Why All Moms Need To Spend A Day At Thermëa

Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature is a Scandinavian-style spa in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Focused around the concept of “thermotherapy,” Thermëa is a secluded getaway located in the heart of the city of Winnipeg.  Like many other spas, you can get massages, facials and other body treatments performed by licensed professionals.  But there is one thing that sets Thermëa apart from your average day spa.  It’s called The Thermal Experience.

Jess and I got the opportunity to check out Thermëa for ourselves and explore the unique benefits of this outdoor spa.  Janis, Thermëa’s marketing director, gave us an exclusive tour of The Thermal Experience, as a crowd gathered outside waiting for the spa doors to open.  Despite the spa being at maximum capacity that day, it wasn’t crowded and the mystical steam rising up over the outdoor pools provided a sense of separation from the other guests.

Read more about all the benefits of thermotherapy, and why it’s an awesome form of self care for moms.
Why All Moms Need to Spend the Day at Thermea
*This is a sponsored post meaning free passes were exchanged for an honest review. Please note that while this post does contain health and wellness information, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

Why All Moms Need to Spend the Day at Thermea Why All Moms Need to Spend the Day at Thermea


What is Thermotherapy?

Thermotherapy is a type of physical and psychological therapy powered by temperature.  Heat therapy is known to have many benefits, and has been used by medical professionals, physical therapists and athletes for decades.  The process of alternating heat and cold is known to speed up recovery in cases of muscle injury.  A rapid change in body temperature can also eliminate toxins from the body, increase blood circulation, relieve stress and strengthen the immune system. 

Thermëa offers a unique way to experience the benefits of thermotherapy. The outdoor spa is a beautiful maze of pools, saunas, steam rooms and various indoor and outdoor rest areas – all available for use with one daily pass.  The Scandinavian style of the spa, with it’s minimalist wood and stone elements, fit perfectly against the backdrop of Winnipeg’s ever-changing weather.  The bare trees and snow covered ground made it feel like a mountain-top retreat away from the noise of everyday life.

Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature
Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature

As breath-taking as the grounds of Thermëa are, they’re not just for show.  The layout is actually designed to encourage guests to follow the 3 Step Thermal Cycle.

Hot.

The first step in the thermal cycle is to heat things up. Exposing the body to heat helps to open up the pores and causes you to sweat out all the bad toxins in your body.  There are two dry saunas and two steam rooms to choose from for the heat cycle. 

The popular Finlandia dry sauna holds Aufguss rituals every hour, during which a staff member infuses the stones with ice and essential oils and then uses towels to circulate the hot air and steam around the room.  These sessions do get crowded, so make sure you get there early to choose a spot.  And keep in mind that the higher up you sit, the hotter it gets and the faster you’ll sweat it out.

Thermea Finlandia Sauna
Finlandia Sauna

The two steam rooms are located in the Vaporo building, one infused with eucalyptus, the other with orange essential oils.  The steam in the rooms is incredibly dense and as soon as you walk in the door you can feel it take over your entire body.  After a cycle in the steam room, there are scented exfoliating salts available to scrub all over your body and a shower to rinse them off.  This helps to get rid of dry skin and wash away the layer of gunk that you’ve just sweat out. 

Most importantly, remember to drink lots of water, especially after a hot cycle!  You will need to replace a lot of the fluid you’ll be sweating out.  Throughout Thermëa you will find delicious flavor infused waters, and you are encouraged to bring your own plastic refillable water bottle.  (Jess and I thought we were drinking enough water, but we didn’t, and ended up with headaches at the end of the day – so drink twice as much as you think you need!)

Thermea Infused Water
Pineapple Rosemary + Cucumber Mint Infused Water Station

Cold.

Once you’ve completed a hot cycle, you now need to expose your body to a cold temperature. This will improve your blood circulation, close up your pores, speed up your heart rate and boost your adrenaline levels.  If you’re brave enough, plunge through the Polarbër pool which is extremely cold and works really fast.  Or you can stand underneath the Icebër waterfall for a few seconds.

