SPA DOCTOR: Smiling again in the city of the blues

SPA DOCTOR: Smiling again in the city of the blues

Around this time of the year I get anxious, grumpy and chronically exhausted.

While everyone is filled with the pleasures of spring, I just want to crawl into bed. It is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Usually this means that the body finds it hard to cope with short, dark days in the winter, but for me the symptoms of depression and exhaustion begin at the end of March when the clocks change.

It is thought that between four and six percent of the population suffers from SAD, and one in ten people get the & # 39; inversely & # 39; during the summer months.

The Swissotel Chicagom was perfect for curing Seasonal Affective Disorder, which has between four and six percent

The Swissotel Chicagom was perfect for curing Seasonal Affective Disorder, which has between four and six percent

I have now been prescribed antidepressants, but when I had the chance to try out a spa program that combines exercise and mindfulness, I was intrigued to try it out.

WHERE IS THE SOLUTION?

The Swissotel Chicago – of which I am disappointed – is known as the city of the blues! I'm in one of the 1,700-square-foot, five-room Vitality Suites, which is fully equipped with its own gym with state-of-the-art fitness equipment and spectacular views of Lake Michigan.

THE TREATMENT

Guests in a Vitality Suite can opt for the full wellness package, which includes daily personal training (in the room) and meditation sessions. It starts at 9 a.m. with training.

I am somewhat wary because I injured my back hours before I arrived at the hotel, but a warm-up of low intensity stretching and breathing exercises helps relieve pain and pain.

Then there is a mindfulness consultation with one of the on-site therapists. The one-hour session is aimed at focusing on rejecting negative situations, being kind to myself, and finding joy in small, everyday things.

Seasonal affective disorder usually means that the body finds it difficult to cope with short, dark days in winter - but for some, the symptoms of depression and exhaustion begin at the end of March when the clocks change

Seasonal affective disorder usually means that the body finds it difficult to cope with short, dark days in winter - but for some, the symptoms of depression and exhaustion begin at the end of March when the clocks change

Seasonal affective disorder usually means that the body finds it difficult to cope with short, dark days in winter – but for some, the symptoms of depression and exhaustion begin at the end of March when the clocks change

Before dinner, I am treated to the bizarre sounding & # 39; Sound Bath Meditation & # 39 ;. Therapist Sara Auster instructs me to lie on the floor of the lounge area of ​​the suite, using a combination of percussion instruments and electric speakers to fill the room with hypnotic sounds.

While I feel traces of fear and stress melt away, it's hard not to let myself be pushed away.

The evening meal in the hotel restaurant is chosen from a special low-fat menu with few carbohydrates. As a fan of curries and wok dishes, it feels like too much of a detox. Fortunately I am offered a few glasses of wine. Needless to say I will return to my dreamy room and get out of bed as soon as my head falls on the orthopedic pillow.

After two nights my batteries feel charged. I don't know if it's the exercise or the therapy, but I suddenly smile again.

The Vitality Suite Wellness package starts from £ 916 per night. It includes, on request, Sound Bath meditation and fitness trainer. swissotel.com

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