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Spa Week 2012

Posted Jul 20 2012 6:55pm
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Jul 20, 2012 Posted by on Jul 20, 2012 in Blog | 8 comments

A few weeks ago, my neighbor Stef and I had a conversation about her amazing aunt. I’ve never met Auntie (which is how I will now forever refer to her) but in my imagination, she’s like a character played by Meryl Streep: a woman of a certain age who is comfortable with her beauty, is wise, has a sharp sense of humor, and refuses to conform to what other people want her to be. I don’t know how accurate that is, but I know Stef adores her aunt, and one of the many cool things about Auntie is that she meditates for two hours every day — an hour in the morning and another in the evening.

I’m mildly ashamed to admit that my first thought was, “I could never find the time to meditate two hours every day. Who has time to meditate two hours a day?!”

That is just a dumb thing to think.

And it led Stef and I to have a lengthy talk about the notion that if something is important enough to us, we can find the time to do it. It might not be easy, and it might mean giving up something else we also like, but if there’s something I (or you) am burning to do, surely I (or you) can find the time.

Everyone relax: I’m not going to start meditating two hours every day. Nor do I expect you to.

But it did get me wondering about what it would be like to carve out the time to do all the things our health and nutrition gurus suggest we do. Meditation. Walking. Strength training. Yoga. High-intensity intervals. Quality food. Restorative sleep.

I do many of those things, much of the time, but I’ve never done all of them, at the same time. Until now.

Starting Sunday, I’m declaring “Spa Week.” From July 22 through July 28, I’m going to make it my  job to be as fit, healthy, and well-rested as I can be. Because I’m curious… How much time does it really take to make health and well being our number one priority? And how much awesomer will I feel if I do it?

There will be no demanding drill sergeant yelling in my face, nor a super groovy yogi to ring a bell to remind me to meditate, but I am laying down some guidelines for what I want to include in my Spa Week. I’ve happily liberated myself from my previous attachment to discipline for discipline’s sake. There will be no punishments nor rewards. These guidelines are merely the things I want to do consistently to see (1) how much time it really takes and (2) how I feel after a week of consistency.

1. Strength training 2X
This is a gimme because I’m already doing it. YAY!

2. High-intensity interval training 2X
This is also a gimme because I’m already doing it.

3. Yoga 3X
I’ve been inconsistent with my kundalini classes for the past few weeks, so this is a re-commitment to my regular yoga schedule.

4. Meditation every day
Earlier in the summer, I had a pretty good habit of meditating at least every other day, but that’s dropped off, so I’m  now making it a priority to meditate for at least 20 minutes every day next week.

5. Walk every day
My new commitment to walking every day is going pretty well, and I want to continue with it so it becomes a solid habit.

6. Get up from sitting every hour
I had a great start on my Get Up Stand Up habit, but I’ve gotten lazy about sticking to my commitment to get up and move every hour. Time to reinstate this really excellent idea.

7. Whole30 meals, eating within a 12-hour window, no snacks
This summer marks the 3-year anniversary of making the switch to paleo, so this one is a gimme. I almost always eat according to the Whole30 guidelines.

8. All blue-light electronics (TV, computer, iPhone) shut down 2 hours before bedtime
I’ve stopped taking my iPhone into the bedroom, which means I’ve not be playing my before-bed trivia game. The planet is still spinning, so I guess that’s OK. Shutting down the TV two hours before bed might be a challenge.

9. At least 8 hours of sleep per night – naps when necessary
I almost always get a solid 8-9 hours per night, so this is also kind of a gimme. But during the day, even though I have the flexibility to do it if I want, I rarely take naps. When I feel snoozy during the day, it makes me angry. “Why am I tired?” I’ll demand of Dave, as if he knows some secret info about why I feel a nap coming on. I hate hate hate being tired, and I fight against it like a 3-year-old that doesn’t want to miss out on what the grownups are doing. But during Spa Week, if I need a nap, I’m taking it.

10. Reading by candlelight
A few months ago, I tried reading by candlelight before bed, just for fun. And it was fun! So I’m bringing that back because it’s relaxing.

11. Journaling
I’ve been keeping a food log for the past few weeks so I could get a grip on what I was really eating: how much, when, why. It’s all research to help with the thyroid nonsense, and it’s actually been a very positive experience. For Spa Week, I’m going to expand my journal entries to include amount/quality of sleep, my mood, and other observations.

So, here’s my schedule for the week. In between all that moving and resting and getting in touch with my consciousness, I’ll also be working — and writing a recap of each day to share with you.

Sunday
Walk 4 miles
Meditation

Monday
Strength training
Walk 4 miles
Meditation

Tuesday
Walk 4 miles
Kundalini Yoga

Wednesday
Walk + Running Intervals
Meditation

Thursday
Strength training
Walk 4 miles
Meditation

Friday
Walk 4 miles
Kundalini Yoga

Saturday
Walk + Running Intervals
Hatha Yoga
Meditation

Your Spa Week doesn’t need to look anything like my Spa Week, but I hope this post inspires you to consider a Spa Week (or Weekend) of your own:

What would your Spa Week activities be?
What’s your goal for Spa Week?
How long would it last?
What would you hope to continue when it’s over?

  1. De23 says:

    I love the idea of #10! That will solve several problems (including disturbing hubby with the lamp!). I’m digging out a leftover Christmas taper and trying it tonight.

    Sadly, I start in-services on Monday so any kind of time devoted to healthy stuff is very limited until next summer, really!

  2. Emily says:

    I love this! My mom keeps telling me to meditate, but with four kids…yeesh. I am going to join you for spa week and try it for the first time, and continue my regular exercise schedule and good sleep/eating habits!

  3. jaki says:

    ill join you for spa week. it helps me to get my plan on paper, so i added a mid-afternoon walk in addition to my daily pilates. going to try to add #7, 9 & 11 in too.

  4. Judi says:

    Hi Mel!! I love this and am going to join you. Do you have any recommendations of programs or guides for someone who has never meditated before? Thanks :)

    • Mel says:

      I usually use guided meditations because it’s easier than going solo, especially if you’re just starting out.

      Here’s a previous post that has lots of helpful info:

      And this post from Kathleen Shannon has some good ideas, too:

  5. Lynn says:

    I was fortunate enough to have a “bring the spa to Lynn” week last month and it was WONDERFUL! I started the week with a yoga/mediation day up in the mountains a couple of hours from here. By mid week, I actually spent the day at a local day spa getting pampered. I did a lot of walking and running. I swam a few times and read a lot. Again, it was WONDERFUL! I hope you have a great week!

  6. Mel says:

    I’m so glad y’all are thinking about your own Spa Weeks. Thanks for the well wishes!

    Looking forward to my walk and meditation today.

  7. Susan says:

    I love this!! Better late than never. I’m starting today.

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