As we set ourselves up for a new year, it’s a good time to turn inward, take inventory, and ask ourselves what we need to succeed. The holidays tend to be about giving to others – energy, gifts, time, space, food and drink– which has the potential to leave us feeling a little stressed, tired, and overstimulated.
We’re here to remind you you are entitled to rest, to take a break, to recharge and care for yourself in whatever way you feel called to. Maybe you need some quiet reflection time, maybe a massage, maybe some time in nature, maybe a new habit, maybe a new hairstyle. Whatever it is you may need, we’ll take you through some self care and wellness-focused resources throughout Portland, Maine.
For a full body and mind reset, Float Harder Relaxation Center is a great choice.
Nearly everyone can reap the benefits of floating and there are different float systems ranging from float pods and pools to whole float rooms to match your needs. Each tank contains over one thousand pounds of Epsom salt and about a foot of water, resulting in effortless flotation. Floating is an incredible tool for relaxation, pain management, recovery, and more. How, you ask? Floating helps reduce the force of gravity on our bodies, reducing pressure on joints and muscles. Floating also dampens our senses as ears are submerged and you can opt for full darkness and silence once your float has begun, with access to controls from inside the pod. The temperature of the air and water are designed to match skin temperature, creating the feeling of not quite knowing where your body ends and where the water begins. Sounds pretty dreamy, right?
If a full body soak isn’t for you, then perhaps just a foot soak is the stress melting solution for you. At Soakology you can “soak, steep and renew”.
When you arrive, you’ll choose the soak solution to best suit your needs or mood on that given day. Slippers, robes, and warmed neck wraps are available to all guests entering the SpaLounge. Sink into your plush armchair, and unwind while you sip a cup of tea and soak the stress away. For ultimate relaxation, we recommend sipping a Signature Hot Toddy while enjoying a Maine Forest soak, woodsy and detoxifying with eucalyptus and rosemary. You’ll be feeling zen-ed out in no time.
If it’s a private self care experience you’re looking for, a day spa might be for you. The Portland Regency Hotel is home to a full-service spa, designed to provide a relaxing sanctuary and quiet escape from the stressors of everyday life.
The spa offers seven treatment rooms and an extensive menu of massages, facials, and body wraps. We’d be remiss to not recommend the super nourishing and hydrating Blushing Agave & HB massage. It starts with a full body dry exfoliation, followed by a deep massage with coconut milk and cherry sunflower seed oil, and finally feet and hands are coated with a golden honey butter serum and cocooned in hot towels for ultimate absorption. If you really want to luxuriate, clear your day and stick around after your treatments to enjoy the complimentary jacuzzi, saunas, and steam room.
Another aquatic hub for self care is the Washington Baths, a public sauna and bathhouse on Washington Ave.
Scandinavian inspired, you’ll notice the grounding, no nonsense construction of raw wood and concrete. Washington Baths is home to two wood-fired and gas-fired saunas that can be scheduled gender specific, or for co-ed use. There’s a lovely open air courtyard with both a cold-plunge pool and hot soaking pool. Indoors, guests can read, snack, sleep, relax and socialize (except on Fridays, silence is observed) in the lounge. Additionally there are men’s and women’s areas, with separate lockers and showers for each. The bathhouse operates “first come, first served”, if you show up and there isn’t space you’ll be added to a waitlist which typically isn’t very long. Grab a friend and head to Washington Ave to find your peace.
If you need a little bit of everything, set up a customized appointment at Health Resonates, a boutique wellness spa in Portland’s West End. They’ve got you covered from head to toe with beauty + wellness services including massage therapy, holistic skincare, LED therapy, microcurrent treatments, aromatherapy foot soaks, and more. The women-owned business promises top-quality and results-driven treatments that will transport your mind and body into a state of zen.
For some man-centric self care, head to Momentum Barbershop on Exchange street. Jay Dodge and his team set out on a mission to bring cleaner cuts, better service, and high reliability to men’s grooming in Portland. Whether you’re looking for a bald fade, a men’s regular or a hot shave; they’ve got you covered.
Sometimes a self care pick-me-up can be as simple as a blow out, or new hairstyle. At Eunoia, stylists take a mindful approach to beauty, creating lived-in hairstyles and color that enhance clients natural beauty and confidence.
The focus at Euonia is on nourishing mind and body; they believe and instill in their clients the power of beautiful thoughts and how they change your perception and attitude. Hair stylists have always felt a little bit like therapists, are we right?
