There's just something about kicking up your feet in the bath that immediately signals release. As we step into the Christmas holidays, a self-care routine that eases stress is sounding better than ever.
Create a spa-inspired bathing experience in your own bathroom. It all starts with your state of mind. The most important element of a relaxing, restorative bath is setting the intention to let go of all else and committing to care for yourself. Once your intention is set, put aside a good amount of time to fully commit to your wind-down routine. A relaxing, restorative bath requires a commitment of at least 30 minutes so that you can slow down and become still, engage all your senses in the experience of bathing and revel in the quiet pleasure of caring for your whole being in such a deliciously simple way.
Turn your bathing area into a personalised sacred space that feels tranquil to you. Remove any clutter from the area (like laundry or children’s toys), dim or turn off the lights and light candles with a scent you enjoy. Add essential oils, aromatic dried flowers or herbs, salts or our Aphrodite Bath Soak to the water that feel comfortably deep and warm to you.
Lay out a robe or plush towel in your favourite colour. Add soothing or meditation music, although silence is a rare luxury I encourage people to indulge while bathing.
Once immersed in the bath, close your eyes; focus your attention on breathing gently in and out through your nose to activate the relaxation response. Settle into the rhythm of breathing, allowing the stresses and strains of the day to release into the water with each exhale. Invite each sense to awaken. This is the time in my own bathing ritual when I speak aloud my daily gratitude or my affirmations.
Slowly apply a body oil from your feet upward, pausing at each part of your body to express appreciation and gratitude for how well that part of your body is functioning. When you are ready to emerge from the bath, give yourself ample time to pat dry slowly, dress slowly and move slowly into whatever activity follows.
Keep accessible luxuries like a favourite snack, a glass of cool mint and cucumber water, or a chilled towel sprayed with essential oils within reach. You can place these on your face and neck during your time in the water. My top aromatic picks include chamomile, sandalwood, and lavender for relaxation, and ginger, black pepper, rosemary, and chamomile for stress relief. If you're looking for a more energising bath, use patchouli, rosemary, grapefruit, and juniper berry. And before you hop in the water, gather some fluffy towels, slippers, and a robe that can greet you when you get out of the water to keep the relaxation going a little longer.
What if you don't have a bath?
You can carry out much of this ritual, except for immersion, in a shower or in a bathroom with a sink. It is taking the time, creating your sacred space, restoring peace through the breath, engaging the senses, expressing gratitude for water and your functioning body that provide the self-nurturance that you long for.
A warm shower can be just as pampering, especially if you go with a luscious scrub or exfoliator. For an aromatic element, place a bundle of eucalyptus over your shower head and breathe in the steam deeply.
relax. replenish . rebalance . you
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