil, and a tablespoon of sugar. It feels amazing as it scrubs away dirt, dead skin, sebum, and bacteria. Honey is antimicrobial and healing. Matcha heals and protects. Coconut oil moisturizes, traps other oils, and has a slew of other benefits including antimicrobial action, energizing cells, aiding nerves, and so much more. The sugar is there just to exfoliate a ton. It was nice to have another person do the scrubbing, but you can do it yourself too. Just make sure you do so outside, on a towel, or in a tub or shower. It gets messy.
Matcha, Epsom salt, and a couple drops of grapefruit essential oil went into mine, but you can play with this recipe some too. I also don’t have a tub or a large bowl in my tiny apartment, so I got innovative with a sink stopper and my shower pan. This was one of the more enjoyable parts of the spa for me. I took fresh scrubbed feet into the hot, detoxifying soak and let them steep for a while, inhaling the energizing fragrance of grapefruit mingling with the earthy scent of matcha.
Rub a little coconut oil and matcha into your shoulders and neck. You don’t need or want a ton of matcha with this. You don’t want to stain anything green, just reap the antioxidant and focus benefits as you rub away stress knots. If you have someone to help you with this, even better.
This is another I opted not to do this time around, but it will be a part of the next spa day I attempt at home. Simply take the same scrub we made for you feet into a shower with you and rub down your skin in circular motions as the steamy water beats down on you. Exfoliating, invigorating, and full of detoxifying chlorophyll.
Not an option for me in my studio, but a great way to relax away the end of your spa day. Soak in hot water, matcha, Epsom salt, and your favorite suds. Breathe deeply and let your muscles relax more on each exhale. You’ll be surprised how much worry and tension spiral down the drain. I had to settle for a shower over my grapefruit, Epsom, matcha water, which is an okay second option.
It's spring, so get outside in the open air and sunshine. That might be on a balcony, patio, in your back yard, or at a nearby park. Sit down, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Let it out and in slowly, following the movement with your thoughts and relaxing a tiny bit with each exhale. You'll be surprised at how much better you feel after a couple minutes.