Trips designed to help restore your mental, physical or spiritual well-being, wellness retreats have grown in popularity. But if a getaway to one of Costa Rica’s or the Amalfi Coast’s gorgeous resorts isn’t planned right now, there’s a DIY option you can take advantage of.
Create your own soothing and restorative stay using a few simple apps and websites. Here’s a rundown of some common amenities found at retreats and wellness centers, along with ideas on how to recreate them on your own. Relaxing by the pool, getting a massage and even taking gentle yoga classes, it’s all there.
1. Book a spa visit
Does anything evoke relaxation like a visit to the spa? At the Rancho La Puerto resort, for example, the generous spa menu includes everything from holistic therapies to body treatments, plus several types of massages.
Take a cue from the pros and enjoy similar spa services at home, in the office, or almost anywhere else with the Soothe: Wellness on Demand app. Book massages, skincare, haircuts, beauty services and more at your own pace.
Download the app, select the Book a service option, and enter your address. You will get a list of services available for booking nearby.
Service availability will depend on your region, but the app is free to download if you want to try it out.
It turns out that getting a massage can help reduce stress, improve circulation and even lower your blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic. It’s an incredible treat for your body and mind, and you can book one straight to your doorstep.
To download: Soothe: Wellness On Demand for iOS | Android (Free)
2. Relax by the pool
Guests at the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort in Florida can enjoy a hydrotherapy circuit with a vitality bath, as well as salt bath therapy. For many wellness retreats, immersing yourself in water is a key part of the experience.
To create your own form of hydrotherapy, rent a local pool by the hour with the handy Swimply app. Whether you want to swim laps or just relax a little by the water, this app will help you find a cool pool in no time.
After downloading the app, enter your address to search for nearby pools. Browse the listings to see hourly rates, the number of guests each pool can accommodate, and additional amenities such as lounge chairs or umbrellas.
In some cases, you can also rent towels, a grill, speakers and other equipment to liven up your poolside visit. If your host allows speakers, consider playing white noise and ambient sounds to set the stage for your wellness retreat.
There’s even an icon that lists the pools available for hire at the time, in case you need a watery getaway right now.
Whether you’re swimming alone or bringing friends and family, a day at the pool is an ideal way to bring both exercise and relaxation to your stay.
To download: Swimplement for iOS | Android (Free)
3. Enjoy a yoga or meditation class
At Sensei Lāna’i Resort, the resort’s optimal wellness program includes daily yoga and meditation classes. In fact, the resort offers a guided meditation session designed to specifically address your own challenges as part of its wellness consultations.
Yoga and meditation classes are often an integral part of wellness retreats, so consider including them in your stay as well. Even if you are new to the practice, now is a great time to try your luck.
For a personalized experience, schedule an in-person or online class with expert yoga and meditation teachers through the TakeLessons website. Browse teacher profiles until you find one that clicks with you, then book a lesson and enjoy a lesson tailored to your needs.
If you’re just starting out, check out yoga poses for beginners on YouTube. You’ll be relaxing in a child’s pose and downward-facing dog in no time.
There are also great guided meditation channels on YouTube to help reduce stress, as well as to allow you to rest and focus. With nothing more than your phone (and maybe a good pair of headphones), you can turn any space into a restful retreat.
4. Dive into a nourishing meal
Food often plays an important role in wellness retreats. At the Malibu Ranch, for example, guests enjoy organic, plant-based meals during their stay. Portobello steaks, zucchini lasagna and a burrito bowl are just a few of the offerings.
Since many wellness centers provide healthy and nutritious meals for their clients, your own wellness day should be no different. Whether you want to cook your own delicious meals or prefer to let someone else do the cooking, there are plenty of ways to enjoy amazing dishes.
One option is to hire a personal chef to cook during your stay. The Hire a Chef service puts culinary experts at your disposal. Click it Find a leader banner on the homepage before entering your city in the drop-down menu. Meals at the holiday home are one of the services offered here, so contact a chef to create your ideal wellness menu.
You can also prepare delicious plant-based dishes with recipe tutorials on YouTube. Everything from curries to burgers is on this list, so there’s a dish to suit everyone’s preferences.
Finally, there’s always the option of getting online grocery delivery from a place like Thrive Market or FreshDirect to make sourcing your ingredients even easier. However you prepare it, savor every bite of your special meal.
Rest and Rejuvenate with a DIY Wellness Retreat
Sometimes you need a break to rest and recharge, but a getaway isn’t in the cards. In these cases, you can create your own wellness retreat using certain apps, websites, and YouTube videos. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying a refreshing massage, a pool day, a yoga session and a nourishing meal.
Taking time to relax is so important to your mental and physical well-being, so get creative and DIY a wellness vacation.
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