With all the chaos in our lives (from family, work, friends, and of course, the menopause) it can feel like there’s no time to relax.
But every now and then, if you can, allow yourself to take a day off. And what better way to spend a day off than creating your very own in-home spa?
Step one: Aromatherapy
Before indulging in all the activities for your ultimate at-home spa day, you need to set the scene. Diffusing essential oils into the air will give you a bit of aromatherapy that’ll get you in the perfect mood. Choose wisely! Lavender will give you a relaxed and calm feeling, eucalyptus oil has cleansing effects (both for your mind and body, as it’s a natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial), and lemon (or citrus) essential oil will energise and revitalise you. It’s a make-your-own-adventure sort of deal here. Just add about 20 drops of essential oil to a jar or container and mix with about 60 ml of hot water and 60 ml of alcohol (rubbing alcohol works best).
Step two: Face Mask
There’s nothing that’ll make you feel more pampered than a face mask, so it’s the best way to start your in-home spa day. There’s about a million face mask recipes online, but here’s a few good ones for hydrating and tightening your skin (that are vegan)!
Moisturising Aloe Vera Mask for Dry Skin
- 30 ml Aloe Vera (store bought is better than fresh, for this recipe)
- 30 ml Coconut Oil
- 3 ml (1/2 tsp) Vitamin E
Use a whisk to combine aloe vera and room-temperature coconut oil. Once whisked, stir in vitamin E oil (optional). Apply the mixture on dry skin and leave on for 15-20 mins.
‘Anti-aging’ Coffee Mask
- 1 tablespoon Coffee
- 1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
- 1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
Mix coffee and cocoa powder in a bowl. Add room-temperature coconut oil to form a paste. Apply on face and leave on for 15-30 mins. Wash off with cold water, gently exfoliating.
Step three: Mocktails
As a menopause platform that encourages a healthy lifestyle to alleviate the symptoms of the menopause, alcohol is naturally not advised. But you can’t have a spa day without a little drink, so try out a mocktail to fit the bill (or do as you please, you’re the captain of your own ship and this is a judgement free zone).
Virgin Cucumber Gimlet
- 40 ml Club Soda
- 4-5 slices Muddle Cucumber
- 30 ml Fresh Lime Juice
- 30 ml Simple Syrup
Combine ingredients, shake, drink over ice. Garnish with cucumber slices.
Lemon Mint Berry Blast
- 500 ml Sparkling Water
- ½ a Lemon
- ½ cup Raspberries
- 4 Strawberries, sliced
- ½ cup Blackberries
- Mint leaves
Muddle mint leaves, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Mix in juice of half a lemon and sparkling water. Drink over ice, with lemon and mint as garnish.
Step four: Mani-Pedi
Manicures and pedicures are a classic spa day treat, but there are certain tips and tricks that are important to remember especially given that menopausal women are at risk of having dry and brittle nails.
- Tip #1:ALWAYS moisturise your cuticles (preferably with cuticle oil, or hand cream otherwise). Don’t get any moisturiser on your actual nail before the manicure though, or else the polish won’t stick as well!
- Tip #2:Don’t rip off hangnails (the skin the rips up near your nail) – lots of nail technicians do this before a manicure, but if you’re doing it yourself, you might end up ripping off live skin, making you more vulnerable to infections. Instead, use a clipper to cut off the bit that’s hanging up.
- Tip #3: If you’re removing old nail polish, use nail polish without acetone. It might be harder to find, but the acetone in the nail remover will make your nails even drier than they were before.
- Tip #4: Beware of nail drying myths – dipping your nails in cold water to help them dry faster isn’t a proven method, despite the fact that many nail technicians still do this. Instead, dipping your hands in cold water will harden the top layer (making it look dry) but below the surface the nail polish is still soft and smudgeable. To dry your nails faster, apply multiple thin layers to each nail, instead of one or two thick layers.
- Tip #5:Keep a cotton bud or napkin handy. If you accidentally get a bit of nail polish on your skin while painting, it’ll be a lot easier to remove it while it’s still wet!
Other than that, proceed with your normal mani-pedi as you wish.
Step Five: Run a bath
You can’t complete a spa day without running yourself a hot bath. Make it special by playing relaxing music, adding in Epsom Salts, bath bombs, essential oils, or whatever will make you feel most at ease. Of course, certain products like Epsom Salts and essential oils have more beneficial effects for the body, but sometimes it’s just nice to be surrounded by a million bubbles. Finally, light some candles, even if it’s just you. If you’re feeling really brave, consider a quick and refreshing cold shower after the bath. The warm water from the bath will open your pores and draw out a ton of toxins and finishing up with a few seconds of cold water will close the pores back up and wash away any remaining toxin.
Ultimately, every now and then you deserve a day to yourself for a bit of self-love and TLC. You work hard, you do so much for others, and you’re going through the menopause – why not give yourself a menopause-friendly break? Relax, and enjoy!
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