Pampering on a Budget

Being an Elon  graduate student is what it’s hyped up to be… lots of researching, projects, and reading accompanied by long and sometimes sleepless nights (especially around finals).  In addition you have to manage life outside of the classroom such as networking opportunities, family, and friends.  With all the demands of school it is easy to sometimes feel overwhelmed and stressed out. There are thousands of tips on how to stay ahead such as developing good time management skills or writing schedules and sticking to them, but what is equally important is taking care of YOU.

Pampering yourself is essential for stress management, your physical health and your emotional well-being.  The relaxation you get from positive activities triggers the relaxation response, which can ease chronic stress.  Therefore finding time to do something nice or relaxing every once in a while is important, even if you don’t have the resources to do it often.  Fortunately there are several places around Elon that can help you, and I’ve had the opportunity to visit a couple of them. The two parlors described below are two of my picks based on their prices and quality of service.  However, I’ve also had moments when I needed to relax but lacked the money to splurge. That’s when I had to be a little thrifty and do it myself.  Check out my tips below.

Day Spas and Massage Parlors

Treating yourself to the warm, experienced hands of a masseuse or to a facial, mani or pedi can be great ways to relax and release those feel-good endorphins.  You can escape from the stressful reality of grad school papers and exams while taking care of your body.   We all know graduate school can be very expensive and justifying spending money at a spa can be challenging.  However, there are places at Elon that offer great luxury-style services at affordable prices.  More importantly businesses often offer “specials” that allow students to get the same services at reduced prices.

  • iSalon located just 10 minutes from campus in Alamance Crossing is a day spa that offers a variety of services such as massages and facials.  Here at this relaxation paradise you can receive a 30-minute body massage for $45 or an hour body massage for $65.  If the price is a little too steep for you, try a “Lunch Hour” mini facial treatment for $35.  This spa is also known for the specials they offer, so always check their website for the right deal before you head in.
  • Christine Valmy is another great spa in Burlington that offers slightly better prices than its competitors.  For example, you can receive a 30-minute full body massage for $30 or an hour message for $60.  They offer manicures for just $20 and “Express Facials” for $40.  If you can afford to spend a little more money you can try their Select Package deal for $65 which includes an express facial, half hour massage, and a make-up session. Get more bang for your buck here!

There are other day spas and massage parlors located around Burlington that offer some of the same types of deals. Remember, it’s okay to indulge a little!

Do it yourself

For those of you who can’t fathom spending money at a spa or massage parlor, there are other ways to escape the stress-inducing environment of graduate school in the privacy of your own home.

  • Set up your own spa with a bathtub full of water, bubble bath, and aromatherapy candles.  To add to the ambiance try setting up some music in your bathroom; the right music can soothe you, taking you to another place far from reality. For an added touch deep condition your hair and deep cleanse your facial pores by adding a clay masque.  Lay in the tub for as long as you like, until you’re all wrinkled up from the water!  This simple treat will leave you feeling relaxed, and all you need is a tub and a bit of privacy.
  • After a nice relaxing bath, treat your skin with your favorite deep conditioning skin cream.  For ladies, polishing your toenails and fingernails can leave you feeling extra pampered.
  • Recruit the help of your significant other or buddy for a friendly massage.  Even the smallest and shortest ones can work wonders for your stress levels.  If that seems a little awkward or if you’re flying solo, try a self-massager that can make you feel just as good.

Pampering yourself can be the key to less stress during your time in graduate school, but it doesn’t mean you have to get a massage or go to a spa every week.  Simply indulging in the little things that make you happy , like a nice bath or a quick facial, can make a significant difference.   When you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, take a moment for yourself.  In the end you’ll be glad you did. To find more pampering tips and suggestions look here.

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