New Year's Resolutions to improve Metal Health and Well-being

It is without a doubt that the start of a New Year brings on thoughts of New Year's resolutions, a tradition known to many, a promise that is made to improve aspects of one's life throughout the year. But how often do these goals feature as part of the "Top 10 New Year's Resolution lists" including; exercise more, lose weight or learn a new skill and generally are forgotten toward the first week of February? 

How about we change our views on this completely and allow a chance to begin the year with a healthy mind-set and ways to improve your wellbeing over the course of 2021.

Here are a few ways that you can focus on your mental health and overall well-being from today:

Commit to Kinder Self-Talk

When last did you take a step back from your busy lifestyle and acknowledge the way your inner voice is speaking to you? We all know the voice that follows us on our daily expeditions, constantly narrating throughout the day and commenting on the happenings around us.

Naturally, our default tone of self-talk is critical and judgmental of our mistakes but stop and take a moment to recognize what is cluttering your thoughts. Instead, become your biggest cheerleader, reframe your thoughts to be kinder and more compassionate.

Practise Self-Care

It is so easy to focus your energy on those around you at the expense of your own needs but taking just a few minutes to replenish yourself can be highly beneficial to your own wellbeing. Start by planning time for yourself as often as possible. Just a few minutes of doing something that you love can help you recharge i.e. enjoy a relaxing bath, read a book, listen to your favourite music.

Self-Care Tip: Mowana Spa offers a Me Time Indulge Pamper Journey for this very purpose. Relax in the tranquil environment of the spa to relax, revive and rejuvenate. 

Practice a Morning & Evening Routine

For some, the thought of a strict routine can bring on fears that the pure repetition of tasks can become boring and obstructive. But here's the truth: routine is there to help us, not hinder us. Studies show that routine is essential for self-care, overall productivity and making time for things that matter. Set routines have shown to reduce stress and alleviate symptoms of anxiety. 

Take a Social Media break

Social media has boomed by connecting us in so many ways to the world around us – news, family and friends. However, with increased use, social media has the potential to have a negative effect on our mental health. As a way of kicking off the New Year, try logging out of your accounts and assess how this impacts your general mood, stress, anxiety levels and overall wellbeing. You may also find quality time to spend with friends and family or enjoy more of your leisure time without the need for continuous scrolling.

Did you know? Indaba Hotel features an impressive high speed WIFI connection to all its guests but has been restricted around Mowana Spa to aid your digital detox and take a "time out" from the hustle and bustle of the world around you.

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Spa at Home: Try at-home Spa Treatments


The first step to enjoying a 'Spa at Home' is creating a blissful spa-like oasis. If you missed these ideas, read this blog here. The second (and of course the most exciting) is treating your skin to rejuvenating and softening spa-like treatments in the comfort of your own home.  

The most important thing you can do is plan ahead. You wouldn't want to start the perfect at-home facial and realize you've run out of cotton wool so make a list and shop beforehand. If you're planning a whole day pamper – remember a few treats like healthy snacks and of course a glass of bubble to make it feel a lot more spa-like.

Top Tips for an enjoyable at home spa day:

  • Try easy treatments which you can do yourself
  • Logically order treatments. You wouldn't want to smudge your perfectly manicured nails with a body scrub
  • Remember to add items to create a serene spa-like environment, for instance, slippers, fluffy towels, scented candles and your spa playlist
  • Re-hydrate while you spa – it'll help achieve that healthy glow
  •  Allocate time to relax – put down your laptop and smartphone and allow yourself to completly escape and distress

Here's a few of our favourite treatments which you can easily try at home with ingredients you most likely already have in your grocery cupboard.


A DIY Facial is much more do-able than it seems. Start by cleansing your skin. We promised grocery cupboard items so if you are daring to give this a go, all you need is cotton wool and a little olive oil to remove makeup and dirt effortlessly.

Next you'll need to exfoliate. You'll need 2 tbsp sea salt, ½ tsp coconut oil or olive oil and ½ tsp of contents of a green tea bag. Mix all the ingredients together and gently rub on your face in circular motions avoiding the sensitive eye area. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry with a clean towel.

Purify pores by steaming your skin. Hold your face over a bowl of steamy water for 10 minutes to open pores and encourage impurities to surface. Follow this with a nourishing face mask. Mix ½ tbsp honey, ½ tbsp brown sugar, and 1 tsp lemon juice in a bowl. Gently rub onto skin and lips in a circular motion. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before rinsing off with cool water. This mask is hydrating, rich in antioxidants, antibacterial, exfoliates and brightens the skin.

