With our devices becoming more like an extension of our body, the boundaries of between work and home are rapidly blurring. The traditional nine-till-five working week has been replaced with an always-on culture and retreating from work-life has become more of a challenge. And while everything beauty was once considered a frivolity, perceptions have changed: the at-home spa ritual has become an important aspect of overall health and well-being.
â€śOver the recent years the awareness has really shifted,â€ť says Polynesian Spa Retreat manager Helena Keenan. â€śItâ€™s not considered vain or a waste of money. Itâ€™s considered beneficial, youâ€™re caring for your skin, your body and mind,â€ť she says. Keenan says that as we have gained a deeper understanding of the value and necessity of a holistic approach to both health and beauty, beauty routines have evolved into a ritual.
Make the time
Finding the time to unwind and reap the benefits of an at-home ritual is often easier said than done. But a little relaxation and â€śme timeâ€ť is better than none at all says Keenan. â€śItâ€™s essential to have some time where you can switch off, it might not be possible weekly but even fortnightly,â€ť she says. â€śHow we fit that into our own schedule is very personal. Everyoneâ€™s responsibilities are different. Choose a day off, an afternoon a morning, an hour or even 20 minutes.â€ť
Including a beauty routine as part of your weekly timeout can even help you make time for yourself explains Keenan. â€śA mask, for example, you need to leave on for a period of time, you canâ€™t rush that process. Itâ€™s a good opportunity to take that time out.â€ť Itâ€™s also important to remember to take the point of view that itâ€™s important for self-care, itâ€™s not being selfish. â€śItâ€™s really not considered a luxury anymore, itâ€™s essential for well-being.â€ť
Ironically, explains Keenan, one of the biggest challenges people find once theyâ€™ve set aside time to switch off and unwind is that they are unable to clear their minds and focus. â€śIâ€™ve found when Iâ€™m taking retreats that a lot of the participants find it hard to focus because their minds are so busy,â€ť she says. Overstimulation â€“ from devices, televisions and our working environments â€“ is making it harder for us to free ourselves from racing thoughts; Keenan says an increasing number of people find it difficult even sitting still. â€śAll that visual stimulation we get from devices and multitasking it manifests as boredom and impatience. We need to teach people to let go of this,â€ť says Keenan.
The best place to start is by physically switching off: reach for a book rather than the television when youâ€™re letting a face mask work its magic and put the smartphone down. â€śYou need to make sure youâ€™ve set aside that time with no distractions or interruptions,â€ť says Keenan. â€śAs soon as you get distracted youâ€™re not getting those full benefits.â€ť
Screen time may have encroached into our bedtime but turning off is essential if you want to get the most out of your shut eye. â€śIf you have some challenges in your life around managing sleep, getting a restful sleep, you need to do an audit of your life,â€ť suggests Keenan. â€śLook at the habits in your life that might not be contributing to a relaxing sleep.â€ť Getting rid of the iPad or the smartphone thatâ€™s found a home beside your bed is the easiest place to start.