Thermea Polarber
Polarbër Cold Plunge

As shocking as the icy water might feel, try your best not to scream.  The main areas of Thermëa are silent, and if you missed one of the hundreds of signs that say “whisper” a staff member will gently remind you (Jess took the liberty of testing that theory out for herself).

If you’re not a fan of submerging yourself into icy cold water, the Tempër pool is comfortable but still cool.  If it’s a colder day outside, you can simply walk around or sit by one of the many fire pits instead.  The cold cycle only needs a few seconds to work, but you can literally feel your heart start pumping and the adrenaline rushing through your veins.

Thermea Temper Pool
Tempër Pool

Rest.

And finally, our favorite part of the thermal cycle – the rest cycle. Resting after exposure to heat and then cold will turn all that adrenaline into endorphins.  Increasing our endorphin levels can help relieve stress, improve our mental health and create an overall sense of calm and happiness.

Thermea Flam Outdoor Cottage
Fläm Outdoor Rest Area

The Gëser hot tub was, by far, the most popular resting spot on this cool spring day.  There are also several outdoor areas, including Fläm, a little wooden cottage with a fire pit in the middle surrounded by Adirondack chairs and cozy blankets.  One of the most unique features to relax in were the heated hammocks.  You can zip yourself right into them and take a nap or just swing and relax in complete bliss. (In fact, some people were zipped up so snugly that it was hard to tell if there was anyone in there at all – the best way to tell is to look for empty flip flops on the ground!)

Thermea Heated Hammocks
Heated Hammocks

The Relaxa relaxation chalet consisted of two different areas.  One had comfortable heated benches with tons of natural sunlight and was perfect for reading.  It even had ropes to help you get comfortable in the seats without too much effort.  The Tellura section was warm, dimly lit and stocked with heated mattresses, perfect for meditating or napping (which we totally did)! Just outside the room, you can help yourself to a variety of organic teas – supplied locally by Cornelia Bean

Thermea Rellaxa
Relaxa Heated Benches

The Restö on-site restaurant was another great place to relax while enjoying a gourmet meal made from locally sourced ingredients.  If you’re visiting with friends, it’s one of the few places where you don’t need to whisper.  There were several different places to sit but all the areas are heated and closed to the public so fine dining in a bathrobe was the ultimate luxury.

Thermea Resto
Restö Upper Level

We choose to have our lunch in the newer lounge area and enjoyed the view through the floor to ceiling windows.  These window panels actually open all the way up during the warmer months to provide a unique indoor/outdoor dining experience.  Make sure to load up some money on your electronic bracelet when you check in so that you can dine at the restaurant wallet-free. (I highly recommend ordering a pitcher of the White Sangria!)

Thermea Resto Lounge
Restö Lounge

Repeat.

After you’ve had a sufficient rest period, you can begin the thermal cycle all over again.  By completing the cycle three or more times, you can enjoy the maximum benefits of thermotherapy, as well as explore all the different features that Thermëa has to offer.

The facility is open from 9 am until 10 pm and guests are welcome to stay for the entire day.  Interestingly enough, the atmosphere seemed to change constantly throughout the day.  The early morning sunrise brought a sense of peace and serenity.  By the early afternoon, it felt warm, sunny and uplifting.  We ended our visit around 4 pm but would have loved to stay longer and see how beautiful the place is when it’s lit up at night.

Thermea Herbal Tea by Cornelia Bean
Herbal Tea Selection by Cornelia Bean

There are no time limits, schedules or restrictions, which was a welcome change to our normally busy lives. You’re welcome to take a 2 hour nap in your favorite spot or hang out in the hot tub all day long if you want to.  Everything is self-serve and you can wander throughout the grounds as you wish.  It was clear that the staff worked hard to maintain the environment of peace and relaxation.  They were constantly restocking, discreetly cleaning, tending to the fires and gently reminding everyone to keep their voices down.

Thermea Tellura
Tellura Meditation + Nap Room

Why is This So Good for Moms?

