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Why is it that I close my eyes on Friday evening, and when I open them again, I’m suddenly back at my desk on Monday morning? The 48-hour window of freedom that comes with the weekend used to feel like an eternity, but now I’m lucky if I get two loads of laundry and the dishes done in that same amount of time. Time is surely fleeting.
By the time Friday rolls around, I have a whole week’s worth of steam I need to blow off. I’ve started trying this thing where I don’t imbibe in alcoholic beverages during the week – a strategy that has really helped me stick to my post-work spin classes and healthy(ish) dinners cooked at home. Unfortunately, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, so when I sprint out of the office and into the parking lot on Friday afternoon, I am as thirsty as a college freshman who just got into their first bar with a fake ID. This type of weekend attitude usually results in little-to-no productivity during the day on Saturday and Sunday, coupled with hangovers that could make John Daly cry.
To add insult to injury, my weekend bar-hopping generally results in devastating blows to my bank account. You can only order so many $11 Moscow mules garnished with candied ginger before you’ve racked up a tab the size of the moon. So not only am I absolutely hemorrhaging cash, but I’m actually paying to wake up with the shakes and waste my only free days away by becoming one with my couch.
Imagine if there was a way for you to truly enjoy your weekend, a way to relieve yourself of that corporate grind, without having to pay the $5 delivery fee just to get that Whataburger jalapeno bacon cheeseburger delivered straight into your mouth hole while you fight off a cold sweat. Yes, people, I’m talking about a spa day.
Have you ever had the pleasure of visiting a real spa? I’m talking about the type of place that is appointment-only. The type of place where you pull open the front door, and the scent of eucalyptus bitch-slaps you right in the kisser. The pure luxury and relaxation that comes with such an therapeutic experience is simply unparalleled.
I know, I know. “Spa’s are expensive.” “They’re an unnecessary luxury.” But here’s the thing, guys: you’re going to spend money on the weekend, anyway, regardless of which mechanism you use to do so. If you decide to spend your weekend sitting at home, you’ll mindlessly swipe through various shopping apps until you wind up ordering something completely unnecessary, like a dry-clean-only linen jacket. You’ll whisper, “Fuck it, let’s go,” while you order that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing at Neiman’s for months, because after all, they’re offering a $100 gift card if you spend $300!
If you decide to do something “productive” and go grocery shopping in order to prepare for the upcoming week, you will inevitably over-spend at Whole Foods and drop by West Elm “just to look around.” Next thing you know, you’re coming home with three brown paper bags filled with organic, free-range trail mix, 4 different types of artisanal cheese, charcoal-infused water, and a $60 fruit bowl that somehow perfectly fits the aesthetic vision you’ve created for your kitchen.
Sure, all of these weekend activities are pleasant, and they do tend to bring about some temporary contentment. But I’m here to tell you that investing in a spa day on the weekend is the best thing you could do for your frazzled mind and rapidly-aging postgrad body.
Spas offer a multitude of services. I’m not talking about the spa in your local strip center that boasts $25 foot massages and may-or-may-not secretly sneak in some happy endings. I’m talking about a classy joint, folks.
Good spas offer deep-tissue, hot stone, and Swedish massages. Great spas offer Himalayan salt body scrubs and custom aromatherapy massages that target your high-stress areas. Good spas have a wet sauna and dry sauna, but great spas have an ice-chip fountain, a cold-plunge pool, and heated lounge chairs.
Booking a weekend spa treatment makes the week that much easier to bear. When you know you’re going to wake up early Saturday morning and get a few hours of unadulterated royalty treatment, it makes cranking out those budget reports seem like child’s play.
My favorite spa has the best guest-service team I’ve ever experienced. Upon arrival, they shove a fruit-infused ice water in your hand and deck you out in a plush robe and slippers. From there, it becomes a yuppie playground. You can lounge by the heated vitality pool, comfortably snuggled onto a lounge chair. You can relax in the wet sauna, and inhale the delicious concoction of essential oils swirling around in the air. My personal favorite spa activity is to go sit in the dry sauna and bake like human toast. If you’ve never smelled the scent of heated cedarwood while listening to the tranquil sounds of strings, you simply have not lived.
Many spas offer this type of access without even requiring you to purchase a service like a facial or massage. Some offer day-passes for as low as $50 to use these general facilities. So, if you aren’t quite ready to commit to a complete body metamorphosis, these are a great way to test out the space and see if you like the vibe.
On the other hand, following up all those relaxing activities with a full-length service is the way to go. Stripping down in front of a complete stranger and letting them rub oil all over your naked body with their hands is a great way to relieve stress. Massages can range from gentle experiences that coax you right into a deep and dreamless slumber, to borderline-aggressive techniques that completely erase any traces of muscle tension. They are worth every single penny.
I actually tend to opt for a luxury facial over a massage. There is nothing like an esthetician applying layer after layer of indulgent mud masks, cleansers, and scented, steamed towels on your face to make you feel like a supermodel. Word to the wise, though, some facials involve “extractions,” which are exactly what they sound like. This is when your specialist squeezes all the junk out of your face with various tools, which can sometimes be uncomfortable. Just remember that beauty is sacrifice. After all is said and done, you’re going to wind up looking 7 years younger with a face as smooth as butter and soft as a cashmere sweater. There’s a reason Aniston hasn’t aged since Friends.
And men, spa days aren’t just for the ladies. It’s cool to be secure and confident in your own masculinity in 2018. You deserve to be pampered, too. If you don’t feel comfortable taking on a spa day alone, there is nothing sexier than enjoying this experience with a significant other. Couples massages are the bees-knees.
Whatever way you choose to enjoy your spa day is the right way. Do me a favor and give it a try this weekend. Tell your homies you won’t be making it to the “let’s all get together to bitch about work” happy hour and resulting bar crawl. Instead, slip into that robe, throw on the lavender-scented, heated neck wrap, and head straight to nirvana. A mimosa or two won’t kill you, either. You can thank me later..