Start a Year of Wellness - The Spa Expert's Advice

Davina Hassell, Spa Manager at the luxury Macdonald Craxton Wood Hotel & Spa in Cheshire who is used to seeing lots of frazzled guests during and after the Christmas period, gives her wellness advice on how to make 2018 your year of wellness and how to give yourself the best start.

Stress Less

With Christmas being a particularly stressful time, January is a great time to start a new stress-free lifestyle. Stress not only affects your enjoyment of the festive season, it can also wreak havoc on your waistline well into the New Year. Stress can interfere with the balance of good bacteria in the gut, leading to bloating, and research also suggests that stress can lead to increased storage of fat around the middle. Employ some relaxation techniques this month, such as deep breathing, meditation or the use of calming essential oils.


Be Active Everyday

You may not think cleaning and clearing up your house is a particularly strenuous task, but boy does it burn those calories! Running up and down the stairs, moving toys and having a general clear out in the New Year definitely plays its part in the Christmas calorie burn off. Stay active like this for an hour and could burn around 350 calories. That’s the equivalent to burning off a mince pie with some cream.


Go Dry or Your Skin Might!

Although you may like sipping a tasty mojito or cosmopolitan, your skin doesn’t. Alcohol dehydrates you and can leave your skin dry, grey and dull. To restore your skin’s glow following a few months of overindulgence, your moisturizer won’t be enough. Instead invest in some cleansing milks that contain hyaluronic acid. You could also apply a brightening face mask; look for ones that contain alpha-hydroxy acids, as this natural acid helps to destroy dead skin skills, firm up skin and moisturize. Try Pro Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream from Elemis for amazing results. £95 for 50ml.


Detox Daily

Your lymphatic system is your body’s waste removal system, it requires movement to eliminate the toxins your body is constantly processing – otherwise, if these toxins hang around too long they get re-absorbed into your blood stream – not nice! Exercise is a great place to start; short bursts of jumping, dancing and sprinting are the best choices but power walking also has its benefits. Other ways to move your lymphatic system include dry skin brushing, massage and relaxing in an Epsom salt bath for 10-20 minutes.


Ditch the Social Media, Feel More Sociable

I almost always feel better when I have a bit of a break from technology. The constant Facebook updates and Instagram alerts, scary world news and the uncomfortable temptation to check work emails (guilty as charged) means we end up information overloaded and disconnected from real life. Try leaving your phone upstairs when you’re at home or leave it on airplane mode when you're out with friends, and instead, enjoy some quality time with those people close to you.


Alternative Pain Relief

I swear by “Union Valley” points: Apply pressure to the web between your thumb and index finger (pinching it between your other thumb and index finger) for 10 seconds, then make small circles with your thumb in one direction, then the other for another 10 seconds. I like to do this two ways: first with my thumb on the top of my hand and my index finger on the palm side, and then reversed, with my thumb on the palm side and index finger on top. Repeat on the other hand. Firm pressure on this area releases tension from head and neck.


Relax & Rejuvenate

Needless to say, as a Regional Spa Manager I am a keen advocate of spa experiences. What better way to feel good than to take time out for yourself and visit a spa either alone or with friends/family? Take advantage of all the January detox offers. Visit to find amazing spa day deals and overnight stays.


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