The Spa Ritual: My “Me Time”
by Beth Wilder
I caught the tail end of a news report the other day and I caught a report that the only “me time” that most women get is in the shower or in the car on the way to work. When I think about my “me time” I am reminded of my mother and her ritual each evening. This was her time, devoted each night for her own benefit. This was a duty she owed herself each evening. I remember as a girl growing up in a house full of boys with one bathroom, my mother and I always seemed to have the time we needed to spend getting ready for our day. Of course my mom had first shower in the morning, so as to get the hot water, and each night she would take a bath before bed. This was my mother’s spa ritual.
My brothers and I would yell and shout, “Why does she get to take bath each night?” My dad was the self-made water police, telling us each morning to, “Get out of the shower you’ve been in there too long!” So why was it that mom could take a bath each night. My dad would simply say that she had been taking a bath every night long before they even got married, and that it was a habit that he wasn’t going to break. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that my parents were hardly out of their teens when they got married, and that the ritual of my mom taking a bath each night was left over from her childhood. She would soak in the tub with her sweet smelling aromas of lavender and her soaps and lotions that she bought especially for her use. I remember sitting on the seat of the toilet watching her wash her face with a “mom only” wash cloth, and her special face cleanser. Then after, she would put on her face cream, get into her special nightgown, and crawl into bed with the softest, freshest pillows you would ever lay your head on. This was her routine, her nightly ritual. I would think, I can’t wait until I’m older and I get to use all those special creams, lotions and potions, and have a queen’s bed with soft pillows, just like her.
As time went by, and I entered my teens, I developed my own bathroom ritual, my “me time” was evolving. My mom bought me some nice cleansers and moisturizers from The Bon Marche, now Macy’s, and I would shower and lather, and moisturize from head to toe. On and on through the years, my spa ritual got more and more sophisticated, as I made more money, and eventually became an esthetician.
With my career, I get to be apart of others spa rituals, be them at home by suggesting a nourishing home care treatment, or be it at the spa where my clients get to come relax and melt into a cocoon of hand picked products and warm blankets. I get to encourage clients not only to take care of their skin but to take their own time. Make “me time” a priority for you.
For those of us who have developed our own spa ritual we take it with us on vacations, on overnights with friends, and we never go a day without our skin care routine. Mine is a whole body treatment that begins in the shower with my organic lavender (thanks Mom) detergent free soap, continues after with a luxurious and generous amount of olive and aloe body lotion, and concludes with eye cream, serum, and moisturizer, all specifically designed for my skin type and based on the goals I want my complexion to be. This is my spa ritual. It doesn’t just happen at the spa on a whim of needing relaxation or finally “treating myself”. It doesn’t even come with a gift certificate that I forgot I had, it is daily. “Me time” is a way of thanking my body for all its hard work and time it puts into keeping me moving forward. Even my man has begun his own spa ritual of taking better care of his skin. When we first started dating he would make fun of the time I spent in the bathroom “oiling up” he would say, “you’re so slippery”. Now, he smiles and appreciates the time I take in loving myself. He still pokes fun at me every once in awhile, but I still continue on with my ritual. I do it for me, and for no one else.
Lead Therapist at The Apothecary Spa, Anacortes, WA