Women are natural caretakers. We take care of husbands, partners, children and pets. We take of aging parents, bosses, employees, and coworkers. We invariably put ourselves on the bottom of the list. Whether we work full time, part time or stay at home, women feel guilty about focusing on our own needs. Yet, without time away from the everyday demands of life, we have less to give to those who need us.
While an annual spa vacation may seem frivolous, there’s scientific data that supports your need to get away. In one study of more than 3,300 Japanese government workers, frequency of spa use was linked to better physical and mental health, including improved sleep and fewer sick days. A similar study conducted by researchers from Florida State University and George Mason University showed that spa therapy reduced absenteeism from work and hospitalizations. And, a University of Pittsburgh study of 1,400 people, showed that engaging in enjoyable leisure activities lowered stress hormones and blood pressure, and led to better overall health.
When you travel by plane, the pre-flight safety demonstration clearly instructs you to put on your own oxygen mask before you put one on your child. This analogy is a metaphor for the spa vacation; you can’t nurture your child or your family unless you’ve taken care of yourself. So, with Mother’s Day right around the corner, share this with your husband. A spa vacation is the perfect gift!
The next time you’re feeling stressed about work, life, the clutter in your house, your unanswered emails, and the pressure to constantly multi-task, ask yourself when was the last time you took a deep breath and put the oxygen mask on yourself? If you can’t make the spa escape happen, do what you can to mimic that experience: take a long walk, listen to your favorite music, take a scented bath with candlelight, hold a puppy, or treat yourself to a manicure. You’ll be a better mother, wife, partner, and employee if you do.
Happy Mother’s Day!