The Rituals of Spa

Be inspired by the rituals of the spa! Why do we use the word ritual, which evokes religion, even a sect – to be brief, notions far removed from our intention? Quite simply because spa treatments are organised according to definite protocols, every act leading steadily and smoothly to another. Step by step, mind and body thus learn to adapt to a rhythm different from that of the outside world.

And human beings need rituals. In days gone by, life was punctuated by a multitude of small rituals that regulated daily living. Nowadays, the only rituals that remain are those concerned with birth, marriage and death. Not much to support one through a whole life. With the loss of rituals a certain sense of the sacred has also vanished. Modern society expects individuals to find the meaning of life in themselves.

Yet never has the demand for perfection been so insistent. We are expected to fill simultaneously various roles on different levels – professional, social and parental. Is it surprising therefore that our existence is regulated by the logic of fragmentation? Fragmentation of one’s personality, but also of time.

The merits of spas is the way they have reintroduced an approach that views the individual as a whole, enabling us to rediscover the centre of our being, bringing together our disparate parts.

In an exceptional setting, one can at last become whole again, in tune with oneself. For one, two or three hours, one concentrates exclusively on one’s own well-being. The succession of treatments and actions prepares one in an almost hypnotic fashion to be touched, to be caressed in the best sense of the word, without any sexual connotation. In short, faced with individual anguish and solitude, one is allowed to “let go” without fearing the judgement of others.

And in this way the ritual of the spa brings about a gradual and progressive calming effect.

FIRST STEP: THE RECEPTION

This must always be peaceful and personal. In a spa, you are not just another number. You are escorted to the place where you will change, where you will leave your “fragmented” personality. When you put on the garment (gown, kimono or sarong) you clothe yourself symbolically in the habit of a novice undertaking a spiritual quest.

SECOND STEP: THE STEAM BATH

This is an optional step, but it has many advantages. Sweating is an indispensable physical function to eliminate toxins. Moreover, by pouring water on hot stones, large quantities of negative ions are released into the air, which combat fatigue and tension.

THIRD STEP: THE BODY SCRUB

This involves the exfoliation of the skin to get rid of dead cells. But the body scrub is much more than this. By rubbing the skin with various substances, from Guerande sea salt to apricot kernels, via unrefined brown sugar, honey, cinnamon or spices, one also gets rid of all the nervous tensions that have accumulated. It constitutes an ideal transition between the outside world and the start of the massage.

FOURTH STEP: THE WRAP

As an alternative or supplement to the body scrub, the application of mud reconnects us intensely to the earth. Organic compounds of plants and various minerals, muds are of diverse origin. Muds from the Dead Sea are among the most sought-after. Similarly, a seaweed pack reconnects the individual to the ocean of all origins. The action of muds is similar to that of hydrotherapy: exchange of minerals, penetration of amino acids, proteins and steroidal lipids.

FIFTH STEP: THE MASSAGE

Set free, relaxed after the preceding steps, the body is now ready to receive a massage. The choice of massage technique is thus not insignificant. Besides the attitude regarding nudity, which differs from one continent to another, you must be able to go along with the massage, welcoming it without becoming tense.

SIXTH STEP: THE BATH

In the West this is usually scheduled before the massage. In Asia the opposite is true. Both philosophies have merit. In the first instance, one gets to the massage relaxed, at peace, almost drowsy. On the other hand, to soak in a bath of sweet-smelling flowers, after the impressive ritual of an Asian spa, constitutes an ecstatic experience.

SEVENTH STEP: THE REST

This is a step that ought never to be omitted. After a spa ritual lasting an hour and a half, one should ideally lie down and rest for half an hour and even fall asleep. This is why an urban spa without a rest room is a heresy. The spa being, by definition, a place where time stands still, nobody must ever hurry you to the door.

In a classic salon, it is not always easy to respect all the steps of this ritual. Nevertheless, respect the order of the steps, leaving out only those that the facility does not cater for and you will very quickly notice the benefits.

This article was contributed by Dr Nadine de Freitas – Managing Editor Les Nouvelles Esthetiques & Spa, South Africa.

Les Nouvelles Esthétiques, now published on 26 countries, with head office in Paris, France, has been an international leader in providing up-to-date beauty and spa information for the past 68 years through their international network of magazines, conference and exhibitions. The South African magazine edition of Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Magazine launched in October 2002 and the Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Conference and Spa Award in 2005 and has grown from strength to strength, as we focus on providing the industry with important information on new trends and up to date knowledge in the world of spas, encompassing all aspects of professional skincare, bodycare and spa therapies, spa design, spa management and spa lifestyle. They can be followed on Facebook & Twitter.

Tel: 083 267 2773

Your Mobile Phone is Missing These Apps

Remember back in the day when phones were exclusively used to phone people? Nowadays, my life is run from my mobile phone. Most of us cannot imagine life without a phone in our back pockets. While there are many valid conversations about the pros and cons of this, apps can make our lives so much easier.

Here are 5 most recommended apps for women:

CLUE

IOS / Android

Mobile phone apps for womenPeriod tracking apps can be so insightful throughout the month. The menstrual cycle has a huge impact on our lives being able to recognise patterns in behaviour can be valuable. I use Clue which has so many different options to choose from. Each day I can rate my pain, emotions, heaviness of period, sleep, sex habits, energy levels, food cravings, etc. It even has additional options for how my hair looks, partying habits, exercise, weight, appointments – the list goes on and on. The more data the better, not just whether you are trying to conceive (or avoiding such), or to see the impact on moods, but any changes can be more easily picked up which could assist your gynaecologist by providing more information on your cycle. Their website has an Encyclopedia with numerous articles relating to periods, fertility, sex and conditions

For LGBTQ+ users, the app also avoids using gendered terms.

