The Tea House Spa and Ulcerative Colitis
I don't know about you guys, but last week was tough for me! Grad school is now in full swing, so I had lots of reading, assignments, exams, you name it. Then my car broke down and, on top of that, the rain just hadn't stopped, which made for a more dramatic backdrop to a terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad week. I had the best of intentions to write a blog post on easy ways to practice self-love, but, alas, it didn't happen. Cody and I already had plans to go out of town for his birthday, so we continued with those plans even with me in a stinky mood. Somewhere along the way to Capitola, it occurred to me that I had intended to write a post on self-love when, in reality, I was allowing myself no such thing in my current state. I wasn't hurting anyone else being in a self-pity state of mind, only me. So instead of sharing a list of self-care practices, I will get real with you and tell you how I overcame my stress and bad mood by making one key decision toward self-care.
With a promise to myself that I would be more forgiving of myself and enjoy the weekend, we headed off to begin our day of re...lax...ation. And boy, was it glorious. We began at Harbor Cafe in Santa Cruz for brunch, our absolute favorite brunch place when we're in the area. From there, we went to a much anticipated place that I can't wait to share with you.
The Tea House Spa in Santa Cruz is such a hidden gem and well worth the 30 minute drive from the South San Francisco Bay. Cody has an affinity for hot tubs, so this was naturally his first pick for relaxation and birthday celebration, and I am so pleased with his pick. Our private room came with a hot tub, sauna, and complimentary hot tea. Because it was Valentine's weekend, we received roses and chocolates as well.
After a week of going non-stop (combined with a lack of stress alleviation on my part), I could feel the worries and stress just melt away as I sank into the hot tub that overlooked a serene bamboo garden. Complimentary hot tea of your choice is provided for you, so you can sip as you much as you would like while listening to ambient music. In addition to the hot tub, our private room included a sauna as well. Because we were so entranced by the hot tub, we didn't spend as much time in the sauna, but it was a soothing way to end the session.
Taking the time to treat ourselves to pure relaxation allowed us to be fully present and stress-free the remainder of our trip to Capitola. Knowing that stress is a direct cause of Ulcerative Colitis flare ups for me, self-care and stress management allows me to hit the reset button on my stress level and control my health. The gut controls our overall health; when our gut is healthy, we are healthy. If our gut is inflamed and abused for an extended period of time with stress and poor lifestyle habits, it will begin to show in our overall health. So whether you meditate, practice yoga, take a walk, practice deep breathing, or treat yourself to a private hot tub session, make sure you find time to take care of yourself and reduce your stress. Your gut will thank you!