Home is where the heart, head and back are these days. The annual U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Time Use Survey shows that 24 percent of employed people did some or all of their work at home. Women spent an average of 2.6 hours, while men spent 2.0 hours a week doing household chores including housework, cooking, lawn care, and household management. As for leisure activity at home, watching TV occupied the most time (2.8 hours per day). It’s time to turn off the TV and enjoy some luxe wellness in your home! Here’s how you can create a sensory spa experience at home by focusing on and pleasing your five senses.
Sight – color
Warm, organic color tones inspired by nature promote feelings of health and wellness, bringing an outdoor airiness to even small rooms. Color psychology studies have shown the impact color can have on emotional well-being whether it elevates energy levels or relaxes the nervous system. Yellow, a warm color, encourages connection. Blue offers tranquility, harmony and calm. Green is a restful, relaxing, comfort color. For a spa experience the idea is to have one color flowing together in complementary shades, not a mish mosh of contrasting colors. Of course, clear any clutter from eyesight. Add a glow to your skin by cleansing, exfoliating, eating antioxidant-rich foods, and hydrating.
Sound – silence
The World Health Organization has warned that too much noise puts our bodies into a fight or flight mode that increases stress hormones, elevates blood pressure and aggravates skin conditions. Silence however relaxes the body even more so than when playing classical music. Enjoy the peace that silence brings. New brain cells linked to learning and emotion are created after two hours of silence. Communicate without words. Leave any electronic devices behind. Even the anticipation of an email, text or call draws your attention. Consume silence, most of our “aural diets” are overloaded with noise. Consider that it is the silent intervals around musical notes that trigger the most positive brain activity according to neuroscientists at Stanford University. Brain neurons fire in the absence of sound allowing the mind to maintain attention and set memories.
Touch – texture
A soft rug under your feet, warm bath water, plush towels around your shoulders. These tactile touches are felt through your skin and add interest to the intentional space you are creating for your spa experience. Explore the subtlety of touch. Touch soothes and bonds us with others. It stimulates oxytocin, the love hormone. While bathing massage the scalp, use a scrub or body brush to nurture your skin. Acknowledge the pleasure it brings. Moisturize your body using long strokes while applying a natural, organic body cream. Moisturizing is an easy, effective way to relax. Massage elbows, knees, ankles and feet using firm but light circular motions to calm the body and mind. Touch is the best way to regain focus and de-stress.
Smell – aroma
Natural aromas from lavender soap, flowers, or essential oils are some of the options you can use to breathe in the relaxing, romantic atmosphere you’ve created. Smell is our strongest sense associated with memory. Create an unforgettable experience by incorporating aroma in your mix of sensory details. A reed diffuser dispenses a favorite scent naturally. Skin care containing essential oils offers a subtle, fleeting scent to the skin.
Taste – Red wine, ginger tea, chocolate
Swish a sip of red wine or ginger tea around in your mouth and savor its distinct flavor. Red wine contains resveratrol, a plant compound that helps relieve stress and is healthy for your heart according to recent studies. Ginger tea is known to relieve stress and tension. You may want to pair your beverage with a piece of dark chocolate that contains 70 to 85% cocoa. Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants. It also contains flavanols that protect skin against sun damage. It improves blood flow to the skin and increases skin hydration.
These are just some ideas that can help you create a spa experience at home that celebrates the senses. We think you’ll agree that it’s better than working, doing chores, or watching TV. (Image: Jonathan Borba | Pexels)