Time for a Facial

As part of my return to ‘normality’ post-baby I thought it important to carve out some me time, particularly some time where I do something nice for myself. I think it’s so easy when you become a Mum to put everyone else and their needs before your own, and generally that’s OK, kind of just what Mum’s do, but when I realised that I hadn’t graced a hairdresser for over a year and since returning to work my shoulders were so tight with stress they sat up by my ears, I just knew that I needed a little tending to.

 

The perfect opportunity arose when Sasha from Balanced Beauty Bristol offered me an hour-long facial massage. Sasha provides her treatments from home and thankfully she can be quite flexible on time so I was able to visit in the evening once I had put my beast to bed. Now, often in situations like this I can find myself becoming increasingly uptight. I worry about what the ‘rules’ and correct etiquette might be and if I will get it wrong, I have reynaurds syndrome and get cold really easily which generally distracts from the enjoyment and my mind can spin off into an unhelpful slightly anxious downward spiral. I also really don’t like people touching my face so I was mildly anxious about the treatment itself.

 

imageI was instantly put at ease however, by Sasha just being Sasha. She is relaxed, warm and funny, a perfect combination for helping someone relax a little. I felt I could trust her to aid the de-stressing of a very tired parent, in part because she herself recognises what it is to be a tired parent! The treatment room is small and has a real homely feel to it, a single armchair, an array of interesting books on the shelf and a meaningful poster on the wall all instantly created a relaxed atmosphere. As Sasha left the room I de-robed and lay on the bed in the middle of the room, I was more than a little excited when I felt that the bed was generating warmth, and not just due to relief that I hadn’t somehow wet myself.  Finally, I could have a treatment where I am not concerned that my feet would fall off through cold!

 

Surprisingly the treatment started with hot flannels to my hands and feet. Again though, this really aided my comfort as I was wrapped up and warm which is so rarely the case when I get a massage.

 

Sasha used products from Faith and Betty, a Bristol based imageskincare brand, I don’t know much about them but they smelled divine! I think knowing that the products used were locally sourced actually enhanced the experience a little too.

 

The facial was near enough a spiritual experience! Oh my goodness, it was bliss. As I mentioned before, I have in the past felt quite uncomfortable with having my face touched but I can honestly say that after a short while I didn’t really notice, which sounds weird but I think I was just able to relax so much my body just accepted the enjoyment of it. Throughout the treatment I was extremely relaxed, I think I managed to stay awake, but I could feel my thoughts drifting easily into that tangential stream that appears as you slide toward sleep. At the same time I felt present in the moment, aware of the movements of Sasha’s hands on my skin and how pleasant that was, this was a refreshing change to the usual thoughts I experience when having a massage such as ‘why did I say that in work today?’, ‘will I ever get a full night sleep?’, ‘is it normal to not feel your feet, have they fallen off…?’ etc etc.

Once the facial was complete a face mask was applied, with little rollers like when painting a wall but on a much smaller scale. Sasha then sort of wrapped me up and tucked me in which took me back to the early days of parenting when I really couldn’t seem to grasp the art of swaddling, it did feel reassuring, I understand why babies like it now! Once wrapped Sasha then massaged my hands and feet. Yet another blissfully relaxing experience. I am fairly certain that Sasha has magic fingers, she seems to naturally know the perfect amount of pressure needed and she seemed to generate a warmth while massaging.

By the end of the treatment I felt nothing but relaxed, in fact I would have happily slept on that warmed treatment bed all night. I felt more than just relaxed though, I felt as though someone had given my soul a huge hug and that I was now somehow lighter of my stresses. It was, without a doubt he best facial I have ever experienced! The next morning my skin was still glowing from the treatment, and my skin felt sort of cleaner than usual.

image
My make-up free ‘glow’ the next day!

What I learned from this was really how very important it is to look after myself. Sometimes I need to feel swaddled and hugged after being the person who gives and gives and gives to an endlessly demanding small person. I endeavour to save some money by so I can enjoy more treatments throughout the year. Balanced Beauty Bristol will be hearing from me again!

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Bethany

32-year-old mother, wife, cat owner looking to discover ways to make life easier and happier for all. Life hacks, gadgets, foods and just anything that will benefit the mental health of my unit.

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