No matter how much we may love the idea of spending a week beside the seaside, the sad truth is that we can’t all manage to do it. If you’re like me and longing for an ocean getaway but you just can’t get away, these ideas will help you reap all the benefits of a real beach vacation–relaxation, reconnection, and soul-nourishment–without ever leaving home!
Here are nine easy, refreshing, fun ideas:
1. Seawater is a tonic for body and soul. Make yourself a luxurious sea bath to soak in by adding a generous handful of sea-salt to your bath water. Another great bath companion is seaweed. Just throw in a big piece of kelp or dulse and rub it all over once it gets soft and slippery: healthy and delicious mineral food for your skin. Then use a big beach towel to dry yourself. Slather on some cocoa butter or coconut oil lotion.
2. Sea-air was once prescribed as a cure for many illnesses. Make a sea-salt and water steam: simply throw half a cup of seasalt into a large pot of boiling water and let the vapors roll. Breathe deeply. Exhale fully. Aaaaaaah.
3. Make a scrub that simulates the exfoliating properties of a long walk on the beach:
1 cup sand
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
10-20 drops rosemary essential oil
Just mix the sand, oil, and rosemary oil in a bowl, stirring well. Scoop out a small handful of this mixture at a time and massage into your feet, holding them over some old newspapers to catch the fallout. Rinse well.
4. Another sweet treat for your feet, that will help them feel as great as if they’d taken that barefoot beach-walk: Fill a large pan with warm water, a few tablespoons of sea-salt, and several marbles. Practice using your toes to pick them up–no hands allowed! Your feet get a relaxing soak as they recover flexibility and strength.
5. Find a tape of ocean sounds and play it while you take a little nap, or at night while you sleep. You’ll wake up refreshed!
6. Listen to a seashell. What words can you use to describe the sound? Large conch shells or nautilus shells are fascinating to look at and listen to. Spend a little time with a big shell and you may be inspired to try your hand at sketching or painting one, or writing a poem about it. Activities like these take us out of ordinary time and into a zone of creative play.
7. Play in the sand: make a small tabletop Zen sand tray garden by filling a flat box with sand and using a comb or fork to make patterns in it. Place a few special rocks in your garden, if you like, or a shell or two. Instant peaceful beach scene!
8. Take an hour simply to look at photos or paintings of ocean scenes. There is nothing like looking at sea colors to calm you and refresh your spirit. Wear the colors of the sea: blues, turquoise, sea-green, foam-white. Rent or go see a film with lots of ocean footage, like the wonderful Whale Rider or Swept Away, Winged Migration or Castaway.
9. Use a spritz bottle to ionize your air. Simply spray a little water toward the center of the room several times a day.
By Cait Johnson, author of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air (SkyLight Paths, 2003).