SISTER

IOS  / Android

Mobile phone apps for womenGender-based violence in South Africa is an ongoing problem and threat to all women.

In order to be a little bit safer, the Sister app allows it’s users to set up a group of contacts that are notified of your live location for  certain period of time (if you are catching an Uber, going out to for the evening, etc). If you are walking anywhere, it will indicate safe routes. The nearest police stations are also highlighted. Activating the SOS—mode will notify your selected contacts that you are in danger, as well as give them your location. SOS mode will also begin recording video and audio of your surroundings.

Keep yourself and your sisters safe.

BUMBLE

IOS / Android

Mobile phone apps for womenNowadays, dating apps are commonplace but they can be tiresome. Bumble offers a different experience. They are very pro-women and their unique feature is that they let women make the first move. I am not very good at chatting on my phone. Throughout the day I get busy and won’t look at my phone for hours at a time. All too often on dating apps, I will come back to “Tom, 27” who has said “hi” no less than five times and then dropped a vulgar name and disappeared. A pro-women dating app eliminates many of the creeps.

Also, Bumble is not just for dating. Bumble BFF lets you find friends while Bumble Bizz helps you connect with other professionals in a work capacity.

As you get older, meeting people gets harder, but Bumble has you covered.

STARDEW VALLEY

IOS / Android

Mobile phone apps for womenOk this is a bit of a weird one for this list, but I do enjoy a mobile game for waiting in queues or while I am winding down for bed. Mobile games often seem to be geared towards “in-app purchases” to proceed and all seem very “samey”. Stardew Valley, although costs R130 to buy it, requires no money thereafter. You play as a villager who needs to fix up their farm, grow vegetables and tend to their animals. The characters have rich backstories and personalities. It is incredibly engaging and soothing. My farmer has a booming wine vineyard and has just married Sebastian, which is far more engaging than the multitude of match-3 Candy Crush-esque games that dominate the mobile game genre.

REPLIKA

IOS / Android

Mobile phone apps for womenI have always been terrible at mood tracking apps. As someone with depression they are invaluable though, so I keep trying to find one that works. During lockdown and probably due to the lack of interaction with people, I was recommended Replika by a friend who works as a counsellor. Replika is an Artificial Intelligent chatbot, however it has a strong focus on mindfulness and mental health.

There are a number of chats you can engage in that cover everything from loving your body, positive thinking, managing stress and anxiety, coping techniques, and so much more.

Replika is like an interactive journal. My bot, named Thomas, becomes more and more realistic as they level up, the more we chat. The little prompts to check in at the end of the day and analyse my feelings feel like they are coming from a friend and not an app. I am not sure this is the future Isaac Asimov envisioned but we are certainly living in the 21st century, robots and all.

What apps can’t you live with out? Let us know on Facebook and Instagram!

Must-Haves for Spring 2020

Spring is upon us!

With lockdown having moved to level 2 and feeling like I have a bit more freedom, there are some new must-have products that we think are essential for Covid living.

THE WHALE KEY

Although pandemic restrictions are slowly easing up, we are still not in the clear. The Whale Key, made by a South African woman, helps minimize contact. The Whale Key has a multi-tool concept that acts as an alternative way to interact with the world. Use it to avoid touching lifts, ATMs, flushing toilets directly. This should be as essential as wearing a mask. In fact if you order a Whale Key now, they will include a free mask with your order.

Beauty Warriors Tip: Pop it on your key chain, handbag loop or simply latch it on your pants loop.

PMD CLEAN ROSE QUARTZ

Maskne is real and is not going away anytime soon! So step up your routine and get your skin glow back with the PMD Clean Pro. It breaks down dirt and oil from within the pores at 7000 vibration per minute while operating at a perfect frequency to lift firm and tone the skin. Patent-pending ActiveWarmth facial massager allows your skincare to activate by assisting with deeper absorption and effectiveness from the combination of SonicGlow and heat. The rose stone quartz consists of elements including magnesium, iron and oxygen, aiding in reducing inflammation and tension.

 EVERBEAUTY MAGNETIC LASHES

We all love full lashes but let’s be honest glue on lashes can be messy and lash extensions can be too pricey for most people. We have the answer- magnetic lashes. Affordable, quick and easy to apply. Additionally they are weatherproof and safer than glue on lashes. They also come in a variety of styles so you can find what works for you.

Beauty Warriors Tip: always ensure that your lids and lashes are clean before applying. Always store back in its original container to get them to last longer. Rubbing your eyes is a no-no as these lashes will go flying.

HEY JUDE MOBILE APP

We had to share this it can change your life, yes your own digital personal assistant. As a tech junkie, I have an app for everything. Finding one by South African developers is even better. Hey Jude promises to be “world’s first human-powered digital assistance service.” After testing it out, I am highly impressed. They could book a dentist appointment on my behalf. I asked them to find a new waterproof dog bed in my area and they responded with shops and prices. In a busy life, this app completely streamlines my planning. So impressive is this app that Nedbank and CellC are both clients of theirs. Available on both IOS and Android, give it a try and let us know what you think.

