In July, I celebrated my birthday at Miraval Resort. It was a place I always wanted to go, and I was grateful to spend this monumental year there. {If you’re curious, I wrote about my experience here.} On the tough days of being a stay at home mom, when my two sons are serenading me with tantrums, I dream of being back there. On the really hard days, I wonder if it was all just a dream.

For months, I thought about how to bring back the spa resort feeling back to my diapers, and laundry duty life. I realize many of us don’t have the ability to travel far to get a break from the stress of daily life. If you’re like me and drowning in Christmas shopping and holiday baking, please do yourself a favor and incorporate the following luxurious activities now.

  • Set meditation alarms.

When my son’s napping, I listen to my Insight Timer app, or a yoga nidra recording on my phone. Being at a spa resort is like having a full day of rest and relaxation with ample opportunities to meditate. To prioritize rest and meditate, schedule it on your smart phone.

  • Eat mindfully.

At Miraval, I had the luxury of eating healthy prepared meals and delicious smoothies. While this is not easy to replicate daily, a few plant-based dishes and make your own smoothies are surprisingly doable with all the online recipes these days. And one thing we can all do simply is practice mindful eating. I learned this in my graduate program, but was delightfully surprised to re-do the practice at Miraval. The key is to pause between bites to savor your food. A trick is to put your utensil down after every bite. Taste. Chew. Swallow. Easy right? How different this looks from my normal shovel food in your mouth before my son starts throwing his food routine. And how wonderful it is to remember the joy of eating.

  • Take an in-person class.

Miraval offered a variety of classes. The only problem was deciding which ones to take. My schedule was filled with activities and I thoroughly enjoyed each one. What surprised me was how good it felt to actually be in a class versus taking a class online. Even now when I get dressed, drive and attend a real in-person class, I get that excited I’m going to a resort feeling.

  • Schedule a spa day.

Groupons and Living Social deals make spa treatments affordable. But if you don’t have the time or money to book a massage, facial or mani/pedi, treat yourself to all of the above in the comforts of your home. We all have our favorite nail polish at home. Facial masks are so affordable these days, and taking a bath with Epsom salt, I believe rivals a massage.

And if you do have a chance to go on a retreat, please take it. Take it even if it means you’ll be away from your kids for awhile, you won’t be able to buy your fancy lattes or clothes all year, and even if the only retreat you can do is a staycation at a friend’s house. We all need time away to gain clarity. We all need silence to hear our soul’s calling and our inner voice. Shoo the guilt away and do it for yourself. Your family will thank you.

*I’m offering a free initial coaching session for those interested in figuring out their purpose. It’s a great way to gear up for 2018. As a past therapist with a masters in counseling and health psychology, I’ve always been keen on deciphering people’s strengths and supporting their passions. I would love to talk to you. Please email me at bauyemura@gmail.com for more information.

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