With the Holidays and the Recession "Over": Are Salon and Spa Visits Next?

Salons and Spas: An Indulgence During Tough Economic Times or a Bare Necessity?
Salons and Spas: An Indulgence During Tough Economic Times or a Bare Necessity?

It’s become something of a cliché that people focus on their physical health and well-being starting January 1st, suddenly moving it from the last thing on the list to the top of their agendas. The gym parking lot is once again full. Weight Watchers meetings are hopping. I’m dodging more and more runners in reflective gear as I drive in the cold, dark of night. Maybe we’re all just so exhausted from the holidays, from the overeating and the overindulgences and the general overconsumption, that we’re eager to draw a line in the sand on January 1st, and put it all behind us?

For whatever reason, the Internet is suddenly bustling this week with people interested in salons and spas and Caribbean vacations. Is it a sign that the economic recession really is nearly behind us, or just a reflection of a completely exhausted population looking for a break? It begs the question: Do people suddenly have the disposable income for luxury items like a vacation or a visit to a salon? Or, are we just so desperate for a little rest and relaxation this time of year that we’re willing to go to any expense? And what about you moms out there, specifically? Is a trip to the spa/salon a luxurious indulgence for you, or do you see it as a bare necessity, and therefore, a required expense for your own mental and physical health, especially this time of year?

I asked around, and here’s what moms I know said:

“Definitely an indulgence. Although I know it improves my mental/physical health, I feel like it is a treat to be pampered.”

“An absolutely unaffordable luxury. My mental/physical health comes from exercise and meditation – for free. The “salon” now consists of twice a year trims at the cheap barber and a few boxes of color at the store. The spa? A box of epsom salts, the bath tub and an emory board. Luxury/indulgence/relaxation is reading a library book in my bed with the heating pad. Simple living. College kids. The economy… When I get my 5 million dollars though…it’ll be a whole different story.”

“A matter of luxury and indulgence which I never partake in. If I did, I would spend the time feeling guilty which would only defeat the purpose of being there.”

“I feel like I should go for my health and sanity, but then worry about what is going on at home, feel guilty not being with my kids, and feel bad that I’ve left my husband at home with four kids.”

“I know that having some me time (in the form of spa treatment) would probably be good for everyone, but while I’m having me time, I can’t relax enough to turn down the “mom burner.”

If this small sampling is any indication of the greater population, then I think it’s safe to say: Still an overindulgence that most moms simply can’t justify. So much for the recession being over.

Photo: grietgriet, MorgueFile