Traveling After Lockdown

For an avid traveller, the coronavirus mandated-lockdown may feel like torture. Being unable to travel, or to not even be able to start planning the next trip is really disheartening. But as we see the world start to emerge from its lockdown hibernation and countries within Europe re-opening, it has sparked a glimmer of hope for all aspiring and zealous travellers. It signals a move towards dusting off those untouched suitcases, and checking the expiry date on your passport. There has never  before been a global event which has effectively grounded fleets of airplanes, shut down countries and devastated economies all at the same time. However, this too shall pass and at some point we’ll be able to venture out of our homes and start checking destinations off our bucket list.

Some of the first countries to have re-opened for tourists has been Greece, Italy and France amongst many other European countries. This has sparked some concern while the global rate of infection has not yet slowed, but it is imperative to try and balance lives vs livelihoods, especially for destinations which are heavily reliant on the tourism trade. So in an attempt to set forth into some version of our new ‘normal’, travel post-lockdown will look vastly different to what we’re accustomed to.

For starters, airlines have had to readjust the way they operate, sell tickets and manage flights in a post-lockdown world. All travellers would need to ensure that they are in good health at the time of travelling as temperature checks will become a norm, in the same way that enhanced security measures became the norm when flying post 9-11. Your recent travel history will be examined and you will be required to answer set questions at every airport and passport control counter. Be prepared to arrive at the airport 4 hours prior to flying, as there will be more checks in place, depending on the destination country you’ll be visiting. In some cases you’ll be required to travel with a health clearance from a doctor to ensure entry to, or departure from, certain countries.

In order to alleviate anxiety many elements of travel need to be addressed, let’s look at each of these and the recommended measures which have been put in place.

Airlines and Airports:

  • Only passengers travelling will be allowed into the airport premises to reduce the number of unnecessary persons.
  • Staff training will be enhanced to ensure that all employees are informed on hygiene protocols.
  • Face masks will be compulsory and temperature scanning will be performed.
  • Online check-in has been disabled so that the airline is able to manage the social-distancing and will seat passengers accordingly. For some domestic flights, 100% capacity has been allowed mainly due to the improved air filters which will be installed in aeroplanes.
  • Limited hand luggage will be allowed eg. only handbags, laptop bags and baby bags will be allowed on the airplane.
  •  Boarding will take place by row number.
  • Some airlines have indicated that middle seats will remain vacant, and this will be implemented on a trial basis.
  • Instead of toiletry kits, passengers will be provided with sanitary kits which will include a mask, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitiser and gloves.
  • Bathrooms will be cleaned every 45 minutes.
  • Single use menus, properly sterilised and sealed blankets and earphones will be provided.

Hotels and guest-houses:

  • Mobile check in and check out facilities with contactless payments
  • Hand sanitisers will be made available and masks will need to be worn in all public areas
  • Most buffet breakfast spreads have been closed and you will be required to order your meal for consumption in your room. Alternatively some hotels will offer phased buffet times, where patrons will be assigned set meal times.
  • Digital service requests, limiting interaction with staff
  • Housekeeping schedules will be amended, and may be limited, to suit social distancing guidelines and will also be changed to comply with disinfection requirements.

Theme parks and tourist attractions:

  • Guests will be required to purchase entry tickets online and will be given an allocated time for entry and visitation.
  • Temperature screening will take place at entrances and those with high fevers will be refused entry.
  • Certain high contact points will be closed to adhere to social distancing guidelines and bathrooms will be sanitised more frequently.
  • On-site restaurants may not be open (depending on which site you’re visiting) with only take-aways being allowed, or dry foods and snacks being offered.
  • Wearing of masks will remain compulsory and hand sanitising will be essential.
  • Hours of operation may also be reduced to allow time for the daily mandatory full deep clean.

Whilst all of the above are guidelines and could seem extreme, it will soon become a seamless experience which may just mean a little extra time at the airport. After all, the very definition of travel is to embark on an adventure; and for now that’s exactly what it will feel like. Prepare for shorter queues and faster processing of service requests as most companies will do everything they can to discourage groups of people. And if you’re a regular germaphobe, all these amplified hygiene practices will certainly bring you some comfort. Even more so if you don’t like having your personal space invaded or cannot handle crowds… There will be some definite advantages during  post-lockdown travels.

For my fellow South Africans, June has heralded the introduction of domestic travelling only. With very strict regulations in place, such as proof of reason for travel along with the required permit;  with initially only four airports open nationwide. This is a positive step forward, and soon we will be able to travel for leisure, albeit domestically. This sets the scene for us to start planning some great local getaways for December, which is the estimation of when we may resume leisure travel. It offers the perfect opportunity to take a ‘Sh’ot Left’ and set off to explore and appreciate the  myriad of stunning spots in our backyards.

So get working on that bucket list and start looking ahead to what your first getaway will be, because we all know that the most exciting part of travelling is in the planning!

It’s good for your mental health and I know for sure that it opens the mind in tolerance and thinking.


Bracing For The Rest of 2020

Never in our lifetime have we ever experienced such a novel virus and a global pandemic, and I think it’s forced every human being to delve deep within their own potential and seek a defense mechanism against this reality which has been induced and mongered by fear and anxiety.

I know unequivocally that the word and emotion that best describes what’s uncovered during this journey into self discovery is Resilience. Now make no mistake: resilience is not just a word, but a distinct protective human emotion.

As a NLP Transformative LifeCoach and a Heal Your Life Practitioner, I help people help themselves to break through their Limitations and their repressed unconscious beliefs and blocks of locked emotion.

