Learning to Relax

We had ten hours in the spa yesterday , which was a real treat . There were endless saunas, steam rooms and different shower experiences to try. I swam in the outdoor pool in between periods of lying still and relaxing. It is a rare experience these days to do so little on a day and to leave our mobile phones behind too. So we were in an oasis of calm. Relaxing music gently wafted over us in each area and you were encouraged not to speak either, which is also an unusual experience for me!

I have begun an online mindfulness course which gives me exercises to practice each week. I am only in week one but that was the perfect place to get underway as in my normal busy life, finding time to focus will be more challenging. This course will run for months and is part of a research project that I have signed up to, as a parent of a child with special needs. I am interested to see if it can change my ways of thinking.

In the spa I was able to give myself permission to relax fully , so much so that just before lunch, in a yurt wrapped up in a fleecy blanket I fell asleep long enough to dream. The crackling fire noises that were piped into the yurt, filtered into my dream! When I awoke it was time for lunch and we found that we were all really hungry, as we worked out which was the most filling dish to choose!

After lunch I sought out another quiet resting area and settled down on a warm waterbed for a siesta. I slept soundly – enough to snore so I am told- for well over an hour and woke up refreshed. I swam in their outdoor pool, loved swimming under the stars once it got dark, and I also spent a lot of time in the external hot tubs. They had special showers which recreated tropical storms, complete with a soundtrack of the jungle, which I enjoyed too.

This spa day was not a cheap experience but I’d say that we got our money’s worth by trying out everything , even if I could not tolerate the heat of some of the saunas or the ice cold plunge pool. We emerged at 7 pm with squeaky clean skin, relaxed to the point of feeling floppy and really hungry again! We struggled to find a restaurant to fit us in but finally an Italian restaurant came up trumps and we shared a delicious fondu as a starter , which was a perfect end to our day.

I like to call Joshua’s respite provision between 9 pm and 10 pm , when he’s there. That way I can go to bed more easily, knowing that he is in bed and I catch the afternoon staff before they change shifts. So last night I called while we walked back to our lodge and I spoke to his key worker who was full of stories of how Joshua spent his day. He had enjoyed a trip out to a local stately home , where they had enjoyed a guided tour and taken in the sights then had lunch, which sounded a very civilised Sunday. So all was well and despite doing very little all day, we were all exhausted and headed off for an early night. Who knew relaxing could be so tiring?

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