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Going to the spa is one of my favourite self-care activities.
There’s nothing quite like lounging by the swimming pool in your favourite swimwear, a cozy robe, and slippers, completely free from the pressures of the outside world.
Normally, I tend to go to the spa with friends and we make a full day out of it. We go for a breakfast date before making our way to the spa, we book double treatment rooms to relax together, take afternoon tea together, and use our time away from all of our responsibilities to catch up.
With the right people, this can be a key part of the whole spa experience.
Sometimes however, you just need some alone time.
Solo Spa Days for Introverts with Anxiety
I am hugely introverted, 90% of the time.
If you meet me in real life, chances are I’ll be super awkward around you for a while until we get to know each other. I’ve just never felt like I’ve been able to socialise like a real human. The social anxiety part of my Mixed Anxiety Depressive Disorder doesn’t make it easy, either.
I genuinely love spending time with my friends, but as an introvert, spending time with people takes a lot of energy that I have to prepare for.
This depends on the person; I spend a lot more energy socialising with people I’ve only just met, or people who require a lot more energy to maintain appearances around than I do with people who know me well and I don’t feel will judge me based on what I say or do.
That’s why I say going to spa with friends depends on having the right people with you – for me, it’s people who don’t use up this energy, because if they do, I can’t relax.
Despite this, I’m not always great in my own company, so going to the spa alone was a new level of anxiety for me.
Would people think I’m weird for being there alone? Would people be judging me based on what I did? Would I even enjoy being there alone?
Spoiler alert – I loved it.
So if you love going to the spa but you don’t feel like you could ever go alone, read on, because I found going to the spa alone to be a whole new, enjoyable experience to add to my self-care kit.
1. You get to be completely unplugged
When I go to the spa, I always leave my phone in my locker so I can be fully disconnected from the outside world.
That’s why, whenever I write about going to the spa I always end up using stock images – because I don’t want the distraction of having my phone with me.
I’m currently trying hard to reduce the time I spend on my smartphone anyway, and going to the spa is a great opportunity for me to do that.
Not only that, but when you go to the spa with friends, you often spend that time catching up about what’s going on with your life. It’s a great opportunity to do so, don’t get me wrong – and there’s nothing like being in a super relaxing environment with nothing being in the way of conversation with a good friend.
But going alone means you don’t even have to think about what’s going off in your life, or in the real world at all. You can leave all of your stress, drama, and work at the door, and walk into the spa completely disconnected from real life.
2. You can do what you want, when you want
Going on a solo spa day means that you can completely do what you want to do.
Whether you want to spend the whole day chilling in the spa or want to splash out on a series of treatments, you don’t need to worry about what someone else wants to do.
You want an hour-long massage? Book that shit.
Want to spend an hour lounging around with a book? Do it!
Get to the spa and realise you’d love a manicure as well? Treat. Yo. Self.
You can spend as much or as little time at each part of the spa as you want, with no anxiety over asking your friends if you can move on to something else. You can get to the spa when you want, head home when you want, and live your spa day entirely on your own timings.
3. The only schedule you have to work around is yours
One of the hardest things about arranging a spa day with friends is having to work around conflicting schedules.
I’m a freelance writer so I can generally work around plans on any day, but one of my regular spa buddies works full-time, and is a synchronised swimming coach and volunteers at our local dog rescue’s events in her spare time. It can make finding free days where we can hang out for a few hours at the spa reaaally hard.
However, if you’re desperate for your spa fix, you can pick any day and time that works for you. You don’t have to worry about your friends not being able to make it to the spa on a certain day for a certain deal, because you can take advantage of it for a solo spa day!
4. You can go for hours without speaking to anyone
On my most recent solo spa day, the only people I actually spoke to were the spa staff.
I can probably count on one hand the number of sentences I spoke between getting to the spa at 12pm and leaving at 3pm.
If you’re an introvert like me and find the idea of not having to socialise with people relaxing, going to the spa alone is perfect. The only people you have to speak to is the spa staff, and even then the amount of people you speak to depends on if you have treatments booked in or buy food and drink at the spa.