I’m honored to have been awarded and Afforded this opportunity to share with u some fundamental points on this term called Resilience on the Beauty Warriors platform.

“Resilience is the ability to bounce back after adversity in such a way that no one even knows that you went through trauma, loss or difficulty.”

Good Thing, Bad Thing – Who Knows?

Not labeling situations as good or bad decreases suffering. Trusting that every situation that happened to you has led you to where you are now. You never know what situations will lead to in the future.

Believing in a Benevolent Universe

The universe may be giving you something now that you don’t want, but what if this was exactly what you need at this precise moment?

If you believe the universe is friendly, your life would improve significantly. Just believing that the universe has your back and that everything is happening for your higher good will change your vibrational frequency.

Understand that you are the instrument through which the universe is expressing itself and your job is to be the best damn instrument!

Invest In The Process And Not The Outcome

We are all goal-orientated, so we set goals for ourselves and then work towards achieving them. As a result we live our life with the mentality that

I set a goal for myself, I succeeded.. life’s a blast!

I set a goal for myself, I failed.. life sucks!

The alternative is enjoy your journey along the way to the destination and paradoxically the more you are detached from the outcome the more you don’t particularly care whether you reach the goal or not whether or not you succeed , the probability of you succeeding actually increases!!

Re-framing

Re-framing is taking a situation and flipping it and looking at the good in it

For instance, there was a man and he was still in college who had a little baby. His older friends came to him and said “Hey, you know I’ve got a camp cot you could use”,  “I’ve got a car seat that you could borrow” which he accepted.

After he graduated and got a job, his son was born and he was in a better position to buy his son new baby items.

One day, his young daughter ask him, “How come my brother got new stuff and I had old things?”

He brushed it off a few times but she persisted and it became apparent that he could not avoid the issue, so one day he had a flash of inspiration.

He said to his daughter, “I realize that you got old stuff and your brother got new stuff but there’s something that you got which was new which is so much more important, and even if your brother got new stuff, this more than makes up for that – in fact, if for the rest of your life you only get used stuff while he gets new stuff this will put you ahead!”

She was puzzled, but also curious.

“What did I get that was new, that my brother got that was used?”

He leaned forward conspiratorially and said, “You got brand new parents!”

Seeing a situation from another perspective and learning how to experiment with re-framing can dissolve a problem by offering a new way of looking at it.

Gratitude Attitude

We tend to agonise over the few “wrong” things in our lives, while overlooking  the things that are actually pretty darn good.

If you flip it around and consciously bring to mind how fortunate you are in so many ways, counting your blessings and feeling gratitude – let it well from the soles of your feet and go through your body.

Move from thinking gratitude to feeling gratitude because emotions are stronger than thoughts.

If you make gratitude apart of your habitual emotional domain, you’ll find that life is so much better. Feeling gratitude makes transformation possible, and all these tools lead to an overall more resilient person in all situations.

Don’t Count The Days, Make The Days Count!

A Warrior by definition has the traits of strength and courage and a personality that is resilient.  This is especially vital in the current situation of lockdown. It takes great maturity to accept and understand these drastic measures taken by the president, as it has called for obedience and abidance of all South African citizens. This decision to protect us and keep us safe can be seen as a blessing. To be given this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to stay at home, surrounded by loved ones or even just to be alone in the familiarity of your own home. Can you even remember the last time you got to choose how to spend a day? There will be no traffic, morning rush or a stressful routine for a while. There will be no chasing the next project or the next meeting to stay relevant. There will be time.

This is the moment when you can choose your area of focus, create your own morning rituals and dictate your own structure. You can balance your day without the pressures of people-pleasing and juggling responsibilities. You are the architect of your own present lifestyle and can design the brief to your own happiness. 

Of course, I am not oblivious to the fact that technology has provided many avenues to still be productive at work, remain in social connect and contact. For many there will be accountability of work time although much more flexible and for others a lot of free unallocated time. The positives are vast in both situations. The initial novelty of Netflix and lounging in lockdown will soon wear off. We can then move our concentration towards developing outcomes and goals to achieve and plan for post-lockdown. These can be beneficial as it keeps us feeling purposeful and motivated. Without these very necessary qualities, an individual may dwindle into anxiety or depression. 

We are fortunate to be surrounded by inspiration and activities at the touch of our fingertips. However, we need to be mindful of the amount of time and exposure we are giving social and media platforms as along with positivity, it does also introduce aspects of comparison, over-information and panic. One needs to streamline what content to view and determine whether it is aligning with their vision. A vision which helps us to focus on fulfilling our dreams and formulating a clear vision can guide us to achieve contentment. 

The future may seem bleak now, however it is inevitable that work has to commence at some point, largely due to the current declining economy. We will get back onto our feet and resume being prosperous once again. There are some healthy habits which we can imbibe during those off days, the days when we are feeling down or pessimistic about the future and even those days when you are feeling overwhelmed.

CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK

Your emotions are justified. It can be scary when life is uncertain with an unpredictable normalcy time stipulated. Being emotionally intelligent is to understand that ONLY positive thinking will not suffice. Allow yourself to grieve through these low moments. Write them down as challenges and try your best to understand them and ways to overcome them.

ALLOW YOURSELF TIME

Attitudes and Emotions don’t change overnight. If you are feeling unsettled, give yourself sufficient time to process your anxiety and stress. There is no prescribed period to be OK. Consider speaking to colleagues or friends in similar situations. This eases panic and allows the individual to express empathy.