End your facial and get your natural glow back by applying a generous amount of your favourite moisturiser and gently massaging into your skin.

Manicure and Pedicure

Did you know that your feet contain vital nerves that aid the functioning of the entire body? Caring for your feet just became an essential daily routine.

There is nothing quite as heavenly as a pampering manicure or pedicure and we're here to explain the easy steps you can follow at home. It may not be quite the same as getting this done professionally at The Retreat Pedi Lounge - who doesn't love the rainbow of nail polishes to choose from?

But if you're still after a DIY at-home manicure or pedicure, you'll need the following items:

acetone, cotton wool, pumice stone (pedicure), loofah, nail file, cuticle pusher, moisturising cream, nail clipper, soap, lemon slices, a tub of hot water, honey, towels, nail varnish and for that extra zing, some fresh flowers.

  • Clean your nails with acetone, cut and shape them to your preferred length
  • Massage a little cream or honey on the nails and soak in your tub of hot soapy water (add the lemon slices and flowers – you'll feel like a queen!)
  • Once your nails and skin have softened, clean the nails using the nail brush (dislodge dead skin on your heels with the pumice stone if doing a pedicure)
  • Pat hands or feet dry and clean nails gently with a cuticle pusher
  • Use the loofah to smooth away any dead skin
  • Mix 2 tsp of honey and moisturising cream and massage well into the skin
  • Wipe gently with a hot towel and varnish in a colour of your choice

Body Scrub

Exfoliation is a great way to keep your skin looking healthy and glowing. Not only does it remove the layer of dead skin cells that robs us of looking radiant, it also improves the efficiency of topical treatments where moisturisers will penetrate more deeply instead of sitting on the skins surface.

A body scrub is the best way to achieve this exfoliation and we've got a few recipes to try with ingredients you already have in your pantry.

It is generally safe to exfoliate 2 – 3 times a week as too often will leave your skin dry, sensitive and irritated.

  • Coffee Scrub. To help diminish the appearance of cellulite. Mix ½ cup coffee grounds, 2 tbsp hot water and 1 tbsp warmed coconut oil.
  • Green Tea Brown Sugar Scrub. Brown Sugar is an ideal ingredient for sensitive skin as it is gentler than Sea Salt and Epsom Salt. Green Tea is rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Add 2 teabags green tea to ½ cup hot water and steep until the water has completely cooled. Add 1 cup brown sugar, ¼ cup coconut oil to the green tea
  • Sea Salt Scrub. Has antibacterial properties that can be helpful for some skin conditions. Mix ½ cup ground sea salt (coarse sea salt can be too harsh on your skin), ½ cup coconut oil and essential oils (optional)
  • Honey Sugar Scrub. Research shows that honey has antibacterial properties. Honey also has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that may help a variety of skin conditions. Mix ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup heated coconut oil and 2 tbsp honey

DIY Bath Fizzies

Matsimela Fizzballs are of the most popular items sold at the Mowana Retail Store as it's the ideal take-home item to effortlessly create a spa experience at home. We just love the range of scents available and how luxurious they make bath time. If you've never tried them, we highly recommend them, as they're a great way to relax in the tub after a long day.

Well, you may by now be out of stock so here's an easy recipe to make these at-home – we can't promise the same effect as the Matismela range but they'll do just fine to see you through until we reopen for sales.

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ½ cup citric acid
  • ½ cup sea salt or epsom salt
  • ¾ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp oil of choice (olive oil, coconut oil)
  • 2 tsp witch hazel (or water) plus a little more if needed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or more water)
  • 30-40 drops of essential oils or powdered dried herbs

Mix oil and essential oils into baking soda and stir well. Add all other dry ingredients and mix well. Spritz the witch hazel and vanilla extract over the mixture slowly and mix well with hands. Do this until mixture will just hold together when squeezed without crumbling. Press mixture firmly into a mold or container of your choice. Leave at least 24 hours or until hardened (mixture will expand a little during this time and you can press it down into the molds while it is drying to keep it from expanding too much). When dry, remove and store in airtight container or bag. Use within 2 weeks. 

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Spa at Home: Turn your Home into a Spa-like Oasis


Spa at Home: Turn your Home into a Spa-like Oasis

The minute you walk into Mowana Spa, your senses are treated to a wave of calm. All elements from the wall colour, décor, the scent in the air and sounds are purposefully thought-out to give you a multi-sensory experience.

