By Laura Davidson
Laura, who is mummy to one-year-old Hannah and is expecting her second baby in the summer, is a distinguished journalist, writer and editor and has been researching ways to relax on a budget on the big day this month. Follow her tips and check out some of the best ways to relax….
Treat yourself to a day to chill – at home
It’s pretty much up there when it comes to our favourite things. The relaxation, the pampering, the swimming without being ‘splash-bombed’ by a five year old and the back and neck massage and facial… if only life was like a day in a spa.
It’s one of the best ways to soothe the strains of everyday life. All of a sudden, demanding children and work worries will seem a million miles away. There’s just one problem – cash. (Unless you’ve entered our competitions – and there are more to come.)
A stay at a health farm doesn’t exactly come cheap. It’s definitely a worthwhile treat if you fancy splashing out, but if you’re on a budget don’t worry. The idea of a few days – or just a few hours – R&R is still attainable … in the comfort of own home.
With the wealth of beauty treatment products on the market now, it’s easier than ever to turn your bathroom into your own personal spa. Haul your terry robe out of the wardrobe, slip on some soothing music and put a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door. Now we’re ready to begin…
• Create the atmosphere: The calming ambiance of a spa is all part of the relaxation process. Being in zen-like surroundings will slow down the heart rate and make it much easier to chill out. Switch off the harsh central light and invest instead in some scented candles for a flickering glow. If you feel the candles don’t give off enough perfume, light some incense as well.
• Soak it up: Run yourself a warm, but not too hot, bath and fill with the bubble bath of your choice. Sit a bath pillow, or a rolled up towel, at the back of the bath, and enjoy a few minutes of simple relaxation. Don’t get too comfy, though. That 10-minute soak will have loosened all the dead cells on the surface of your skin, priming you for exfoliation, so reach for your body scrub of choice and really get stuck in, paying particular attention to dry areas such as the knees and elbows. Use a separate, less harsh scrub for your face. Once finished, stand up in the bath, let the water drain away, and have a quick dunk under the shower to remove any excess body scrub.
• Face facts: With your skin freshly exfoliated, you’ll want to wipe over some toner to close the pores. Now it’s time for a face pack so make sure you’re not expecting anyone to turn up at the front door for the next 15 minutes, unless you want to scare them off. Apply the mask to the whole face, avoiding the sensitive area around the eyes. A super-moisturising mask is a good choice right now as we head for spring.
• Handy work: While your face mask is working, give your hands and feet a treat. Work cuticle cream in at the base of the finger and toenails and push back the cuticles with an orange stick. Smooth away any dry skin on the feet with a pumice stone.
• Bathing beauty: While washing off your face mask, run another bath and add a more generous amount of bubble bath. This time, once you’ve swept some toner over your face and applied moisturiser, you’re going to do some serious loafing. Lie back in the bubbles, listen to your chill-out CD and let the stresses of the day float away. Just try not to turn into a prune in the process.