I took myself on a spa date.
I know that sounds pretty indulgent, right? Believe me, this is not something I do often. The last time I went to a spa was a few years ago and despite promising myself I would go back, I just never found the time.
It has never really been a priority for me, until recently. The truth is, the way I was feeling, it was either take time out for myself or pass out under my desk in a quivering wreck… I chose the latter.
It wasn’t hard to choose where to go, I found a picture online of Sofitel SO Spa in St James and…well, let’ just say it looked like what I needed:
I booked via www.buyagift.co.uk. They had some great spa packages for just one, which is actually not that easy to find – when you are taking yourself on a date / holiday the options get pretty limited trust me. Note to providers: Not everyone will have a plus one!
But hold on, Let me give you some background. It had been a week of manic rushing around and project juggling. I had decided to cut my hair to save myself 30 minutes in the morning. I had taken to wearing red lipstick to distract from the bags under my eyes and I was ‘managing’ 4-5 different to-do lists across my tablet, phone and laptop.
I was tired, anxious, overworked and in need of some serious self-care.
(Short hair, red lips…TIRED AF!)
I wanted luxury, so I booked a package that offered a facial or massage WITH afternoon tea. It’s called the SO Magnifique Spa Experience and costs £120. Yes, I know this is pricey. To be honest, self-care can mean anything and is often dependent on your budget – even a full night’s sleep can cost you something if you need help to make it happen ( maybe not £120!). There are other – much cheaper or free – options out there and I will do a round up of them in my next post.
The SO Spa is part of the 5-Star Sofitel hotel, which means it’s high end and very French (when you call up they answer the phone with ‘bonjuor’ rather than ‘hello’). They also only use French products in the spa, a Parisian brand called Carita and Cinq Mondes.
When I arrived I was treated to a welcome drink of the most amazing rose tea and a snack. I was then whisked away to a treatment room for my personalised facial. I say personalised because I had to fill out a form before hand, it asked the usual questions: any skin problems? illnesses? etc. What was surprising was that I was also asked the kind of music I wanted, the kind of fragrance I preferred and even the ideal room temperature! This place is opulent, not your average spa at all.
The treatment is a full 60 minutes and it flies by. You will either float off on a cloud or fall asleep, I did both.
After your treatment you can relax in the Zen Room or go straight to afternoon tea. I had the vegetarian option which included sandwiches, cakes and scones with cream. There was so much I just couldn’t finish it all, but I was too shy to ask if I could take it home – I later regretted this on the train ride back.
It’s hard to describe the transformation I went through, how I felt before the treatment compared to how I felt after. This image pretty much sums it up:
All I can say is that there is so much in the media right now on how to juggle life, work harder or ‘lean in’ but not so much on how to slow the heck down and step away for some much needed self-care. My advice, take time out, even for one day. Go to the park, have a nap, eat lunch without your phone – or book yourself a spa date if you have the budget for it. The work will be there when you get back…trust me.