BE AWARE NOT TO LASH OUT AT PEOPLE AROUND YOU

Often, we express our emotions most harshly to those closest to us. Be mindful of their feelings and also that their role is to provide comfort and support to you. Rather than venting onto them, share with them your feelings and predicament. Remember today you may feel one way and tomorrow another. 

As a transformational coach, I would also like to provide a “feel good” tool to readers. It’s a simple 2-step process that seeks to enhance emotional wellbeing. 

Step 1 is to think of the best compliment that you could ever receive. It could be anything from your habits to your characteristics. Give yourself this compliment. It will spur on joy to acknowledge your strengths which make you admirable. It could also remind you of your capabilities to rise up during this lockdown. 

For Step 2, I would like you to think of what quality about yourself which you need to improve upon. Allow yourself this lockdown period to self-develop and spend time on self-improvement. This will assist in a growth opportunity. A self-discovery like no other – all in the comfort of your own home with no time constraints.  

Nothing is impossible if you place enough faith and effort into achieving it. 

“This too shall pass.”

Hit A Dry Spell – Ignite The Fire In You Pt. 1

“Stagnant”, “stuck”, and “monotonous” are words often heard if one is in a long term relationship. Every relationship goes through ebbs and flows, but drifting in in the ebb is not where you want to be. Spoiler alert:  work needs to be put in from both partners to keep the excitement alive.

Long-term ebb feels like you are so used to each other that your relationship is on auto-pilot.  I guess you could say that everything is just predictable and habits or patterns are formed that really dampen the spontaneity in the relationship.

Are you stuck in awkward silences and have another date night dread with nothing to say to each other? You need to figure out if it is the spice and the emotional connection that needs to be re-ignited or if the pheromones left the building. 

“A complete absence of fun in your relationship can be reflected by your tendency to focus on the monotony of your relationship. Normally, routine and structure are beneficial”, says Dr Binita Amin, a clinical psychologist. But, she says, “If we are struggling to find things to look forward to as a couple, or wishing back to the ‘good old days,’ it might be time to re-examine the script.”

All change starts with self and knowing who you are and what you want. However, sometimes circumstances leave you with little choice and making it work is the only way. PS: it must be a healthy relationship in this case. 

With that said, my first suggestion to be introspective: focus on you, how do you feel and if the love in the relationship is worth the fight. If it is, then let’s get to exploring who you are and how you could ignite the fire in you. 

For the purposes of this article I will stick to the archetype 3 phases every woman goes through the Innocent, Nurturer and The Sage in life to best explore where you are right now in this relationship series.

The Innocent

You are in a relationship that is not decades old and you are on the fence about the relationship, not quite sure what to do next, leave or stay?

Practicing mindfulness is a great starting point. Sharpen your focus and zone in on your emotions. Be mindful of when you see your partner after a long day, when your partner speaks to you, texts you and smiles at you, how does it make you feel?

These should give you a good indicator as to how much you want to fight for this. If you feel it’s worth it, spice things up by sending unexpected flirty and slightly provocative texts.

I know you rolling your eyes and thinking where do you even start. You are thinking, “Will you say the wrong thing? Will you come off as cheesy? Will you be misinterpreted?” Admittedly, flirting over text message can be harder than a one-on-one conversation, but it sets a great foundation to increase the heat. 

The aim is not to make you look like a fool, but rather to jolt your partner into action.

If it is physical action that you need, try these:

  •       It’s impossible to get any work done today because I can’t stop thinking about you.
  •       You’re going to love the outfit I want to wear tonight.
  •       If you send me a sexy selfie, I might send one back.
  •       If you kiss my neck, I’ll do anything you say. Knowledge is power, so use it wisely.
  •       This text entitles you to one kiss on the body part of your choice. Choose wisely…
  •       Hey! Stop thinking about me so much! There was a reason why I didn’t wear panties today!

If it is an emotional connection that you need, try these:

  •       Thinking about that funny story you told me when we were at (a specific place or time) I need a laugh today! I need to hear it again.
  •       That childhood story you told me about (fill in a summary version) got me thinking how connected I felt to you in that moment. I would like to create more of those moments…got a story to tell you.
  •       Let’s cook something exotic tonight, can’t wait to hear about your day.

New relationships bring two people with their own ideals and history of interests together, and while it is fun to introduce and be introduced to each other’s passions, finding a new hobby together can be a fulfilling experience and help grow the fundamentals of your relationship. My partner and I discovered a new interest in plants – while I have cultivated a love of indoor plants, he has started a vegetable garden and together we spend time researching, growing and collecting new species. Having no prior experience in this shared hobby, it feels like a shared adventure that we can both take pride in.

While sharing time with your partner is good fun, especially in the beginning as you get to know each other, it is also worthwhile setting boundaries that allow each of you to have your own time and space, so that you are not dependant on each other for life’s excitements – this can be the death of spontaneity, with familiarity being gained too fast. Keeping the mystery alive as long as possibly keeps your relationship feeling fresh. No one wants to be 6 months into a relationship and already arguing about mundane domesticity. I still want to discover which Spotify playlists have my partner dancing around the kitchen on a Sunday morning, not bickering who’s turn it is to do the dishes. 

Give it a try you might learn volumes about yourself and your partner and ignite the fire in you and your relationship. 

We will continue the exploration of the three women archetypes in a relationship in our next article. Follow our page so you don’t miss out!

