Post-Christmas winter is kind of blergh. With spring and sunshine still too far away to lift the spirits, beating the winter blues can feel like a tall order. With the financial strain of Christmas meaning there’s no chance of an imminent holiday, it’s time to get creative and make sure the winter blues don’t get the better of us. Here, Dakota Murphey – with the help of London based specialist The Bathroom Discount Centre discusses an affordable way to spoil yourself (and partner, if they’re game) without breaking the bank… or even leaving the house.

As much as we’d all love to book ourselves into a luxury spa for a few days TLC, for most of us that just isn’t an option. We can however learn to be kind to ourselves. Rather than dwelling on the miserable weather, the dark evenings and the strict diet you’ve been trying to stick at since the New Year, taking some time to pamper yourself will do more good than you think.

Set aside a whole evening or an afternoon at the weekend; nothing less. There’s a bit of pre-planning to do to make the most of the opportunity, but nothing that is too difficult or expensive. We’ve put together a list of things you need to buy and do before you settle in for a few hours of bliss. Pampering yourself is you being kind to you. Be kind to yourself and you’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to be kind to others. And that’s not a bad thing.

Everything you’ll need for a blissful few hours in the bathroom

Bathroom Spa

Here are our essentials for a truly fabulous spa experience at home. We’ve included some extra luxuries too if you feel like pulling out all of the stops. If you don’t fancy making the spa treatment products, splash out and buy your favourites.

  • A big fluffy towel – treat yourself to a new spa-style towel. The fluffier and more luxurious the better.
  • Your favourite bubble bath or bath oil (a good opportunity to treat yourself to a new one).
  • An expensive scented candle in a scent you love (please don’t spoil the experience with a cheap vanilla candle).
  • A big fluffy dressing gown.
  • Awesome slippers.
  • A good book you’ve been desperate to read.
  • Download your favourite mellow tunes.
  • Make yourself a face pack and a body scrub (we’ve included recipes below).
  • An old hair crunchy, a head band and a plastic bag or shower cap.
  • A homemade treatment for dry or damaged hair (recipe below).
  • If you’re lucky enough to have an open fire, get that stoked up before you start.
  • Herbal tea.
  • Body moisturiser and face moisturiser.

Recipes for home spa treatments

Face Pack

There are loads of recipes out there for face packs and many are suited to different skin types, so if you have particularly problematic skin, you may want to find a recipe to suit you. This one is good for all skin types.

Oatmeal, honey and milk: Mix one tablespoon of oat flour (you can stick oats in the blender to make flour), with two tablespoons of honey (use an organic, local one if possible). Add a tablespoon of organic milk. This anti-inflammatory mask is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. Apply to face and leave for 20 minutes, before rinsing off with warm water. Pat face dry and apply your favourite moisturiser.

Body Scrub

Sugar scrub – at last a good use for sugar other than cakes! Mix ½ cup sugar with ½ cup coconut oil and store in an airtight jar (a kilner jar is perfect). If you’re not keen on the smell of coconut, you can get an odourless one. You can also add a few drops of your favourite essential oil if you wish. Take a tablespoonful of the sugar scrub mix into your hand and work all over your body in small circles, working upwards from your feet – then move centrally towards the heart. Once applied all over, shower off for smooth and silky skin.

Hair Treatment

Egg Hair Mask – mix 1 egg with a few drops of lemon juice (or just the egg white if you have oily hair). You may need 2 eggs depending on the length of your hair.

This will put life back into your hair. It’s suitable for all hair types. If you have particularly dry or damaged hair you may want to add some honey and oil.

Setting up your bathroom

Plan a time when you have the house to yourself. Make sure your bathroom has had a thorough clean the day before. Place your new fluffy towel over the radiator or heated towel rail. Make sure your dressing gown and slippers are all ready to put on when you’ve finished. Get the fire stoked up in the living room and light your scented candle, and don’t forget your book.

Make your treatments

If you’ve decided to go down that route – it’s worth making the effort. It’s satisfying and this is just for you remember! When was the last time you put this much effort into rest and recuperation? Make yourself a nice herbal tea.

You’re all set. Put on your mellow tunes, or if you prefer to enjoy the quiet – ensure your silence.

Start with the body scrub – if you don’t have a separate shower, as you’ll want to wash that off before you run a bath. Straight after, run your bath with your favourite bath soak. While the bath is running apply your hair treatment, pile up on top of head with an old hair crunchy and cover with a shower cap or plastic bag. Use a head band to secure. Apply face pack.

Sink into your bath and chill. You’ve got at least 20 minutes to relax in the bubbles and sip your herbal tea. While a glass of bubbly may seem like a good idea, save that for another occasion. You’ll get much more out of the experience if you are mindful of the process. When you feel fully relaxed, rinse off your hair treatment and face mask. Dry off with your new fluffy towel. Moisturise. Slip on your dressing gown and slippers, refill your herbal tea and settle down in front of the fire with your book. Blissful.