When you find yourself day dreaming about cucumber water, essential oils, and long bubble baths, you may be in need of a spa weekend. Everyone needs a little relaxation in their lives every once in a while, especially a hard-working cheerleader, but unfortunately, not everyone has the time or funds for a weekend-long spa getaway. Luckily, with just a little bit of prep (and some digging through your pantry), you can create your very own DIY spa day! Here are some tips and ideas to make the most of your at-home relaxation stay-cation! Make it a sleepover with some teammates and it becomes a team-building event, or have your mom and sisters join you for a fun cheer family night! Clear your schedule. It can be more difficult to do this if you are staying at home rather than jetting off for the weekend, but try and set aside a few hours where your focus can be on yourself and your pampering. You deserve it. Really. Make your own “spa water” with cucumber and fresh mint. Cut a cucumber into multiple slices (keep a couple separate to place on your eyes during your facial!) and put them into a bottle or jug of water. Refrigerate for a few hours, then pour yourself a large, refreshing glass. Not only will you feel like you’re being spoiled at a fancy spa, you’ll stay hydrated. Take a hot shower or relaxing bath. Get your bathroom steamy, light a few aromatherapy candles, put on some relaxing music, and wash your worries away. If you’re taking a bath, add Epsom salt or hydrating bubble bath (or both) to the water to soften your skin as you soak. Use your favorite body scrub or a DIY version (check out a recipe at the end of the article) to exfoliate your skin. Rinse off well, dry, then put on a fluffy robe or some of your comfiest pajamas. Give yourself a luxurious mani/pedi. First, trim your nails and remove any current nail polish. After that, fill one large bowl and one smaller bowl each with very warm water (as warm as you can stand it), 1 cup Epsom or sea salt, and .5 cup baking soda. Soak your hands and feet for at least 15 minutes (or until the water is no longer warm). Rinse and dry your hands and feet, then apply your very favorite nail polish (or go natural). Relax as you wait for the polish to dry, or begin giving yourself a facial (see next paragraph). Your final step is to apply a super hydrating moisturizer (try something like coconut oil, Vaseline, or very heavy lotion). Take a few minutes to massage the lotion or oil into your hands and feet, focusing on your palms and arches to work out any tension. Put on some fluffy socks or slippers, sit back, and relax as the lotion absorbs. No spa retreat” “whether away or at home” “is complete without a facial! You’ll want to start by removing any traces of makeup, including waterproof eye makeup. Then, take a large bowl of steaming hot water (be careful not to burn yourself!), lean your face over it, and cover your head and the bowl with a small towel. Inhale deeply and let the steam open your pores while you relax. You can even add a few drops of an essential oil, like lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus, to open your senses and reap the benefits of aromatherapy at the same time. If you have a favorite facial cleanser, mask, and moisturizing regimen, then go ahead and spend some time completing each step of your routine. If you want something more natural, take a look at your pantry! You probably have a lot things that can easily be made into quick and effective do-it-yourself remedies (see the next section for some favorites that require only a few ingredients each). After you’ve scrubbed, masked, and toned, make sure to moisturize. While moisturizing, place a cool slice of cucumber over each eye to reduce puffiness. Natural skin and hair care remedies are great for multiple reasons. They’re very easy to make, and you more than likely already have the ingredients to create them! They also contain fewer harmful chemicals than their store-bought versions, making them healthier for you and your skin. Here are some of my favorite DIY recipes for at-home skin treatments: Honey and Brown Sugar: this works as a gentle facial scrub. Mix one part honey (try to get the unpasteurized, raw type if possible as it has more antibacterial and antifungal properties) to two parts brown sugar in a small bowl or container (add water if needed). Apply in small, circular motions around your face, avoiding your immediate eye area. Rinse well with cool water. Coffee grounds and coconut oil: a deeply exfoliating body scrub. Take used coffee grounds (you can even remove the tops of used K-Cups and use the ground coffee from there) and place them in a small bowl or Mason jar. Pour in a small amount of coconut oil and mix with your fingers until the coffee grounds are saturated. Rub on to your skin in circular motions. The caffeine in the coffee will invigorate your skin (caffeine is used in many anti-cellulite creams and scrubs!) while the coconut oil will moisturize. Concentrate on rougher areas like your knees, elbows, and heels. Rinse off well (and be careful, as the coffee could stain fabric or shower curtains). Avocado, banana, and plain yogurt: a great facial or hair mask (you may want to rinse this one in the sink with a garbage disposal to avoid clogging the shower drain!). Take one half of an avocado, one half of a banana, and a few tablespoons of plain yogurt and mix well (you can use a blender if you’d like). If using as a hair mask: Cover your hair and let the mixture sit for up to 30 minutes. The avocado and yogurt will moisturize your scalp, while the banana will condition the hair and help bring out its natural shine. If using as a facial mask: Apply the mixture to your face avoiding the immediate eye area. Let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse with cool water. The combination of the three ingredients will moisturize and soothe your skin. Apple Cider Vinegar and water: a natural astringent and toner for your skin. Mix 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar (try to use the organic kind that contains “the mother,” or the natural enzyme of the vinegar which works to rebalance your skin’s PH levels) to 3 parts water. Apply to your skin using a cotton ball or round. If it is too strong for your skin, add more water to the mixture. How do you make the most of an at-home spa day?