For Christmas this past year my mother gave me a spa day to use when I came out to Boise for our yearly visit. I was in charge of choosing the place, the services received and the appointment date and time.
Massages have kind of become part of my Boise experience. I think my mother has gifted me a massage the last three years of visits, which I completely appreciate and enjoy. Last summer I had received an amazing massage from a woman at a spa in the area. I was amazed at her work on my hands and humorously wondered if I could write massages off as a business expense if I ever became an official author/writer (I’m still curious if anyone has some insight). Unfortunately, the masseuse is no longer at the spa so I searched around for local spas and settled on one that had a package of a facial, 90 minute massage and pedicure – pampering from head to toe!
My experience was incredible! Not only was it relaxing, it was also a very restorative and spiritual time for me. Each of the women allowed me to receive the treatment in quiet, with only the wordless, peaceful music playing – heaven for this introvert who had been around half a dozen + family members for nearly three weeks. My focus wandered through four different parts of the experience – the physical sensations of oils, lotions and hands, the various pleasant scents from the oils and lotions, the relaxation feelings of the experience where I nearly fell asleep multiple times, and the time just to hear my own thoughts and prayers about life, family and friends.
I was somewhat surprised at the strong spiritual aspect of my experience. I don’t recall previous spa sessions to have felt so purposeful and meaningful. Perhaps it is because all previous experiences were approximately 50 minutes in length and this was much longer so I could relax more fully. I loved the time for my mind to process my thoughts and feelings and let go of stress and worry while my body and muscles did the same with help.
At the end of the experience I felt relaxed, of course, but also infused with peace, patience and energy. Before my appointment I had been short on patience and a generous spirit with my children (it is summer after all, 24/7 family time). Afterward I was more loving, kind and ready to engage with them. When I next spoke with my husband on the phone (he was not with us for the last two weeks of our three week trip) he noted my energy and more positive attitude. More proof that I was a bit worn down.
This experience has been further evidence to me of the importance of self-care. I was reminded of the kind of mother/daughter/person I can and want to be when I meaningfully take a step away from normal life to refresh and recharge myself. (It was only four hours! Full days and weekends not required for refreshment – a revelation and encouragement to me.)
I am continuing to learn and experience the benefits of self-care. The toughest obstacles I tend to face are guilt that I’m being selfish and struggling to feel worthy of self-care. I hope to continuously remind myself that my family and friends benefit when I care for my physical and mental health.