Take care of your mental health by making a spa out of your bathroom – on a budget

While we work through falling temperatures, holiday fatigue, and the stress of budgeting, we can still relax and reset our mindset.

By Barrett White

Holiday fatigue is real. While we can make changes in our lives to make the holidays less stressful for ourselves – like sticking to boundaries with difficult family and friends, setting realistic expectations for ourselves, and making peace with people and situations we cannot change – nothing quite beats a night in to reset, recharge, and relax. With the coldest time of year upon us, a warm night in our own personal “spa” never sounded better.

According to the CDC, high blood pressure is also very common. In fact, tens of millions of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, and many do not have it under control. High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death for Americans.

The CDC recommends that adults monitor their blood pressure, manage their diabetes if they have it, and make lifestyle changes if their blood pressure is high. Among the ways we can make a change is by being intentional about not only exercising the body, but relaxing the mind.

So how can we take our bathroom, however simple it might be, and create our own personal spa?

Greenery. Have any plants around your home? Place a couple in the bathroom – even if they’re fake! If the plants are real, make sure it’s a plant that can live in a humid environment and can survive with the amount of light your bathroom gets (or doesn’t get). 

Declutter. A mess of stuff over your countertops isn’t good for anyone’s wellbeing. Properly and safely dispose of expired products and medications, remove items that can be better stored elsewhere, and leave only your daily products on the countertop to create a streamlined, clean space.

Water or tea? Pick up some cucumber at the store and make yourself a little cucumber water to sip on. Looking for something warmer to compliment the spa night? Make yourself a cup of your favorite tea instead.

Fragrance. An inexpensive candle goes a long way in the compact space of a bathroom. Consider relaxing scents like eucalyptus or lavender.

Music. If you have a streaming account like Spotify or Apple Music, there are endless playlists for spa ambiance. Not a streamer? YouTube has similar playlists for free that you can play right from your phone. Concerned you might get your phone wet in the bathroom? Try placing your phone in a Ziploc baggie, or play the music on a speaker while your phone rests safely outside the bathroom.

Facial Treatment. You don’t need to be an esthetician to be kind to your face. Soak a towel in warm water, then let it rest on your face. This will open your pores before you apply a relaxing face mask – many grocery stores like HEB carry affordable masks in their beauty section. Not feeling a face mask? The same section of your grocery store may also have foot treatments, body lotions, and more.

Bath bomb. Does your bathroom have a bathtub? Make the most of it with a bath bomb (or two!), a variety of which can also be found at grocery stores like HEB, near the face masks.

Steam. Take a moment without a phone or other distractions to enjoy some steam. Perhaps you’re in the bathtub, or if you only have a shower you may be seated on your toilet seat or you can bring a chair into the bathroom. Let the hot water run for a few moments while you enjoy your face mask. It doesn’t have to last long, just enough to allow you to unplug your mind while you warm up.

Alone or with a loved one. Spa nights with your scented candles, misty bathroom, and face masks can be relaxing and rejuvenating whether you’re alone or with your best friend, partner, or whomever. 

Wash those bedsheets. If possible, try to plan your self-care spa night on a day you can wash your bedsheets – which should be washed at least once a month. After wrapping up your self-care day in your personal bathroom spa, change into your most comfortable pajamas and slip into your fresh sheets. A good night’s rest never felt so good.