staying home How to Have the Ultimate Self-Care Day

How to Have the Ultimate Self-Care Day

Yes, you can create this tranquility at home. 
Yes, you can create this tranquility at home. 
Photo by Anantara Hotels & Resorts
Now is the time to pamper yourself.

From whole-food recipes and virtual meditation sessions to manicure-perfect nail polish, your isolation station (aka house) has everything you need for a day of DIY spa time. We worked with healthy-living experts around the globe to craft an itinerary for one bliss-inducing day. Pick and choose your favorites from this timeline and let the serenity begin.

7 AM: Wake Up – Or Don’t

Start your day by waking up to a gradual alarm, such as the sleep-monitoring Sleep Cycle app or a sun lamp whose warm glow simulates a 30-minute sunrise. Or skip the alarm and sleep for an extra hour or two. This is your day. 

8 AM: Inflammation-Buster

If you have essential oils at home – wellness-focused Virtuoso travel advisor Mary Funkhouser recommends doTERRA selections – add them to an oil diffuser and use this a simple treatment to reduce morning eye puffiness. According to Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel spa manager Kanatcha Buntongkaew, parsley helps to diminish dark circles. Prep this all-natural treat the night before:

Chop ¼ cup fresh parsley. Fill an ice cube tray with water and add a pinch of parsley to each cube. Place in freezer. Rub frozen cubes gently under eyes.

For a calming treat, rub a drop of essential oil onto your hands and wrists.
For a calming treat, rub a drop of essential oil onto your hands and wrists.
Photo by Getty Images

9 AM: Set Your Intention

Channel the healing energy of Sedona’s red rock landscape and set your intention for the day with destination spa Mii Amo’s series of guided meditations. These seven-minute audio sessions focus on topics such as energy, mindfulness, and peace, and are a great intro for novice meditators. On Instagram, the Equinox Hotel, New York City is posting 15-minute morning stretch classes with ambient music, while Belmond’s Nadia Narain delivers guided breathing sessions.

10 AM: Fuel Up

Reinvent the breakfast of champions. “Drink lemon juice before breakfast to detox your liver, or grapefruit juice to strengthen your immune system,” says spa director Soizic Termet of La Reserve Ramatuelle on the French Riviera. “For tea lovers, black tea in the morning boosts energy.” For breakfast, Canyon Ranch Resorts offers short how-to videos. One of our favorite recipes is chef Maggie O’Mara’s golden chia-seed pudding, which lasts multiple days in the fridge and doubles as a healthy snack.

11 AM: Boost Your Mood

Go for a (socially distant) walk as you listen to a feel-good playlist or podcast. Back at home, slip into a bathrobe and slippers. Nothing says “spa day” like a hotel robe. 

12 PM: Give Back

Helping others can lift your spirits, too. Consider donating to an organization fighting Covid-19. (Here are a few other ways you can help.) Limit yourself to just 30 minutes to avoid getting sucked into an internet rabbit hole. When the timer sounds, it’s time to start prepping lunch. 

12:30 PM: For Lunch, Go Big

Equinox Hotel’s 30-minute spring pork chop recipe delivers a protein hit and incorporates healthy veggies such as ramps, asparagus, and radishes. For vegetarian inspiration, The Ranch Malibu’s plant-based cookbook, Food Food Food, is available for digital download ($19) – with treats such as kelp noodle alfredo with blistered cherry tomatoes, and black bean burgers with guacamole.

And, Meadowood Napa Valley’s homemade pizza recipe reminds us that sometimes self-care just means bring on the extra cheese.  

2 PM: Have a Bubble Soak

Draw a bath (if you have a tub), and while it fills, try Ananda in the Himalayas’ DIY aloe hair mask for natural shine and hydration.

Ananda in the Himalayas recommends raw aloe vera for shiny, healthy hair. 
Ananda in the Himalayas recommends raw aloe vera for shiny, healthy hair. 
Photo by Getty Images

2:30 PM: Add a Bath Bomb

Cue up one of Calmsound's many natural-sound playlists and throw together a homemade “Valley Glow” bath soak from Carneros Resort and Spa. The Epsom salts help to soothe sore muscles and joint pain, and lemon balm is touted for its anxiety-reducing qualities; the baking soda adds a relaxing fizz.

  • ½ cup Epsom Salts
  • 8-10 drops lemon balm essential oil (or oil of choice)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda

Mix the ingredients in a bowl and pour into a warm bath.  
Pro tip: Use a bathtub caddy with your favorite book (we’ve got you covered with recommendations).

4 PM: Give Your Hands Some TLC

Treat yourself to a mani-pedi. Try French Girl’s organic nail and cuticle oil, which includes argon, pomegranate, tamanu, and hemp oils. Nontoxic Zoya polish is quick-drying, lasts forever, and has more than 400 colors, not including seasonal hues like the current-mood-appropriate Calm Spring collection. (Zoya’s also releasing a new hand sanitizer that’s soft on skin).

Alternative post-soak option: Browse “slow TV” clips of far-away destinations. This two-hour reindeer trek in Norway is sure to bring lull you into an afternoon nap relax you.

This spring, Zoya’s seasonal colors are all about serenity.
This spring, Zoya’s seasonal colors are all about serenity.
Photo by Zoya

5:30 PM: Clear Your Mind

Call your loved ones, catch up with friends via video calls, or get creative with painting or knitting.  

7 PM: Time for Dinner

For the last meal of the day, you want something light and clean. Try this apple-cranberry salmon salad recipe from Canyon Ranch. Or, take inspiration from chef Jonathan Heath with Six Senses Hotels, Resorts & Spas as he preps recipes from flu-fighting broth to kid-friendly chocolate-dipped fruit for dessert. 

Kids of all ages will love this part. 
Kids of all ages will love this part. 
Photo by Getty Images

8:30 PM: Hit Refresh

Put an exfoliating cap on your day of indulgence with a homemade scrub. La Réserve spa manager Termet recommends mixing a handful of coconut flakes with coconut oil and lemon juice: “Coconut flakes provide soft exfoliation, coconut oil nourishes and protects the epidermis, and lemon juice refreshes and brightens skin tone,” she says. Follow up with a nighttime moisturizer like this Guinot oxygenating cream from Paris

9 PM: Evening Ritual

You know what to do: Put away the phone and close the computer. Wellness-focused Virtuoso travel advisor Kelly Greenleaf shares her routine: “I’ve been trying to end each day with an Ananda in the Himalayas-style night ritual to help me get a good night’s sleep. First, I make sure that I’ve finished my chores and that my bed is fresh and clean. Next, I put on my kurta pajamas and do gentle meditation and breathing exercises. When I’m finished, I apply a thin layer of warm coconut or almond oil to the soles of my feet to calm my nerves.” Easy sleep brings a peaceful close to your DIY spa day.

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