Jjimjilbang, here we come: The Ultimate Day of Self-care!

My first visit to a Korean spa was a wonderful experience. So much so, that it has become an annual tradition! A few weeks ago, I enjoyed another decadent and relaxing day at a local spa with two friends. It was 9 glorious hours of pampering, bonding, and self-care! Here is a recap of our spa routine.

Step 1: Change clothes & eat Meal 1

Step 2: Schedule add-on treatment(s)

Step 3: Shower & soak in the warm baths

Step 4: Explore dry/wet saunas

Step 5: Take a quick dip in the cold pool

Step 6: Repeat Steps 3-5 until hungry

Step 7: Return to cafeteria for Meal 2

Step 8: Get cozy for a nap

Step 9: Repeat Steps 3-5

Step 10: Get add-on treatment(s)

Step 11: Return to cafeteria for Meal 3

Step 12: Change clothes, pay & leave

Being naked in public pools and saunas may not be your thing. Or maybe you don’t have multiple hours to devote to relaxation. Perhaps your budget doesn’t allow an extra $30-200 for self-care. Below I list the key components that make our spa days so special. These can be adapted to enrich or refine your self-care routine.

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels.
  1. Set aside time solely for self-care: I understand that taking 9 hours to go to a spa is a privilege. But scheduling a few moments several times a week or month to relax and recharge is important. It’s a way to prioritize your well-being.
  1. Take a break from technology: At a spa or not, it’s a good practice to detox from our devices even for just a few hours. It reduces stress, allows our creativity to flourish, and frees up our attention.
  1. Spend quality time with good friends: Making time to catch up with the girls is priceless. This can be done on the phone, via video chat, or in person over food and drinks. Just connecting, laughing, receiving and giving advice, and simply being together is always a good time.
  1. Love and honor your body: It took a long time for me to feel comfortable with the idea of going to a spa and being nude in front of other women. But it’s quite a liberating experience! My confidence boosted after seeing that while no body is perfect, every body is normal. So find ways to love, accept, and connect to the skin that you’re in, Suitie!
  1. Get in touch with your senses: The spa involves all of the five senses.  You see bodies of different shapes, sizes, and colors. Calming aromatherapy scents linger after an add-on treatment. Relative silence abounds along with gentle splashes of water. You can taste delicious Korean food, fresh fruit juices, and warm teas. You might also experience the healing power of massage and different sensations of the pools and sauna rooms. Use the spa as a template and find new ways to indulge any or all of your senses.
  1. Wash away the old: I love baths. There is something special about submerging your body in water, scrubbing away the external particles, and returning to your smooth and polished core. At the Korean spa you can spend a lot of time soaking in water. You can also reserve a body polish as an add-on treatment.  Whether it’s metaphorical or literal, find a way to scrub away the gunk from life and get back to you.
  1. Enjoy delicious food: Need I say more? Good food is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Go treat yourself, Suitie and order dessert!
  1. Get some rest: Step 8 in our spa day involves a nice nap without time constraints. We just rest until we feel re-energized to return to the hard work of spa-tripping. 7-8 hours of quality sleep each day is necessary for optimal brain functioning, physical health and overall wellness.

I eagerly await our next spa day. Until then, I will continue to implement the key features of our annual event into my regular self-care routine. Which component of self-care might you indulge in this week, Suitie?

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