[Guest post from our friends at MakeSpace!]

The irony of stress is that we never quite have the time to alleviate said stress. You know you should take 30 minutes to write in your journal, or to practice yoga. And yet there never seems to be that extra half hour in the day.  

But there’s logic behind the famous Zen saying, “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”  

The same concept applies to self care. You know those days when you’re at your busiest, your most stressed, and all-around tapped out?

That’s when it’s most important to find time for yourself. When you’re stressed, your body – and especially your skin – suffers.  

Although you can’t prevent stressful events from happening, you can build habits to keep them from disrupting your life. One solution: Treat yourself to a spa-like bathroom.

Simply follow these eight simple steps from MakeSpace, which offers affordable full-service storage in Brooklyn, the rest of NYC, Chicago, LA, and Washington, DC

And after you’ve completed your very own stress-busting, bathroom-like spa? Carve out some time to enjoy it!

  1. Organize any visual clutter


via Alice and Lois

Clutter is more than just a nuisance that makes your floss fall every time you open your medicine cabinet.  

Clutter causes a slew of deeper issues, including stress. Which is exactly what you want to keep out of your new, relaxing spa.  

So now’s your chance to nix any clutter culprits. Think empty, miniature samples you snagged from hotel rooms. Or the bottles of mousse that promised dreamy beach waves, but instead singed your scalp.

Not sure what to do with all those half-used tubes?

My Zero Waste recommends passing them onto friends, donation centers, or doing your best to repurpose them at home. If the containers are made of glass, recycle them. According to the Glass Packaging Institute, glass containers can go from your recycling bin to a store shelf in as little as 30 days.

Then, find a system for organizing the products you do keep. It could be a matter of installing a floating shelf, or tossing them into a basket. 

Remember: The more cramped your quarters, the more impact each product has on the overall aesthetic.

Hide toilet paper in a discreet container, like the Yamazaki Home Plate Toilet Paper Stocker. House smaller less-needed toiletries in some acrylic stackable drawer organizers, or in another woven basket.

On the other hand, indulgent items with prettier labels and packaging look fantastic when left on display. Maybe the Ultimate Luxurious Spa Gift Set to grace your snazzy new TP shelf?

  1. Upgrade your showerhead


via Going Zero Waste

You might not have an actual masseuse in your new spa, but you’ll hardly notice if you snazz your showerhead up enough.

This simple swap is the renovation to choose if you’re looking for a reversible upgrade. Typical replacements range from $25 to $100, so you can select one according to your budget and waterfall preference.

Apartment Therapy has a step-by-step guide to installing your new showerhead. For the best overall experience, The Wirecutter recommended the Delta In2ition 58480. For a less expensive option, there’s also the Delta 75152.

You might find it beneficial to install a water filter in your showerhead, too. Wellness Mama shares 5 reasons to use a shower filter and also recommends her top picks.

Pro Tip: Hang a bundle of eucalyptus to your shower head, position it close to the wall, and secure the bundle with baker’s twine. The shower steam brings out a healthy dose of natural anti-inflammatory aromatherapy.  

  1. Incorporate spa-like colors


via Lemon Thistle

Even if you can't paint your whole bathroom, you can still work spa-like colors into your surroundings.

According to HuffPost's article about stress-reducing colors, soft blues and gray blues are the most calming colors. Add swaths of these soothing shades with larger items like towels or your shower curtain.   

Strategically placing a mirror may even double the effect of each item.

  1. Invest in spa-like accessories  


via The Merry Thought

What’s a spa without accessories? If you have the budget, treat yourself to some pamper-worthy goodies.

Think of your favorite items from spas you’ve visited. Was it the cedar floor? Replicate one with a Zen-like bamboo bath mat.

Or maybe you enjoy the peshtemals from Turkish baths. Pick up similar, authentic, and responsibly-handwoven towels online at our friends, Coyuchi.

If you have enough natural light, go for greenery. Here are the best plants for bathrooms and 13 creative DIY hanging planters, according to the plant experts at The Sill.  

Or keep it simple: Place a wooden bath caddy on top of your bathtub, and prop your favorite beverage plus a relaxing read or music player.

  1. Soften the lights


via Angela Marie Made

Spas are usually graced with soft, relaxing lighting.

Bathrooms? Not so much.

The ideal solution here would be a dimmer switch. But if you’re a renter, or simply don’t want to DIY, Elle Decor recommends using alternative lighting.

Think sconces or hanging pendants. Or plug in a Himalayan salt lamp that purifies the air, reduces harmful electromagnetic radiation, and more.

  1. Get lit with candles

Speaking of light, the original source of it may also just be the healthiest. We’re talking fire – specifically candles.

Invest in relaxing, all-natural numbers. According to Entrepreneur, scents like lavender reduce nervous tension, whereas peppermint boosts energy.

Whenever possible, opt for natural ingredients such a soy.


  1. Enjoy a long soak

You did it! You created the perfect exclusive oasis to tend to your skin (and soul). Your spa regimen will, of course, depend on your personal needs.

If you’re combatting stress (who isn’t these days?), these Recover Indulgent Bath Soaking Salts provide the perfect relief.

Or maybe you’re looking to unwind from the hustle and bustle of your daily grind. In that case, detox salts have your back… and the rest of your body.

  1. Top your time off with all-natural goods

Right after bathing is the best time to moisturize because that’s when your body locks in the most moisture. So slather up on body oils before getting dressed.

Then make sure you smell as good as you feel. Even the most sensitive of pits flourish with this aluminum-free deodorant cream.

And while you’re at it, refresh your clothes, shoes, and hands with The Spray. Because you never know when bacteria, insects, or plain old stress may come your way.