If you're in need of me-time but the stress of knowing that your favourite spa sanctuary is still closed, don't worry! We've put together a few tips on how to recreate a little piece of paradise in your own home until we're able to welcome you back to the real deal. 

Looking after your physical and mental wellbeing is of utmost importance, especially during these trying times, so make sure you set aside a few minutes daily to "spa at home". You can create spa experiences with your fellow housemates, partner or alone. 

Create a Sanctuary

Find a space which you would like to dedicate as your "spa at home" – this may be your bathroom, bedroom or home office. Any place you can shut the door and escape for a few minutes will do just fine. Now decorate. Add cushions, scented candles, luxurious bath robes, a pile of wellness magazines and gorgeously scented products. Nothing is stopping you from going the extra mile by adding champagne on ice.

Cosy Gown

A fluffy gown and comfortable slippers scream, "spa day" and is of course an essential part of slipping into complete relaxation. 

Aromatherapy Candles

Not only do they create an ambiance of calmness, warmth and relaxation but their scents are specifically formulated to inspire the mood you crave. Scented candles that use quality essential oils can promote relaxation, reduce anxiety and stress and induce quality sleep.

Bring elements of nature inside

Fill your space with natural elements and organic textures of wood, stone and add live plants to freshen the air. Even adding prints of nature will add to the idea of bringing the outdoors inside.

Soothing Sounds

Ever wonder what sets the tone of a spa day? Soothing nature and instrumental sounds instantly puts your mind at ease because these soft and repetitive tunes is something you easily zone out to. Source a spa playlist and prepare to relax.

You can easily try DIY treatments like a facial, manicure, pedicure, body scrub and bath fizzies. Keep a look out for our next blog for at-home treatment recipes and tips.

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Spa for Self-Care

Self-Care. A word that seems to be an overused statement but what does this actually mean? Is there more to it than simply taking care of yourself? In fact, it plays an essential role in mental and physical wellbeing, taking responsibility for one's own health. It is to feel good about life without harsh diets, strenuous exercise routines and being overly critical on your daily routines.

Self-care activities include any form of activity that has a positive impact on your well-being, for instance, making healthy meals, relaxing, immersing yourself in a good book, being mindful, getting creative, going for a walk or catching up with friends and family. 

You shouldn't feel pressured to take on a new routine of self-care all at once, starting with just a few changes can make all the difference and start expanding from there. It's all about cultivating a caring attitude towards yourself.

A spa retreat is a great way to start your relaxation process and assists with clearing your mind to improve these specific areas of your life where you need to inject positivity, health and a sense of well-being.

Here are a few easy acts of self-care which you can start today:

Improve your Sleep Routine

De-clutter your bedroom. Make it a peaceful sanctuary but turning off bright lights and screens. Spray a soothing pillow mist or calming room spray. Visit our Mowana Retail Shop for a range of bespoke scented products – we love the Greenleaf Spa Rituals range.

Take a self-care trip

The saying goes, "change is as good as a holiday" – what is even better is if this scenic change comes in the form of a wellness aimed weekend away. Browse through Mowana Spa's range of nurturing Spa & Stay Pamper Journeys for a relaxing getaway.

Enjoy the outdoors

Studies show that mindful walking through outdoor spaces can drastically reduce stress levels. Mowana Spa's gardens have been designed with this in mind, giving you a tranquil bushveld garden backdrop to enjoy a massage while listening to real birdsong and inhaling the scents of surrounding trees.


Meditation is shown to have many health benefits, and one being to boost happiness. As the brain does not distinguish between an imagined event and a real one, the experience you have with a guided meditation is just like having a real experience. Share the effects of meditation with your friends or colleagues by booking a Guided Meditation & Spa Interactive Package (minimum of 10 people) to mindfully enjoy a relaxing nature-based treatment

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Set in the tranquil bushveld gardens of the Indaba Hotel in Fourways, Sandton; the Mowana Spa is a wellness sanctuary which will revive your senses, rejuvenate your body and soothe your soul. The Mowana Spa, which takes its name from the majestic Baobab Tree of African Lore and Legend, offers wellness journeys based on Tribal Massage in keeping with the healing spirit of the “Tree of Life”.

Phone: +27 (0) 11 840 6780

William Nicol Drive & Pieter Wenning Road Fourways

Review Indaba Hotel and Conference Centre

Mowana Spa Hidden Gems Certificate

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