As the nights draw in and we start saving our pennies for Christmas, The Spa Spies have decided they’re not going out ever again… at least not until party season kicks off.
“I know when to go out, and when to stay in,” sang the late David Bowie in Modern Love (after which the lyrics go a bit weird). With Christmas party season on the distant horizon, this time of year is totally time for the latter -- right Dave?
Staying in has become a bit of a trend on social media (and old-fashioned magazines), conjuring images of cashmere cardi-gowns and flickering scented candles, although the reality is more likely to involve baggy sweat-pants and Netflix.
This traditionally anti-social state has become romanticised by the concept of Hygge (a word I am banning, even though I used it there…) and hijacked by the demands of social media. You can’t do #stayingin without posting pictures of yourself doing so, preferably sporting a glam-glow mask, cute PJs and a perfect pout.
Actually, yes, you can… you just need to be strong about it. Treat staying in as a spa retreat. This is your time to recharge, reboot and get yourself in tip-top shape – emotionally and mentally -- before party season kicks off.
The Spa Spies Top Five Home Spa Retreats
Digital Detox. Yes, you heard right. Put away your phone. Do not look at social media, or any media. Tell your friends you are on a detox retreat… or dead, or on a spy mission. Whatever. Or, if you are over 30, just turn your phone off. No one will notice. People over 40, give your teenagers the number of a reputable taxi company. You will sleep better, and you can thank me later.
Yoga. What else would you do on a retreat? Ok, you can go on You Tube and check out some moves if you must. Even better, hire a real yoga teacher to come to your house. Invite your friends to split the cost. Resist the temptation to crack open the Rioja after, though.
Detox. Wouldn't it be nice to emerge from your Staying In Retreat looking good, not like someone who stays in watching TV while working their way through a huge bag of Nachos. You want people saying, Wow, you look fabulous, where have you been? Staying in gives you a chance to lay off alcohol and avoid temptation generally. Why not experiment with health food recipes. People like The Hemsley Sisters make eating well seem positively glamorous.
Self-exploration. Write a journal. Get it all out now, everything, but also stick in pictures of stuff you like and things that make you happy – poems, shoes, friends, lovers – otherwise you might get angry and do something you’ll regret. Gratitude journals are a big thing in America – write down, or say out loud, three things you are grateful for, or five of your favourite moments in the day you just had. (This is not the same as talking to your cat. Honest). Practise meditation while you’re at it.
DIY. Or to quote David Bowie on the art of staying in, “Get things done.” Not something you would do on a spa retreat, but you might as well put up those shelves you’ve been going on about while you’re busy doing not much. You’re welcome…
Things you will need for your Staying In Retreat
Nice comfy slacks or super stylish PJs – if you are going to hang out with yourself, you want to make it special.
NB: If you are planning on holing up this November without going stir-crazy, have a night off – go out. Too many nights in on your own, you might start talking to cats, even ones that don’t exist. Stay in for three nights, then go out with actual live people on the fourth. Practise the art of conversation with friends, otherwise you might emerge in December babbling like someone who lives in a cave. Not a good look.