Vacations away from home can be fun, but they aren’t always relaxing. One alternative is to design your own mini spa vacation at home — for Mother’s Day, or any day you could use a break. You don’t need to drive anywhere or spend a lot of money. All it takes is a little planning and the cooperation of your family or housemates. See below what a day of relaxation and pampering could look like.

First, choose a day when you can have your home to yourself. If you have kids, ask your partner or another trusted person to take them on an outing, or have them spend the day at a relative’s or friend’s house.

Once you’ve set the date, think about what you would like your spa day to look like, and write out a list of things to do or buy in advance. For example, you might want to prepare your meals the day before or pick up some favorite bath products.

During the week before your spa day, clean and declutter the rooms you will spend time in. The night before, lay out the things you will need and put fresh sheets on your bed. Having your home in order will make the day so much more enjoyable and relaxing.

Spa resorts know how to make even simple meals special by presenting them beautifully. You can do the same at home. Prep your coffee maker or teapot the night before and set your serving tray or table with your best dishware and a vase of fresh flowers. Then start your spa day with breakfast in bed, on the patio or anywhere else you like.

Now it’s time for a morning workout. You can follow your regular exercise program or change it up with a new routine. Not currently in the habit of exercise? Tune in to a TV exercise program and follow along or ask an active friend to recommend an online fitness video to try.

Raising your heart rate and moving your body for 30 to 40 minutes in the morning with yoga, a hip-hop workout, a stationary bike ride or other exercise will help you feel better and more energized the rest of the day. You can do it without a dedicated exercise room — all you need is enough space to stretch out your arms and legs. Just remember to drink enough water to stay hydrated.

After you’ve worked up a sweat, cool off and clean up with a relaxing shower or bath. While you’re there, enjoy some classic spa treatments.

You can exfoliate with a bath mitt and a body scrub, apply a peel-off face mask, rub a rich moisturizing conditioner into your hair, soak in the tub with a scented bath oil or give yourself a manicure-pedicure. Choose the treatments that will make you feel the best. Dry off with your fluffiest towels and have a clean robe and slippers waiting.

They say nature is the best healer, and you’ll want to spend some time outdoors today. Before the sun gets too hot, take a stroll in your garden or other nearby place where there’s greenery and flowers. Breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun on your skin (remember to wear a hat and sunscreen) and listen to the birds, the breezes and the world outside.

Your midday meal should be easy to put together. For a true spa lunch, go with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains, and avoid refined starches and sweets. Have you been drinking enough water today? Fill a pitcher with ice, water and slices of lemon or cucumber, and keep it and a tall glass near you the rest of the day.

A spa day should include some downtime for resting, reading, meditating and daydreaming. After lunch is a good time to recharge. If you have a shaded lounge area outside, you can take a siesta outdoors. Or if you’d rather stay inside, you can kick back on the couch, preferably with a view to the outdoors and a window you can leave open to let in fresh air.

Enjoy the day!

See latest COVID-19 updates on government website www.sacoronavirus.co.za.