A signature (or deluxe, or premium) manicure and pedicure is a lovely way to pamper yourself and give yourself some TLC. At H&E Paint Bar, voted Portland’s Best Nail Salon of 2022, you’ll be well taken care of every step of the way.
Upon arrival you can expect a chic, inviting space, a complimentary beverage (think: mimosa, prosecco, white or red wine, coffee or tea), high quality products as well as friendly and knowledgeable staff. The Deluxe combo includes nail shaping, buffing, and a warm water cuticle soak with milk and honey followed by an exfoliating warm sugar scrub, hot stone massage, and hot towel wrap. Can you say blissed out?
If you discover solace through movement, then yoga and barre could be the ideal self-care avenue for you.
Nestled on Forest Avenue, Portland Yoga Project extends a diverse range of practices including Vinyasa, Gentle Flow, Barre, Yin Yoga, and more, catering to seasoned practitioners and newcomers alike. Committed to fostering movement and enlightenment for the greater good of the community, the Portland Yoga Project team places a premium on promoting the harmony and awareness of individual bodies, all while upholding the rich heritage and traditions that have been impacted by Western profit-centric practices.
Engaging in yoga can facilitate the transition away from auto-pilot mode, directing our focus towards the present moment and nurturing mindfulness.
The Drip Bar aims to enhance immunity, reduce signs of aging, and boost energy in a spa like environment.
IV drip therapy is the fastest way to deliver nutrients and vitamins throughout the body. There’s something for everyone’s unique health needs, whether you’re healthy and want to remain that way, you’re not feeling your best and looking for a boost, or if you’re dealing with chronic pain and seeking a more holistic solution. Our personal favorite is the Soother, which aims to reduce stress and muscle tension, featuring Vitamin C, Magnesium, B12 and B-Complex.
If you desire self care in plant form, visit Fire on Fore, a 100% local and independent marijuana storefront in the Old Port.
The recreational dispensary carries a wide range of high-quality THC and CBD products. Think flower, prerolls, edibles, vape pens, concentrates, and more. You won’t want to miss the daily deals like Wake-n-Bake Wednesday (10% off everything from open until 2 pm) and Sativa Saturday (10% off all sativa products). Grab your favorite product, sit back, and relax!
Made in Maine and crafted for you, Jar Cannabis Co. has everything you need for a high-quality, relaxing experience.
Founded by two of the state’s earliest medical marijuana caregivers, JarCo boasts experience and expertise in providing customers with pure, effective, and consistent cannabis products. JarCo strives to offer a diverse selection of strains, often locally sourced. Check them out on Exchange St. to stock up on anything and everything you need for mind and body relaxation.
If you prefer to lean into the esoteric, pay Arcana, a hub for healing arts, a visit.
Arcana is a one-stop-shop for all things metaphysical- think: energy work, yoga, gifts, stones, jewelry, and tarot. Arcana is home to practitioners of Reiki, polarity, Ayurveda, Acupressure, bodywork, cranial sacral therapy, reflexology, crystal bodywork and more. Energy work is unique in the way that it helps create Flow in our bodies, and in our lives. When we create more Flow, we clear energy blockages which might be holding individuals back both physically and emotionally. If energy work is something you feel called to, Arcana offers reiki training and yoga teacher training as well.
A community oriented, fun physical practice of caring for the body and mind could be rock climbing. At EVO Rock + Fitness they believe everyone has untapped potential inside of them, it’s only a matter of discovering it.
Beginners can enroll in “Learn the Ropes”, an intro class covering all the groundwork you need to know to start rock climbing on your own. Beginners also have the option to start on lower bouldering rocks (short enough to not require use of rope or harness) while they build skill and strength. Other offerings at EVO are fitness and yoga classes, youth programs, and a place to find community.
Community and camaraderie are integral parts of being a rock climber, and EVO celebrates that fact, hosting social events for the community of climbers throughout the year. Community and connection can do so much for the mind and soul. Stop by their Warren Ave location to find yours.
If you find solace in the great outdoors, Maine is the place to be. With outdoor recreation to be had all four seasons of the year, Portland has a wealth of free(!) outdoor recreations including Portland Skatepark, an incredible resource for community engagement, a wading pool and 4 splash pads, ice skating ponds and sledding hills, and 2 dog parks.
Additionally, there are 66 parks and playgrounds, 7.5 miles of trails and 10 community gardens. Portland’s Parks and Recreation Department creates and helps maintain the quality and safety of these places in order for people to come together, to create community, to enjoy nature and to have fun.