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

My first visit to a Korean spa was a life-changing experience. So much so, that my two best girlfriends and I decided to make it an annual tradition. A few weeks ago we had another decadent and relaxing day at a local spa. It was 9 glorious hours of pampering 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

Maybe publicly soaking naked in warm pools and saunas is not your thing. Or you don’t have several consecutive hours to devote to relaxation. Perhaps your budget won’t allow an extra $30-200 for self-care. Fear not, below I list the key components that make our spa days so special. Maybe you can adapt some of these elements to enrich 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 wellbeing. Plus you get to choose how you spend your me-time, Suitie! 
  1. Take a break from technology: You shouldn’t bring your cell phone near water and you certainly don’t want it to go off during a massage. So we left them in the locker and didn’t look back. 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 no body is perfect, but 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. The calming scent of lavender aromatherapy lingers after an add-on treatment. Relative silence abounds along with soft sounds of water splashing. You can taste delicious Korean food, fresh fruit juices, and warm teas. Lastly, you can experience the healing power of massage along with the different sensations of the pools and sauna rooms. Use the spa as a template and find new ways to indulge any of your senses.
  1. Wash away the old: I love baths. There is something special about submerging your body in water and scrubbing away any external particles to get back 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 scrub away the gunk from life and get back to what is smooth, soft, and fresh.
  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. Just remember that 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 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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