If you’re at the spa alone, you can really spend some quality time with your own thoughts, a good book, or practising mindfulness and breathing exercises.
5. Show yourself some love
Quite often we can spend our lives working around other people, not enforcing our own boundaries, and generally not attending to our own needs.
Particularly for people who are parents, carers, or generally spend their days looking after and catering to other people, it’s super important to take time in your life to yourself.
I personally love going to the spa to show my body and mind some love and attention. All too often I can fall so deep into my own head that I forget to take time away from my responsibilities, so going to the spa almost forces me to just be, without any expectations of how I should act, feel, or be present.
6. Melt into a good book
If you’ve got a pile of books that you want to read that you just don’t seem to have time for, going on a solo spa day is an amazing way to conquer that mountainous pile.
I find reading super relaxing, and I’m working on incorporating more reading time into my daily routine to get away from using screens just before bed. Often though, I can find that I don’t actually give myself time to spend time reading before bed because the newest thing on Netflix/Amazon Prime Video*/YouTube takes my attention instead.
I know, so much for avoiding screens, right?
But by going to the spa, I can put my phone in my locker and lose myself in a good book. At my last spa day, I easily burned through a third of Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology* by Leah Remni, which if you love reading about cults, you’ll find fascinating. I actually forgot I had this book until I packed my Kindle for the spa, and I’m so glad I delved back into it!
7. You’re not influenced by outside opinions
If you’re an anxious empath like me, you might end up spending time at the spa worrying about whether your friend is enjoying themselves – particularly if you feel like you’ve picked up some negative body language or meanings behind their opinions of the spa.
I know what it’s like to be convinced that people aren’t telling you the truth about how they feel, even if they insist that everything’s fine.
Plus, if your friend is openly not enjoying themselves or having issues with their spa day, it can hard to separate your opinions of the spa from theirs. We all have our individual preferences on spas and what we like to do when we’re there, and also what we consider to be bad service. Even if everything is great for you, you can begin to feel like your good experience is just a fluke – where the opposite is more than likely.
By going to the spa alone, the only influence on your opinion of the spa is yours. If you have a bad experience, you can just leave without feeling like you’re dragging anyone with you, but similarly, if you’re having a great time, you don’t have to feel pressured to leave if your friend wants to go.
8. You can get expert advice on skincare
One of the worst things I hate about spas is how the consultants can push sales of the products they’ve used on to you.
Last time I had a facial – which was amazing, and I’m a little weird about people touching my face – the consultant spent a good five minutes following my treatment explaining what products she used, why she used them, their prices, and how I shouldn’t worry about the price because they last so long hun and they’re the best thing you can get for your skin, promise.
Despite that, spas are a great place to try out treatments that suit your skin type. Whether you go for a facial or a whole-body skin treatment, your consultant can help you find out what kinds of products work well for you – so you can then go home and find cheaper versions!
9. You can continue the self-care in the changing rooms
On the topic of skincare, I purposefully took my in-shower moisturiser, facial cleanser, and facial moisturiser to pamper myself as I was leaving the spa. I brought with me my favourite shampoo, conditioner, and body wash too, so I could feel right at home and bask in all the beautiful smells in the huge, waterfall shower.
After all, when you go to the spa alone, you don’t have someone else waiting on you to be ready to leave, so you’re not being hurried by any external force. You can really take your time to shower mindfully, treat your skin, and continue the relaxation as you prepare to re-enter the real world.
10. You can fit in more spa days!
I know I mentioned this earlier, but going on a solo spa day means you’re not working around the schedules of your friends and trying to find a time when everyone’s free.
This, of course, means no more skipping out on spas, hotels, or deals because they don’t suit your entire party.
No two spas are alike, and there are so many different types of spas to experience in the UK – not to mention the rest of the world!
If you’re the kind of person who loves a full, holistic spa day involving yoga, treatments, meditation, you name it – you don’t have to worry about if your friends enjoy the same thing.
You’re working entirely by your own schedule, own needs, and own loves, meaning you can take a spa day as frequently as you feel you want or need one to boost your mental health.
Plus, who doesn’t love a spa day?
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