Pamper Night Routine

reading time: 3 min

So, you're really stressed out with work or school? You feel like you're caught in a hamster wheel and you can't seem to get out? Your kids, your spouse, your dogs the people around you are driving you crazy? My friend, you need a pamper night.

Oh, I've been looking forward to this post. 

Whether you've just had a shitty Monday, or you're just looking for ways to calm your squirrel mind, a home spa night should be part of your everyday life, say once or twice a month. I mean, who doesn't love those? They are the best thing in the world, especially after a stressful day.

For me personally, I did this pampering session on the night before my birthday, so I would feel fresh and clean and ready to be "reborn" for my actual birthday. I also changed our bed sheets, since nothing beats the feeling of snuggling against crisp, clean bedding after a hot bath. Another idea would be to pamper yourself the night before your exams or on New Year's Eve. Or just any regular workday.

Let's do it!

Dinner / Meal Prep

You don't want to go hungry on a relaxing spa day, so make sure your tummy is happy :) For dinner my boyfriend and I usually prepare enough food for next day's lunch, making this our big cooking session. On most days, the base for our dinner/lunch will be a complex carb such as rice, potatoes or sometimes pasta, paired with lots of vegetables and some legumes for protein.

In this case, we made a big batch of creamy walnut tomato past, using wholegrain spelt spaghetti, a variation of this walnut cream recipe, sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, baby spinach and chickpeas. Very substantial and tasty!

Golden Turmeric Milk

Many people like to end their day by sipping on a cup of calming chamomile tea, but I've formed the new habit of making myself a cup of "golden milk" in the evening. If you haven't heard of it yet, it's the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic turmeric powder that makes this beverage a "health potion" and that gives the "golden milk" its beautiful orange hue. 

I looove the taste of turmeric, especially in this combination - it's spicy and warming and lightly sweet. And I feel like it calms me down and helps me fall asleep more easily. Kind of like a cup of warm sweet milk that kids get before going to bed :)

Face Mask

If you know me, you'll know that I don't really use any beauty products (the only exceptions are mascara every now and then, vaseline lip balm, my St. John's wort oil and a hand balm I rarely ever use). At the same time I'm a sucker for lovely smelling shampoos, shower gels, hair masks and face masks. So when I do pamper myself, I go for the "real deal" now.

In naturopathy, healing clay is particularly appreciated because it supplies the body with vital minerals and trace elements, while at the same time absorbing toxins and heavy metals. It can be used internally (as finely ground powder to treat diarrhoea or the opposite, constipation, depending on the dosage) or externally (as coarse-grained powder, for poultices, as bath additive or face masks).

For my deep cleansing and detoxifying mud mask, I combined the juice of 1/2 an orange with 1/2 a cup of bentonite clay (add a bit of water if its too dry). A smooth paste should form. Stir well and apply to your cleansed face (avoiding eyes and lips) as well as the face of your partner, his back, your own back and whatever else you can get your hands on ;)

Leave the mask on for 10 minutes before removing it with lukewarm water - I like to use a warm, wet wash cloth for this. Close the pores by splashing your face with cold water, and use a moisturiser afterwards!

Stored in the fridge, this mud mask will keep for up to 5 days.

Bubble Bath

Next is the most obvious thing that we simply MUST do on a pamper night. A bath! (with some bubbles, of course) To wind down completely, it is necessary to soak in a warm bath. (don't do this every week though cause it's a waste of water and bad for the environment) I'm using this pink Luxury Lush Pud bath bomb from LUSH that I got for Christmas and that emits a very sophisticated lavender scent. That plus candle lights and no distractions = perfect to take my mind off things.

To be honest, I'm not really good at unwinding though. I can't really lie down in the bathtub and let go without feeling the urge to do something, like shampoo my hair, wash my body, brush my teeth... so what I found helpful is to sit upright (yep, in the filled bathtub) in lotus position and sort of meditate. This makes it much easier for me to just sit there calmly, and not do anything but consciously allowing my breath to travel in and out of my body. Mellow, peaceful music might also help you to calm down - I prefer silence though.

By the way, if you still have your face mask on from earlier, this is the ultimate chance to rub off the mud and wash your face when the 10 minutes are over.

As for my shampoo and shower gel, I've been loving my LUSH bottles that were also a Christmas gift - the shampoo smells quite citrusy and fresh, whereas the shower gel has more of an "earthy" smell to it and is very very liquid, almost like a body oil mixed with water.

After shampooing, I also rinsed my hair with a homemade conditioner made of apple cider vinegar, honey and warm water (I will do a blog post on natural DIY Hair Masks in the near future!). Make sure to rinse your hair with cold water after leaving it in for 10 - 15 minutes. I also shower off my entire body with cool water after the bath because growing up I always had circulation problems after getting out of a hot bath - I would feel dizzy to the point of almost fainting and having to crouch down. A cold shower at the end of the bath helps to improve my circulation.

Lymphatic Facial Drainage Massage

Once I am finished with my relaxing bath, I slip into my fuzzy bath robe, because it just instantly makes you feel cosy and in complete "pamper mode". Using a porcelain Chinese spoon, I treat myself to a 5 to 10 minute facial massage to encourage my lymph knots and by that release toxins and fluid retention from my face. I recommend doing this at night because it will turn the skin on your neck a little red (it doesn't last very long though).  

Basically, what you want to do is stroke gently over your oiled face, using the edge of the spoon, and stroke away from the centre of your face and towards your ears and neck. Always make sure to bring the spoon down your neck after every stroke to rid your face of fluid and toxins - there is a lymph node behind your ears where this may build up, it may even be a little tender. For a more detailed presentation, just type this term into google, there are some good tutorials on how to give yourself a proper lymphatic drainage massage on Youtube or elsewhere.

Bedtime Yoga

When I'm having a hard time falling asleep, I like to do some calming night time yoga. One option for this is Chandra Namaskar or moon salutation, the lesser known counterpart to the sun salutation or Surya Namaskar. When you're feeling depleted, overstimulated, or overheated, or if you have trouble falling asleep like I often do, practice this quieting sequence that invites you to cultivate the moon's meditative, soothing lunar energy. If you feel like it, end the session with a moonlight meditation.

Alternatively, simply practice a handful of easy yoga positions that promote better sleep - I do the first one almost every night, and it really helps me to fall asleep.

And if you're not into yoga at all, try doing some slow, yummy stretching before bed.

Bedtime Story

Another bedtime ritual is one that I share with my boyfriend. We either end the day by reading side by side in separate books, or we read something to each other. Pictured above is my boyfriend reading one of his favourite children's books to me! Such a calming, cosy (and, let's face it, romantic) ritual to end the day :)

Again, you can light a scented or non-scented candle and sip on a cup of calming tea (chamomile, mint, Valerian, poppy, lavender, lemon balm...) as you read. I love to have a vanilla scented candle next to my bed.

BTW, the reason why this list doesn't contain any Netflix is because the blue light of the screen and the emotional stimulation will actually keep you awake instead of calming you down. Even though I also love to snuggle up in bed and watch a gripping movie of course.

Lastly, put your phone away. Not only away from your face (out of sight, out of mind), but also a few meters away from your bed and put it on flight mode. We don't want that little toy to keep you awake long into the night. Don't let any Instagram notifications, Facebook or text messages keep you alert when you should be zzzzzzleeping.

Good night, sleep tight, and sweet dreams!


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