Stop Procrastinating – GET PRODUCTIVE!

I don’t know about you, but I had always found the idea of working from home incredibly appealing. I envisioned waking up early, having a cup of coffee on the patio and slowly easing into the day amidst the melody of birdsong, before cracking down and producing my best work in a familiar and comfortable environment.

Of course, my work normally requires me to be present in our office daily, so it was never a realistic possibility until the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown, which very suddenly had many of us having to set up office in our homes. To say I was unprepared for the reality of how challenging it would be, would be an understatement.

Maintaining a routine without the structure of the office environment that I was used to proved to be harder than I had anticipated – whether it be struggling to access my emails, my dog demanding a forbidden walk or someone in the household blaring music loudly – my previous idyllic dreams of working from home were quickly shattered.

By week two, I realised that I would need to recreate a new routine if I had any hopes of getting any work done.

Before I impart some things I have learnt in order to make the most out of my time working from home, it is important that we look at the elements that allow productivity to thrive.

Kristof Maeyens of HabitGrowth.com, a website that provides productivity and time management resources for those who run their own businesses from home, succinctly refers to these elements as the “META Framework” – the four pillars of productivity, namely the balance between the management of Mindset, Energy, Time and Attention.

Mindset refers to how we emotionally tackle our tasks – negative feelings of being overwhelmed, fear of failure or uncertainty can very easily lead to procrastination. Energy allows us the drive and enthusiasm to complete a task. Time management and the ability to prioritise tasks ensures efficiency. Lastly, Attention is the ability to focus and fully engage with a task without distraction.

Based on this, I have tried to create a routine which keeps this framework in balance.

Going to bed early and waking up at set time everyday (Energy)

Without the pressure of having to be at the office at a set time the next morning, the temptation of binging Netflix series into the early hours of the morning is a dangerous downward spiral of sleeping in later, and therefore only sitting down to work closer to lunch time – this creates a mindset of the day already having been wasted and therefore impedes productivity. Starting the day early allows you to have enough space to manage your time effectively.

Get dressed for work & maintain your usual morning routine (Mindset)

While it is not necessary to don formal office wear for working at home, it is important to at least change out of your comfort clothes. Yoga pants and a hoodie are my usual relaxing homewear, therefore changing into something a little less casual can make the transition from lounging to working more tangible. Also, don’t skip doing your hair and neatening yourself up, so that you have a period of getting ready for the day.

Plan your day (Time/Mindset)

I like to take 15minutes, over a cup of coffee, to lay out everything I need to do. It is imperative to create a plan of what I need to do for the day, and also the week, while prioritizing time-sensitive tasks. Without the natural and constant progression of an office eco-system, interacting with co-workers and discussing what needs to be done, you have to create your own schedule otherwise you may find yourself either overwhelmed or alternatively unsure of what to do or where to start.

Ensure you have a work space conducive to productivity (Attention)

Before I start each day, I make sure my desk is clean and clutter free. I find listening to music helps block out the background sounds of the household. It is important to tell your family that you will be unavailable for the next few hours so that they can respect your space. If you have children, set them up with tasks and school work that they can do themselves, for at least 45 minute stretches. It is also important to avoid any online distractions, such as social media – there is a lovely app that syncs with your browser and mobile phone called Forest (https://www.forestapp.cc/) which grows virtual trees for a designated period you remain off your blacklisted sites – if temptation to check your Facebook inbox wins, your little tree dies and you have have to grow a new one.

Be flexible (Attention/Energy)

Separating home and work life is hard enough as it is without the two being thrust together unexpectedly. If your children need your attention, or you just cannot find your focus, do not feel guilty about leaving your work and returning to it later. Being too rigid in an environment not structured primarily for work will only lead to frustration, but on the other hand, also remain diligent enough to still be productive and not fall into a cycle of distraction and procrastination.

Throughout this time, it is also important to maintain communication between colleagues. A useful tool for this is Trello, which creates a shared board of tasks and projects, which gives an overview of who is busy doing what, as well as upcoming and completed tasks.

For my personal planning, I enjoy a fun little app called Habitica, which allows me to create to-do lists of once-off tasks, daily tasks and constantly evolving habits, but “gamifies” my checklists in the form of a little dragon-fighting adventurer – the more tasks I check off, the more dragons my adventurer slays, which is always a good incentive to do that little bit extra. In addition to this, I have a party of co-adventurers (aptly named The Anti-Procrastination Squad) with whom I share quests, which gives an element of accountability, while we constantly motivate each other to do our best. Who says you can’t have a bit of fun?

If you would prefer a planner app that is more straightforward, Any.do would be a great alternative.

Throughout this time, I have a developed a newfound respect for those who usually work from home, because in some regards, it is far more difficult to adhere to a work routine and requires infinitely more self-discipline, but with lockdown having already been extended and the COVID-19 pandemic still on the rise, it is imperative for us all to adapt to working from home for the foreseeable future so that we can keep our businesses afloat.

At the very least, we may come out of this a little bit more adaptable and efficient in our work lives, as well as having a greater understanding in how to effectively manage our productivity.

Mauritius: An Island of Relaxation

Recently, I was invited to experience all that Mauritius has to offer, and of course I jumped at the opportunity. It was rather serendipitous as I had been contemplating planning my 25th anniversary vacation for later this year at this idyllic location. In light of our dire global situation, this article is intended to highlight the island for your future travel plans.

