Last week I took a day out my (surprisingly) busy schedule to take a day off, and enjoy a morning/early afternoon at the Berkeley Haybarn Spa in Knightsbridge (massage, facial, pedicure). My family sent me a gift certificate for a half-day back in March, but I’ve only just now managed to find some time to put it to use!
For some reason I have a terrible time carving out time for myself to relax– I always feel a bit guilty, or find my thoughts wandering to all the work I need to do and emails I need to check. Definitely not conducive to relaxing. For my half day at the Haybarn I was determined to actually relax. On my way to my 10:00 am massage I opted to listen to a relaxing playlist, rather than my usual squeezing-in of extra reading for my dissertation, and even managed to arrive about 20 minutes early to give myself time to change and have a seat in the sauna to melt away any residual stress from the journey.
My massage was first, followed directly by my facial, and both were fantastic. For my massage I opted for Bamford’s signature scent– a blend of geranium, lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint. By the time the massage ended I had successfully banished any thoughts of work to be done, and at the end of my facial felt thoroughly relaxed and refreshed.
I had a break for a bit and sat out in a really lovely courtyard filled with greenery while I sipped some fresh mint tea. The pool had some gorgeous views over Hyde Park and Knightsbridge, and I enjoyed a high lunch (and glass of champagne!) by the window, followed by some reading entirely for pleasure, which never happens as of recently.
My last treatment of the day was a pedicure, which was an excellent way to end the day, and slowly get ready to go back into the real world. It was definitely hard to leave, but on my way out I picked up some of Bamford’s botanic body oil to extend the experience a bit, and hopefully capture some of the relaxation of the day.
Thinking about my overall experience, I was struck with the idea that a large part of why the day was so relaxing was being forced to tear myself away from my devices. Being away from my phone, as well as my apple watch, was a bit unnerving at first, but soon because wonderfully freeing. So much so, in fact, that I’ve decided to incorporate some device-free relaxing time as a regular part of my week. The best part? Not only is it totally free, but it’s also fabulously simple…if I can stick to it, that is. So, expect a post soon about the challenges and benefits of some tech-free time each week, and treat yourself to some self care at the spa or otherwise!
(photos from the Berkeley Haybarn website because I was phone-free)