As a midlife woman working hard and juggling sandwich parenting, the closest we might feel to a spa day is permission to have a bath on a Sunday afternoon. Perhaps a spa day feels like a luxury we simply cannot justify? It does to me anyway.
You can therefore imagine my delight when Careys Manor Hotel invited me to try out their new Moments for Me Menopause Spa Day. I have never been gifted anything quite as lovely as this as part of my work!
Before I tell you what you can expect from this tailored spa day, I want to first address why justifying spa days can feel like such hard work in the first place.
“I have no time for a spa day”
I think it’s built into our DNA to see resting as a character trait synonymous with laziness and to measure our sense of self-worth through productivity. This might also be coupled with a sense that…
“I am not deserving of a spa day”
We may hold the belief that we are not deserving of nice things or treats unless we feel we have earned them? For my clients in particular, they may be used to denying themselves joy until they have achieved a desired weight loss, for example.
Often the people I work with find they’re either stuck in the guilt, shame and frustration of previous decisions or we’re anxious and fearful of what’s to come. We lose sight of what it feels like to show up for ourselves in the here and now.
Giving permission to be present is incredibly freeing. It allows us to have space from critical thoughts that fill our heads and drain us of energy.
I came across this quote recently and it really struck a chord:
Growing up, I never knew a relaxed woman.
Successful women? Yes. Productive women? Plenty. Anxious and afraid and apologetic women? Heaps of them. But relaxed women? At ease women? Women who aren’t afraid to take space in the world? Women who prioritise rest and pleasure and play? Women who give themselves unconditional permission to relax – without guilt, without apology, without feeling like they need to earn it? I’m not sure I’ve ever met a woman like that. But I would like to become one. I would like us all to become one.
Nicola Jane Hobbs
The reality is the world today is faster paced and the expectations placed on us are higher. 30-60% of women will experience menopausal symptoms and the impact these can have on our quality life are far reaching.
We perhaps don’t feel we’re able to accept or honour the change that are body is going through, and instead push on, willing our bodies to keep up. Somewhere in there I think there’s this falsehood that we have to be tough on ourselves to garnish performance.
We owe it to ourselves to take a meaningful pause and with nourishing action, tune back into our bodies and what they need. To honour the power of rest and be our own safe space.
Depletion serves no one. Replenishment serves everyone.
So, viewing a spa day as a luxury might be worthy of a reframe, just as you are worthy of taking it.
Let me tell you about mine…
Nestled in the beautiful New Forest countryside, in the village of Brockenhurst, sits Careys Manor and Senspa.
Our spa day began with a dip in the hydrotherapy pools.
This gave us a total body sensory experience. My friend and I alternated between the massaging bubble jets in the hydrotherapy pools and the ice-room. I squealed and embraced the cold, and it was really invigorating. I have noticed since perimenopause that my muscles and joints ache more, so the underwater massage felt great to help ease the tension. We lost count of the number of rooms and ‘experiences’ in this part of the spa, from heated recliners, to steam rooms and saunas, we tried and loved them all.
Next, after we’d put the world to rights and had some much-needed downtime, we headed for our delicious 2-course lunch in famed Thai restaurant Zen Garden. Wrapped in our spa robes we felt at ease amongst the other spa guests and friendly waiting staff.
I chose the Pla Krapong Nueng Manow for main, bit of a mouthful to say, but delicious to taste! It consisted of a succulent seabass steamed with pak choi and a lemon chilli dressing, served with rice. It was divine!
To round off this awesome day, I then had a specially curated 60-minute massage. I was asked to fill in a questionnaire detailing my emotional, mental, and physical experiences and symptoms associated with the menopausal transition.
Based on this my therapist chose one of four designated and specially formulated essential oils from The Menopause Boutique – each curated to target specific symptoms including brain fog, sleep deprivation and stress. The focus of my massage was on de-stressing. This combined with breathing techniques I was encouraged to try before and after the massage completely did the trick!
I hope you can take the opportunity to gift yourself a spa day such as this.
As I drove home, I felt I’d got a little bit of me back. Just what the dietitian ordered!