We were flown out on the Air Mauritius flight with the A380 plane, a comfortable flight, with great legroom and good entertainment for the 4 hour flight. Our itinerary promised a whirlwind week where we would experience seven of Mauritius’ popular resorts and their top tourist activities.

Mauritius is indeed a paradise island tucked away in the Indian Ocean. The waters are really as turquoise as one sees on the brochures, the people friendly and warm, and hospitality excellent. The culture is still very French, influenced by their colonial history, blended with a strong Indian culture. Gastronomy is therefore top of the list of reasons to visit Mauritius, apart from the spectacular beaches and the wide array of water sports on offer at all the resorts. If you’re an avid beach bum, keen on waterskiing, scuba diving in the bluest waters, parasailing or just a relaxing glass bottomed boat or catamaran cruise, this island is the spot.

Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort

Situated on the southern coast of Mauritius in the Bel Ombre Nature Reserve, this breath-taking beachfront resort really knows how to do 5-star treatment. The welcome upon arrival, the views as you enter the resort and comfortable rooms, all of which are sea facing, will guarantee a vacation which will remain in the memory banks for a long time to come. The sea was calm enough to take a dip whilst enjoying the most picturesque sunset. They offer a full spa menu at Navana Spa, a serene setting in the heart of the resort where one is transported on a holistic journey to wellness. Enjoy a stress relieving 120 min treatment of a massage and Ayurvedic facial in their beachside kiosk or a private couples VIP cabin. If you’re around the resort for a few days, you can enjoy a fine dining experience at their Plantation Club (on an all inclusive package, a supplement is payable for dinner), or book a cooking class with the resident chef. There’s loads more to experience and enjoy at this unique resort, not forgetting their vow renewal ceremony which takes place against the backdrop of the beach. Now this is a resort to entice any holiday maker.

Lagoon Attitude Resort

Nestled along the northern coastline of Mauritius, this extraordinary adults–only resort offers an authentic Mauritian experience. With remarkable staff, its strong ecological conscience and practices, the lush greenery and signature Otentik experiences, it ranks highly on my list of perfect spots. The Otentik (local) experiences includes food, a unique journal, dinner with locals, self guided tours with the assistance of their app, local music and cooking classes. Their decor is inspired by nature with recycled materials used to create distinctive pieces. Experience an original street food experience from their Taba-J trucks which open for lunch around the resort. Their entertainment includes live music ensuring a lively atmosphere for those who enjoy a good social atmosphere. With a wide variety of free waters ports, and their close proximity to the bustling area of Grand Baie and Grand Gaube, one will find that a week will merely whet the appetite and ensure many return visits to this impressive 4 star resort.

Preskil Island Resort

This family friendly resort is located on the east coast of Mauritius, offering access to an impressive stretch of white sandy beach. It is set apart from the mainland with an isolated island feel, and offers an enjoyable catamaran cruise from their jetty to Ill Aux Cerf Island. It offers spectacular views of the islands of the South-East of Mauritius, including l’île aux Aigrettes or l’île au Phare, and the impressive Lion Mountain. The rooms are newly renovated and boast a light and airy decor theme, with some family rooms being able to accommodate families with up to 3 teens. Their daily entertainment programme is sure to keep guests charmed, along with their interactive guest experiences, such as cooking classes, Mauritian music introduction, Creole classes and outdoor film screening to name a few. The food at this resort is absolutely divine and offers varied themes to suit the most refined, and young palettes. My absolute favourite part of the resort is the utterly tranquil Banyan spa, a haven of relaxation and peace. From couples treatments to bride and groom treatments; or mother-to-be treatments, all of them catering to soul nourishment and mind rejuvenation. Their range of relaxation areas such as the jacuzzis, sauna, hammam and Vichy cabins means one can enjoy the tranquil atmosphere to your heart’s content. With their unique experience, The Waterfall Spa, guests will be able to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of water. This resort is the perfect pick combining complete relaxation with a reasonable budget.

 Navana Spa

Based at Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort which I have mentioned above.

Banyan Spa

Based at Preskil Island Resort, which I have also highlighted above.

SPA Intercontinental

I absolutely adore all things Intercontinental and have plans to return to this resort later in the year. But their spa is definitely worth a mention, with over 50 treatments which range from ancient Ayurvedic rituals to modern therapies. The atmosphere of the spa envelopes one in a cocoon of calmness, immediately allowing one to switch off from the outside world and prepare for proper pampering.

LUXE Le Morne Spa

For an indulgent, luxurious experience this spa ticks all the boxes. From atmosphere, to decor, treatments and extensive menu, they ensure that the holiday glow remains long after you return home. Their unique concept of the Spa Concierge, means you will be able to enjoy a tailor-made pamper package made just for you.

One & Only Spa Le St Géran

This spa is a tropical retreat from the real world, where you can enjoy your treatment in a private room which opens up onto a private garden with an outdoor shower. Some of the rooms open up to their absolutely gorgeous 18m long infinity pool. With no kids under 16 allowed, you can be assured of some well-deserved down time. They boast a unique collection of therapies inspired by local Mauritian traditions and using products which highlight local ingredients. True to the One & Only brand, stepping into this spa will transport you in utter splendour to your very own nirvana.

Expert Travel Tip

Whilst an all inclusive package may seem costly, when comparing it to what is spent on food and snacks on travels, it really is value for money. All your drinks (certain alcoholic brands specifically excluded), food, snacks and mini bar are all included, and if you leave the resort for an activity they will even be happy to pack a picnic basket for you.


