Whether you’re a born DIY-er or just short on cash after being guilted into chipping in for your mom’s Tijuana boob-lift, trying some at-home spa rituals can be the way to go from “AHHH!” to “ahhh” on the cheap. So put on your Enya Pandora station, pour a box of white wine, and give the rosary a break while you dial back that crazy:
Try dry brushing. Dry brushing involves using a natural-bristled brush to sweep away dry skin and encourage circulation. Don’t have the right equipment? No worries! Just take your cat’s brush and make circular, sweeping motions toward what your stepmom refers to as your “cold, dead heart.” Take a goddamn deep breath and feel the stress start to slough away into a pile of gray flakes at your feet. If you’re passive-aggressively shaming a roommate about something, this is a great ritual to perform in a shared space, like over her toothbrush.
Follow with an invigorating coffee scrub. Grab those old grounds from your compost and get to polishing your banging bod. Swigging a mug of your kids’ Nesquik spiked with Kahlua will make this treatment a coffee-lover’s dream! Before you know it, you’ll have almost forgotten that your son’s scale replica of the Space Station is due tomorrow (don’t worry; he’ll remind you at bed time). Be sure to focus on your elbows—your girlfriends have been telling people they look like ashy rhino nipples.
Create a Vichy Shower in your backyard! You don’t need to be at the kind of five-star desert spa that Oprah, or your now-rich high school sweetheart’s scrawny wife, goes to. Lie out on your favorite plastic deck chair and bribe some neighbor kids with candy or booze to hose you down with a few garden sprayers and watering cans. While you’re under that invigorating deluge, have a good stress weep—no one will know!
Soothe your muscles with a hot stone massage. This one is so easy that we’re shocked people actually pay for it! Just snag a few smooth river stones from the edging of your neighbor’s garden walkway and sneak them into your kitchen. Multi-task by warming them in your crockpot of mulled cider. In less than the time it would have taken one of those pink pills you begged your doctor for to kick in, you’ll be coated in Jergens and unkinking those tense muscles in long, soothing strokes. Maybe this will stop your hair from falling out in clumps!
Bliss out with an Ayurvedic oil treatment. Shirodhara is the practice of pouring a thin stream of oil onto the forehead to calm your scattered mind. Make yourself comfortable on the counter in your studio kitchen with your head over the sink and your legs on the second shelf of the fridge. Think calm thoughts as you drip the warm leftover oil from your impulse-buy Frydaddy Jr. into your Ogilvie perm. If this doesn’t calm your shit about being replaced with an unpaid intern, we don’t know what will.
End with Reiki. Reiki, a practice of manipulating and redirecting one’s life-force energy, is best performed by a highly-trained Reiki master, but if you could put together a whole apartment of new Ikea furniture after your ex left you for his squash pal Kip, you can surely do this, too. Lie back on your IKEA futon and try to relax. Place your hands gently over parts of your body that feel troubled to align the chakras. We suggest you start with your sad tits.
After you’ve indulged in these stress-melting spa rituals, you’ll be as loose as the overcooked plain spaghetti that’s the only thing you really know how to make. Now that you have your shit back together, it’s time to pull up those big-girl panties and face another day of crippling, undiagnosed pain. Good luck!