At-home spa
You don't need to leave the house to get some needed relaxation. (Illustration by Drew Parrott, Oswego University)
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At-home spa

Even if you can’t go out to get pampered, you can still unwind at home with these self-care purchases.

Many states are under a stay-at-home order right now, and a lot of businesses that were once considered essential to our routine aren’t truly essential by the government’s definition. It’s disappointing to let go of pampering, especially when we need a little escape among the chaos. But have no fear: You can create a realistic spa-like experience right at home. Best of all, you won’t have to go out on the town, and you won’t have to spend money at an actual spa.

I unintentionally created my own at-home spa over time after scrolling online for far too long and taking many unnecessary trips to the store. I couldn’t resist the voice in my head telling me I needed everything I looked at. I’m glad though, because my little spa is one of my greatest sources of pride, if you can believe that.

If I have a headache, I have just the thing for it. If someone I know had a stressful day, I can help them fix it. I have all of these things sitting in their own little area, ready for me to use at any time. It’s nice to have everything at my beck and call. Pull up Amazon and get ready to curate your own spa.

The Atmosphere

One of the most important aspects of this little escape is the atmosphere. A spa is an incredibly calming environment, and it’s easy to emulate that. Eliminate all distracting noise or change it to something relaxing. Light a candle to send a new scent through the air.

Turn the lights down low to start out, but you can take it a step further. You want to create something a little different from whatever you’d consider your normal, so it feels like a treat.

An easy way to accomplish all of this is with an oil diffuser. I use my diffuser all the time, but it’s a cheap way to freshen up your space and give it a bit of ambience. You can customize whatever oil blends fit your mood and match them to the time of day.

When it comes to relaxing before bed, lavender and chamomile happen to be my favorite, tried and true blends. Oils go a long way, so you can build a lasting collection fairly easily. Many diffusers also have an internal light as a feature, so you’ve got two factors contributing to your new atmosphere.

Little Touches

Once you’ve created a pleasing environment, it’s time to add what makes you happy. You can treat yourself from your head to your toes, so there are numerous possibilities. It’s all up to you. Since there are so many things you could buy and use, I’ll recommend what I commonly turn to.

I always start my day with a quick yoga session. There are plenty of apps and videos out there, free and paid, that can walk you through a half-hour routine. It’s nice to do this in my own home — to get ready for the day right after I finish a session. No need to hop in the car and go back and forth.

Every other day or so, I like to wrap up my yoga session by using an acupressure mat to up the relaxation factor. I find this relieves a lot of tension I didn’t realize I was holding onto. I used to cringe at the thought of laying down on a sharp surface, but this hurts so good. It’s surprisingly pleasant, and I feel a difference after laying on it.

One of the best cosmetic items I’ve ever purchased was a silicone shampoo brush. One of the best parts about getting your hair done in a salon is the hair wash and the subsequent head massage. This brush doesn’t replicate that wonderful experience, but I’d imagine it’s about as close as you can get.

I have to drag myself away from the shower after washing my hair. These brushes are just that good. I can’t believe it took me so long to add this to my arsenal, but now, I can’t go one wash without it. Your scalp and hair will thank you. Wash that tension down the drain.

Another essential is a face mask. I’m convinced I can’t walk into T.J. Maxx without getting a new mask, so I have quite an impressive stack of them to choose from. No matter what your concern is, there’s a mask out there to help. They range from inexpensive to luxurious, and no matter what you choose, your skin will feel exfoliated and moisturized — just better in general. There’s something about masks that make you feel like a new person when you’re done with them.

Next, your nails probably need some love. I don’t recommend doing professional manicures on your own, but it’s easy to give your nails love while you’re waiting to get back to the salon. I’ve had a trusty manicure kit for some time now, and it’s a staple for me. There’s something nice about having your nails looking and feeling in shape that boosts your mood.

It’s easy to do your nails while letting your face mask work its magic. The tools also last a long time, so as long as you keep them sanitized, you probably won’t have to worry about replacing them for a long time. You could even add a second set of tools for doing your own pedicure.

These are my must-have items for a night in, but there are many other things I’ve racked up over time. For example, moisturizers, lotions, good music and comfortable clothing are necessary for a nice spa night.

I’ve been so happy to have these purchases in my little collection, but an at-home spa is easily customizable to what makes you happy. The possibilities are almost endless.

It’s Worth It

It may be an investment that takes some time, but it’s worth it. Many of these items don’t need to be replaced frequently, or replaced at all. You can stock up on items you enjoy, so customization is really 100% up to you.

It’s always a nice thing to come home to. If I had a bad day, I know I’m only a few moments away from de-stressing. I can sift through my massive collection of face masks, turn on my diffuser with a relaxing oil blend, give myself a manicure and drift off to sleep. Having all of these items helps elevate a relaxing evening to something I can look forward to and make somewhat special.

While most places that would normally provide these services are closed for the indefinite future, it helps to know I have it all at my disposal and I can treat myself whenever I would like to. You may even have a lot of these components to set up your own spa-like experience right now. I highly recommend it!

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