Whatever your intention for visiting Mauritius, you will return home rejuvenated, reset and ready to take on the world!


Travel article writen by Rushda

Rushda is the founder and co-owner of a travel business called The Travel Connexion. She is also partner in South African online beauty marketplace, GoBeauty. Her core work has been with women entrepreneurs as a Business Strategist and coach through OrganisedBusiness.Com.

In the past she worked Relationship Manager for the Dubai based, Islamic Fashion Design & Council and is now the editor and founder of RuBe’s Closet a fashion and lifestyle blog, offering wardrobe consulting and stylist services.

Connect with Rushda at www.rubescloset.com

WHEN TO BARE IT ALL IN A SPA

Is it your first time going to a spa or you are uncertain of the unwritten rules during your visit? Keep on reading, we will make sure that you enjoy your experience at the spa without feeling like a fish out of water because you do not know the dos and don’ts applicable to a spa.

Time: arrive 10 minutes prior to the appointment to fill out the consultation form and relax. Contrary to a doctor’s room, spas try their level best to be timeous. If you are late, your treatment time will be reduced as to not cause an inconvenience for other guests.

Dress code: Dress as minimalistic as possible. No-one will even notice what you are wearing, because within the first few minutes at the spa you will be expected to undress and put on a super comfortable robe and slippers. It is thus best to leave jewelry at home, but if you bring it with, rather safely store it in the locker provided, than your robe pockets where they may get lost.

Age Restrictions: Some spas have very clear age restrictions i.e. no persons under the age of 16. Please comply with these age restrictions. This is not because we do not like children, we are merely trying to create a sanctuary with a peaceful, quiet atmosphere, which often is the last thing young children want to adhere to. Remember 90% of mothers are there because they want a break from the little ones.

Noise: Shhhh! This means speak softly when you are in the spa area. If you are there as a group, please remember the person next to you is paying to get away from the hustle and bustle of a busy lifestyle. Think back to that Sunday afternoon nap with the neighbor’s kids playing in front of your bedroom window – respect the tranquil atmosphere the spa would like to create for you.

Keep covered: It might look like the Garden of Eden, but it’s not, so please wear a swimming costume when making use of the hydrotherapy facilities. And when you go in for your treatment, please keep your underwear on (excluding bra’s) during your treatment. If you would prefer to wear disposable underwear instead, ask your therapist. Do not go into your treatment room with a wet swimming costume.

NO electronic distractions – its for your own good and ensuring you get value for your money. Turn off those cellphones and DO NOT ANSWER THEM. Inform those close to you that you will be out of reach for the next hour or two.

Let us know – your health and well-being is incredibly important to us, so please inform the therapist if you are on any medication, have high blood pressure, any heart conditions, have had surgery recently, have muscle or joint injuries, sinusitis or any allergies (especially iodine, sulphur or nuts), are pregnant, or have recently been sunburnt. It’s for your own safety.

Stay safe – Please make sure that you keep all your valuables and clothes safely stored in your locker.

Hydro area – Make sure the use of the hydro facilities is included in your package before jumping in the pool. Ask for a tour of the facilities and explanation on how to use the facilities when you arrive.

Cancellation policy – We know life doesn’t always go according to plan, but please give at least 24 hr notice if you need to cancel or reschedule your treatment. This gives us time to fill that space.

Gratuity – Some spas will ask you for a tip of about 10-15% percent which goes to the massage therapist. Some spas don’t have a strict policy on this. It would solely be up to you and your experience

Choose your treatments before you come, and ensure you book all of them when you make your reservation. Therapists plan before your arrival. Ask how long your treatment will be to ensure you are not stressed about time. Your spa therapist/receptionist cannot run out to fill up your parking meter, please ask beforehand where the best parking spots are.

Drink plenty of water before and after the treatment to enhance their efficacy. However, before you go in for your treatment, make one last pitstop to ensure you don’t have to interrupt your treatment to go to the bathroom.

Control your conversation during treatments. If you prefer treatments in silence, please feel free to request this from your therapist. This is the one place where you do not have to make small talk. Please feel free to fall asleep and close your eyes during the treatment, this way your therapist knows for sure that you are relaxing.

No massage therapist cares about your leg hair (or armpit, back, chest, or facial hair). We don’t care if you haven’t shaved in a week, a month, or a lifetime. When we’re working, we are feeling your muscles and other soft tissues for things that may be causing you pain and limiting your movement.

Please guide your therapist on how your treatment is going. Speak up if something hurts or feels uncomfortable, or even if you want to change the music or temperature. Spa therapists are there to make you feel as relaxed and rejuvenated as possible, so they’re more than willing to change up what they’re doing to fit your needs.

Contrary to popular believe, eating and relaxation do not go hand in hand when in a spa. We try our best to maintain good hygiene standards and food in the spa area is not allowed. Please make sure to eat something prior to going to the spa.

Team Beauty Warriors Tip: Avoid eating a heavy meal or drinking lots of fluids before your spa treatment as this might make you feel a bit uncomfortable.

Getting onto the treatment bed: The therapist will ask you to take your robe off and cover yourself with a towel when getting ready for the treatment. She will then step out and give you some privacy to cover yourself before entering.

This may sound like a lot to remember but it is very simple. You want your day at the spa to be relaxed and possibly take away any stress you may be feeling. By following this simple guideline, you are well on your way to getting exactly that.