Turn a day at the beach into a spa experience for beauty and relaxation. Let these simple, rejuvenating outdoor rituals and DIY ocean-inspired treatments nurture your body and spirit while you bask in the sun.
Along with typical beach accessories (a towel, beach umbrella, water, healthy snacks, and plenty of sunscreen), pack the following ingredients for the day's skin and hair treatments:
A morning relaxation ritual can release stress and help you focus on the present, deepening your ocean-side experience. Choose a quiet spot at the water's edge and sit cross-legged in the sand with your hands resting lightly on your thighs.
Find a rhythm with your breath: Close your eyes and begin drawing air in deeply through your nose. Exhale with your mouth closed and your throat slightly contracted, allowing the air to reverberate against the back of your throat. On each inhalation, try to fill your lungs completely; empty them fully on each exhalation. Notice the natural rhythm of your breath, and how it mirrors the crashing of the waves.
Check in with your body: Pull your shoulders up and back. Lift your chin so that your head rests comfortably, weightlessly, atop the spine. If you notice tension in any area of your face or body, tense those muscles even more, and then relax them completely.
Practice passive listening: Notice the sounds that drift in and out of your field of awareness. Are there seagulls overhead? Children in the distance? Are the waves surging, or softly lapping at the sand? Take in the soundscape without reacting to it, allowing yourself to simply be present.
Continue for several minutes: When you feel your mind at ease and a weightlessness in your body, bring yourself back. Wiggle your fingers and toes, and open your eyes.
This indulgent skin-softening treatment uses the ingredients you've packed ahead of time. To the jar of sea salt, add six drops of sweet orange essential oil and four drops of jasmine essential oil; shake to combine. Then, in a plastic pail, combine the scented salts, a few tablespoons of the oil, and two handfuls of very wet sand. Use your hands to blend the mixture.
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Since walking doesn't take much active thought, it makes an ideal complement to meditation. This exercise, adapted from Eric Harrison's "Flip the Switch: 40 Anytime, Anywhere Meditations in 5 Minutes or Less," rounds out your beach day and re-energizes you for the trip home. Choose a route that lets you continue walking without obstacles or interruptions.
Begin with intention: Take three deep breaths and start walking with medium-length strides, gradually quickening your pace so that you're taking three to four steps on each inhalation and each exhalation.
Choose your focus: Once you're walking briskly but comfortably, set your mind on the sounds of the waves, the feel of the wind moving over your body, or visual objects such as birds, pebbles, waves, or beach umbrellas. Stay with each thought for at least 10 seconds: Thoroughly explore the details of your chosen sound, sensation, or object before moving on to a new one.
Be aware of your body: Maintain your pace and breathing. Keep your spine long, chest open, and head high; try not to lean forward or slump.
Don't focus on the time: You can walk for five minutes or 50; when you arrive at a comfortable stopping point, end your meditation practice by closing your eyes and taking three deep breaths.
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