A day at the spa is a fine antidote to the sense of imbalance that we all experience from time to time. But you don't have to wait for a windfall to indulge yourself. You can create many of the same benefits at home.
The most important element for your home-spa day is uninterrupted time. Take a personal day from work, send the kids and husband out for some bonding time, turn off your phones. "Creating a home-spa day is a lot about just taking time for yourself," says herbalist Brigitte Mars, author of Beauty by Nature.
Mars believes that the most pampering thing a person can do is to take a bath. "When you shower, you have to stand up; that's not relaxing," she says. Fill the tub with hot water and let the steam fill the room. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil or create a "bath tea" by filling a cotton sock with a mixture of dried herbs, tying it at the top, and letting it soak in the water. While you wait for the water to cool a bit, exfoliate your skin with a natural-bristle body brush, using circular motions.
When you're done wrap up in a comfy robe or some loungewear, and make a cup of your favorite herbal tea. Now that you are scrubbed, relaxed, and warm, prepare an herbal facial steam and take time to nourish your soul as well as your body. Read uplifting words—poetry, yoga philosophy—or write in your journal.
Whatever else you do today, go slowly and gently. Letting a sense of peace and relaxation settle deep into your bones may be the most pampering thing of all.