Leaving my job. Moving to Vancouver in November. Buying a condo. Starting a freelance consulting business. But then … Accepting a full-time job. Moving back to Toronto. Selling my Vancouver condo. Signing a lease in Toronto. Layer in some personal heartbreak … and let’s say it’s been a super stressful year. After all of that madness, I’ve decided to embark on a search for Zen (what is that exactly?!) to guide the next chapter of my life. 

When your coat matches the lobby's flowers, a selfie is required!

I’ve decided to put some real effort into learning how to relax instead of giving it my usual lip service. I can’t keep running at a million miles an hour. I need to figure out how to balance my passion for work with peaceful time for myself … how hard can that be? I was thrilled when Toronto’s uber luxe Hazelton Hotel invited me to experience their “Meditation and Rejuvenation” package. Its goal was to help me disconnect from my day-to-day stress and learn mindfulness. And that sounded like a pretty good way to kick off my journey towards Zen.

My dream bathroom

I love a good bathroom but I’m a shower and dash kind of person. Step one in being more mindful is to try to slow down and enjoy a soak and relax in the tub. Not easy for a Type A person like me! Seriously, though, I would have less stress in my life if I could just move into the bathroom at the Hazelton.

The ultimate bed

I’ve been suffering from insomnia lately – waking up at 3am running through the previous day – so having a restful sleep is essential. I’m super picky about my bedding so I really appreciated the Hazelton’s ultra comfortable pillows (your preferred support is available in the pillow menu) and soft cotton sheets. I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed again … hopefully by July when it’s shipped back from Vancouver and set up in my new apartment. 

The Spa at the Hazelton by Valmont

A rejuvenating Valmont signature hydration facial at the Hazelton’s exclusive spa is a key element of the “Meditation and Rejuvenation” package. The innovative Swiss Valmont treatments combine glacial spring water with essential plant extracts and ingredients that help preserve and nourish skin at the cellular level. Translation: the facial was totally decadent. 

Post facial selfie

After a windy cold spring, my skin felt parched. All of the added stress was making it bumpy and red. Afterwards, WOW … my skin was super glowy and velvety soft. I don’t usually have the patience for an hour facial – that’s going to change. Step two towards Zen is to calm down and indulge in facials more often. 

Tara Good - a lululemon ambassador, Yoga Alliance certified trainer & Reiki Master (press photo)

Step three is learning to meditate – and this one will take a while! I tried an in-room meditation session with Tara Good (also part of the package) that was designed to help me disconnect from all of the chatter in my head. I’m a typical Type A go-getter so while Tara was trying to focus me, I was thinking about lunch, where I put my umbrella, and how brutal it is to find a reasonably priced apartment in Toronto. But I appreciated the value of the few moments of calm I did experience when I paid attention. Meditation is a practice that I’m determined to learn so I plan to download an app first (I’ve heard good things about Headspace) before trying another individual session. 

Toronto's iconic Hazelton Hotel (press photo)

The Hazelton Hotel’s “Meditation and Rejuvenation” package for two costs $950 (plus taxes) per night for an executive suite and includes: A meditation practice led by Tara Good (so Zen); a wellness breakfast for two from ONE Restaurant (delicious); a rejuvenating facial at the Valmont Spa (heavenly); and a personal shopping session at lululemon’s store on Cumberland (a fun extra touch). Do it, you’ll be glad you did! For more info, contact the Hazelton at 416 963-6300  http://www.thehazeltonhotel.com