Self care is not a guilty pleasure

I recently got lucky enough to have a treatment in a spa. I arrived - the pan pipes were playing in the background, the lady behind the desk spoke in hushed tones, placed a hand behind my back and guided me like a child into the changing area. I could feel myself starting to relax already until I saw the minuscule disposable thong I was ‘invited’ to wear – I don’t think I’ve worn anything that size since my early twenties.

Lying naked (I refuse to call those thongs clothing) on the slab can be quite a vulnerable experience – you are at a major disadvantage if the therapist turned out to be an imposter for a YouTube prank. These thoughts involuntarily enter my head as I try to reach ‘deep relaxation’ along with the more prosaic “what shall I cook for tea” and “my nose is so itchy but I don’t want to ruin the moment".

My incredibly beautiful adolescent therapist started quizzing me on my skin regime – extolling the virtues of anti ageing products and a weekly full body exfoliation – I'm sure I’ll slip that in between my weekly blow dry, manicure and nutritionist appointment.

“How often do you have a massage?” she then asked while pummelling the knots in my shoulders and laughed when I said, “2015”. I didn’t correct her on the misunderstanding.

However it is no laughing matter that it has been that long – not the massage itself because that is a real luxury – but more what it represents. Again I am harping on about carving out time for ourselves, not placing ourselves last in the pile. The therapist’s values may have been heavily accented on beauty regime but the principal still stands – place your own oxygen mask before fitting others with theirs.

As I left the spa I did feel better and had much appreciated the time focused on me.  She stared at me uncomprehendingly as I stammered about time constraints on giving myself a 30 minute hair and face mask – perhaps she is right to look like that.  I will try and remember that face and use it to force myself to carve out that me time.  However it won’t be doing a fully body exfoliation – I am still finding those little beads on me.......