Taking oneself too seriously has never been the antidote to the January blues. Serious therapy administered with jolly good humour is, however, a potent remedy for dampened spirits and a jaded post-party demeanour.
Plant-based bath, body and skincare range Cowshed always manages to contrive the right dose of mirth without impugning the benefits of its uplifting aromatherapy formulas. Conceived at Babington House in Somerset, whose spa is a former cowshed, the brand’s mood-enhancing essential-oil blends have names inspired by the building’s original occupants, including Horny Cow, Lazy Cow, Knackered Cow and Bullocks (for men, who else?).
Those not smiling by now must surely be in need of the Cowshed Cleanse (£105). This hour and 45 minutes of utter indulgence has been designed by beauty therapist Amie “Cowshed Queen” Jones to whisk away negative attitudes and revive a can-do outlook that has been dulled by a sluggish skin tone.
This most optimistic of detox treatments begins with a relaxation ritual (thankfully not accompanied by Tibetan bells). Warm steam then softens and preps the skin for a thoroughly invigorating Cowshed Back Cleanse, involving brisk exfoliation and deep-tissue massage to ease tense muscles and clenched shoulders. Next, a mineral clay mask soothes and draws out impurities, while – bliss upon bliss – the backs of the legs are massaged and the feet are cleansed with hot towels. (After a season braced against heels, those calves deserve some kindness.) Top of the bill is a rejuvenating Cowshed Facial, which cleanses, tones and leaves skin positively radiant. After a refreshing cup of green tea, guests are sent on their way with complimentary bottles of grapefruit-scented Grumpy Cow Uplifting Bath & Shower Gel and Body Lotion.
The perfect prophylactic against Blue Monday? According to Cardiff University psychologist Cliff Arnall, January 21 is the day when depression will peak and resolutions are most likely to be derailed. Crafty cows will book ahead.