Anyone else feeling new things they didn’t expect to feel after the initial feeling of excitement as we left lockdown passed? A weird set of emotions (I’m calling it the Lockdown Hangover) has over-taken my previous elation, and whilst I’m delighted that things have opened up again, I’m also experiencing other….. unexpected things. Not least an unacceptable amount of separation anxiety whenever I leave my sofa. Not just emotional things, though – there are some very well documented side effects from all-but a year of stay-at-home orders. Weight gain, fluid retention, back pain from hastily arranged ‘home offices’…. The list goes on.
The new pressure to be living my best life by taking full advantage of all the re-openings has left me almost fondly remembering the boundaries and lack of choice that came with lockdown. Now that we can be sociable again, it can be hard to remember that we don’t HAVE to be sociable all the time. So remember: self-care is for life, not just for lockdown. These are the treatments I’ve had to help the transition and cope with the Lockdown Hangover.
Medical pedicure with Margarett Dabbs
You know how facials moved circa 2014 from the traditional massage-lead techniques to more results-driven treatments? Well, if this was for your face it would be the latter. Somewhere between a regular pedi and a doctor’s appointment, the signature MD technique is performed by a fully qualified Podiatrist and is hella thorough. We started with a full inspection of my feet, including things like flexibility and range of movement. Which is something I had literally never even thought about before. Feet aren’t really something we chat to our friends about, so I think the general consensus is that whatever you have going on down there must be the same as everyone else. Au contraire – I was told I have limited flexibility but good strength, both of which can impact things like running. After the inspection, the real magic happens. My feet were have had a new lease of life and this may sound weird but I literally feel like every running stride is now more grounded and efficient.
Lymphatic drainage massage with Ana Trida
Getting back to bars and restaurants means the addition of extra toxins, which puts extra strain on the body’s lymphatic system, so I booked a lymphatic drainage massage with Ana Trida. And tbh if I could only ever have one treatment for the rest of my life, it might well be this one. In a rarely found equilibrium, the treatment is in equal measures relaxing and effective – I saw an immediate contouring effect on my abdomen.
Ana starts with a very gentle massage of your lymph nodes, to stimulate them. Next step is manually draining excess fluid from your limbs using various massage techniques, helping promote the flow of any toxins towards your lymph nodes, from which your body can excrete them.
The benefits of a lymphatic system working at optimal capacity are huge. Aside from the more obvious aesthetic benefits – reduction in swelling and water weight, contouring and toning etc – a lymphatic drainage treatment can help boost just about every system in the body. Metabolism, immunity, circulation, digestion… the list goes on. LD has also been hailed as a treatment for conditions ranging from Rhyematroid Arthritis to chronic fatigue syndrome. The best way I can describe the results would be localised deflation, which has proven to me just how significant water weight can be, and how much our bodies can be holding onto.
Sports Massage with Secret Spa
Gyms are open again, which is the best news I’ve heard in a long time. I was working out regularly over lockdown, but getting back to my f45 classes has removed all doubt that I do NOT work out as hard at home. Getting back to fitness has been a strugg, and the resurgence of DOMs has been an unwelcome side effect. Enter Secret Spa. Their sports massage deeply manipulates soft tissue, relieving pain slash stiffness, inflammation, and swelling. Use my code OLIVIACOX for £15 off your first booking.
Facial with Dr Stefanie Williams at Eudelo
The best thing about my consultation and facial with Dr Stefanie was the absolute removal of guess work. You see, my pet hate is being asked what I want out of a facial, or in fact being given any sort of choice to make. Of any kind. What. So. Ever. And don’t get me started on facial ‘menus’ – I’d rather let the qualified professionals assess what I need than let me freestyle. So when Dr S sat me down and began telling me about my skin and it’s needs, I knew we were off to a winning start. Dr S identified exactly what my skin is lacking through a thorough visual exam, and wrote-up a suggested skincare ritual for me to follow as homework. I left with my skin looking and feeling refreshed, hydrated and dewy af.
Hair rehab at Neville
Please don’t think I am exaggerating when I say that my hair is currently in the best condition it has ever been. Soft, shiny, and no more chronic breakage when I brush. Thanks to Flavex. Let me explain. As a blonde, it is well-documented that we struggle to maintain soft, shiny hair. Blonde hair itself is more porous than brunette, and maintenance products tend to exacerbate the issue. Products high in sulphates (a common ingredient in purple shampoo, which is used to remove brassiness between colour sessions) strip the hair of essential oils and moisture, which can lead to breakage. During lockdown, I regularly applied masks to my hair and really couldn’t figure out why it was a) perpetually dry, and b) not getting longer. So I headed back to Neville’s circa the literal moment we were released from lockdown and found the hair whisperer: Flavex. She explained to me that my hair was growing, but because it was so dry it was breaking at the ends (slash middle bits in some cases), so the actual length was never increasing. So we began an intensive course of treatments to rehab my hair. Hair – like skin – needs to be in a good place to accept the nourishment you are piling on, which is why just masking at home was making so little difference. Flavex started from scratch and built up my hair’s health step by step.