While the adult colouring-book trend finally seems to have died down, the problem still remains: what other options do busy city people have to de-stress and find zen? A spa session is always welcome, but not just your standard kind. “In today’s fast-paced and technologycharged society, the new norm is always to be connected. This constant distraction interrupts focus, concentration and social settings, where we need to have a healthier balance in our daily lives,” explains Karen Aleksich, spa director at the Mandarin Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong.
And while three-hour spa journeys are great for the body, what we really need is an escape for the mind. Enter Mandarin Spa’s Digital Wellness Escape, which starts with a foot steam using ancient shungite stones, thought to absorb negative energy, anxiety and depression. During this, guests have access to all sorts of tactile fun, whether it’s playing with toys such as Play-Doh or Slinkys or Rubik’s Cubes (though arguably, that last one might get you more stressed than before), or mixing organic face-mask ingredients to be used later on in the treatment: there are oatmeal-yogurt, hydrating chocolate or detoxifying mocha options. The massage that follows concentrates on eyes, head, neck, shoulders and back – in other words, all the parts most affected by excessive use of desktop or mobile devices.
Don’t worry if you did want a crack at that colouring book. Before or after the treatment, guests can do some journaling or colouring in the relaxation lounge. “Our Digital Wellness Escape was designed to remove you from these digital confines and to allow for creativity and relaxation in a more autonomous, organic form. Small activities, such as blending the mask, colouring, playing with puzzles or sculpting with Play-Doh, bring us relaxation on a different level. Combining these activities with a holistic hands-on massage can help reconnect our mind, body and spirit. We need to find this balance, as individuals, as families and as communities,” Aleksich says.