Thermëa is an amazing place for all adults, regardless of age, gender or physical limitations.  But moms in particular can benefit greatly from using thermotherapy on a regular basis. 

Both pregnant and postpartum moms can get relief from muscle aches and pains (obviously, check with your doctor first).

It tones the skin and increases elasticity, which will help restore post-pregnancy skin.

Encourages better sleep and helps ward off fatigue and exhaustion.

Reduces stress, anxiety and tension.

Increases mental clarity, concentration and memory.

Detoxifies the body which boosts the immune system.  This is especially important for moms with school age kids who bring home all kinds of germs.

A spa day is the ultimate luxurious self care option for moms and a visit to Thermëa or one of Groupe Nordik’s other thermotherapy spas should be on every mom’s bucket list.  After spending the day at Thermëa, including a hearty lunch and an afternoon nap, I felt completely renewed and refreshed.  And as we drove away, I was simply counting down the days until I could return again.

Thermea Front Desk
Get A Thermal Experience for less than $60 CAD.

For less than $60 CAD, you can spend an entire day enjoying The Thermal Experience, but make sure to arrive early, especially on weekends and holidays!  To learn more about Thermëa, including accommodation packages and to purchase online gift certificates, visit their website https://www.thermea.ca/


 

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder and How to Treat it?

It’s natural to feel like hibernating when cold weather comes along, but it can also be a symptom of something more complex.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also called SAD, Seasonal Depression or the Winter Blues, can affect anyone during the winter months (and rarely, even in the summer).  It’s a type of depression that is triggered by the change of the seasons and everything that comes with it.  The lack of daylight, colder weather, and the increased amount of time spent indoors can all make a person feel depressed.

It’s important to recognize the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder and seek treatment for them.  Whether you suffer from another type of depression already or this is the only time you experience depressive symptoms, don’t ignore it or brush it off as something minor.  Putting up with it for a few months may be a good enough treatment for a while, but depression can be unpredictable.  Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide, and while it might sound extreme, seasonal affective disorder can fall into that category.

Here are seven different ways that you can treat seasonal affective disorder this winter.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder and How to Treat It

*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


1. Exposure to Light

The Luxor | Well.ca

The most common treatment for seasonal affective disorder is light therapy.  Since winter is associated with a reduced amount of daylight, it’s believed that this alone can cause seasonal affective disorder in otherwise healthy people.  It also explains why it’s more common in those who live farthest away from the equator.

Regular exposure to bright light is a great way to help ease the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.  You can purchase one specifically designed for light therapy such as this pyramid shaped one, or this compact travel sized one.  But you don’t need to purchase a special light to reap the benefits of light therapy.  You can simply keep more lights on in the house and switch to LED daylight bulbs instead.

And don’t underestimate the power of pure sunlight.  Since the hours of sunlight during the winter months are limited, make it a point to soak up as much of it as you can.  Get outside in the sunlight as often as possible, even if it’s a cloudy day.  Exposure to natural sunlight can help boost the production of serotonin, which will make you feel a little less depressed.

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2. Eat The Right Foods

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

One symptom of seasonal affective disorder is a craving for carbohydrates and sugary, sweet foods which often results in weight gain.  But choosing the right foods can actually help treat seasonal depression.  Complex carbs such as whole grains, fruit, vegetables and beans will still satisfy the craving without the added sugar.

You should also try to eat several foods that contain tryptophan, which can increase serotonin levels. These include foods such as turkey, eggs, salmon, nuts and pineapple.  You can also opt for a synthetic tryptophan supplement such as 5-HTP or L-Tryptophan.

Coffee is something that many people, myself included, depend on to get us through each day.  But too much caffeine can actually stop our bodies from producing enough serotonin.  So while a cup a day is acceptable, try to avoid relying on it too much.

If you’re struggling to eat right, then consider adding an all-natural supplement into your daily routine.  Making a simple change to your overall nutrition can work wonders for your mood and energy levels.


3. Aromatherapy

Photo by Drew L on Unsplash

The use of essential oils and aromatherapy is a popular one for treating depression including seasonal affective disorder.  Our sense of smell has a powerful effect on our brains.  By using the right combinations of scents, we can feel happier and healthier with very little effort.

You can find blends that make you feel energized, relaxed, and reduce tension and stress for a clearer mind.  You can even splurge on an entire set of different scents so that you can choose a different one each day.

Aromatherapy can also help to treat symptoms of insomnia, which can reduce the production of serotonin. By incorporating essential oils into your everyday self-care routine, you can help keep symptoms of seasonal affective disorder under control.


4. Take A Vacation

Photo by Marc Babin on Unsplash

For many regular sufferers of seasonal affective disorder, a winter vacation is an annual tradition.  Having something to look forward to in the winter can help to ease depressive symptoms.  Make sure to choose a location closer to the equator, so that you’re guaranteed plenty of sunshine.

But you don’t have to go somewhere hot and sunny to help treat seasonal affective disorder.  A spa vacation is another way to beat the winter blues.  You can find a spa close to home and still experience a get-away.  Relaxing at a spa and getting massaged and pampered can give you the boost you need to make it through the winter.   Check out Spa Finder for some awesome spa packages!

The only downside to a vacation is that it doesn’t last forever.  The idea of coming back to the dreary winter after a vacation can cause seasonal affective disorder to hit an all time high.  So make the most of your time away, take plenty of pictures and soak in enough sunshine to get you through to the spring.


5. Get Physical Indoors

Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash

In the summer time, we’re almost always outdoors doing something.  But in winter, it becomes much more of a chore and can even be dangerous to spend an extended period of time outside.  This sudden drop in our activity levels and the lack of fresh air can contribute to seasonal affective disorder.

Put some extra effort into getting physical indoors.  You can join a gym or sign up for fitness classes.  Swim laps at a local indoor pool or simply walk around the mall.  Try out a dance class or start taking yoga.  There are several things that you can do indoors when the weather isn’t great outside, it just takes a little bit more effort.

Being more (or just as) physical during the winter months as you are in the summer can help eliminate that sudden mood drop when the seasons change.  Plus, exercise is a great way to boost endorphin levels, which is an important mood booster!


6. Practice Hygge

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Hygge, pronounced ‘HOO-gah’ is a Danish way of life that’s recently become popular in Western culture.  It basically refers to anything that makes you feel cozy and comfortable.  It’s a simple concept that you’ve probably done before without even realizing.  The Danish people have incorporated it into all aspects of their lifestyle and make it a priority, especially in the cooler months.

The nice thing about hygge is that there is no exact science to it.  The main goal is to find things that make you feel comfortable, warm and happy and make them a priority in your life.  Imagine sitting by a warm fire, cuddled up in a soft blanket with a hot cup of tea.  That’s hygge.  Or what about binge-watching Netflix and eating popcorn in your pajamas with your best friend?  Also hygge.

Making time to practice hygge during the cold, winter months could drastically boost your mood and actually give you something to look forward to. 

7. Speak to a Professional

Online Therapy
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Just like any other mental illness, seasonal affective disorder can have a big impact on your life.  Just because it goes away for part of the year doesn’t mean that it’s not a problem.  If you’re struggling hard, then consider speaking to a therapist or another health care professional.

Cognitive behavior therapy and anti-depressant medications are available specifically to treat seasonal affective disorder.  You can find a therapist online to help you get through this winter and all the future ones.

It’s never too late to start seeking help for seasonal affective disorder.  If you realize that this happens to you every year, then be proactive at the end of the summer and take steps to prepare for the grey months ahead.


Treating seasonal affective disorder can feel like we’re fighting our very nature.  Like bears who sense the call to hibernate, we stock up on snacks, crawl into bed and dream of sleeping until the snow melts.  But if we did that, we’d miss out on a lot of life.  Don’t let seasonal affective disorder keep you from enjoying life, especially around the holidays.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder