Self-Care 101: Bath Rituals
Life is hard, you know? We are all GO GO GO with work, commuting, household chores, juggling finances, taking care of our families… the list literally never ends. Especially living in NYC, it feels like we are never “allowed” to slow down. It’s enough to make a person have a nervous breakdown!
When things get overwhelming for me, one of my most treasured rituals is a relaxing bath. It’s something nearly all of us can do – literally all you need is a bathtub.
The bathtub from my honeymoon Airbnb in Paris.
Your bathroom not exactly spa material? Do not let that stop you from getting your spa on! Just push the kid’s bath toys aside and turn off the lights so you won’t see any clutter or spots on the shower wall – maybe grab a couple of tealight candles for ambiance if you have them – and tell anyone you live with you are NOT to be disturbed for the next 15+ minutes. And then soak into oblivion!
I love the art of the bath and have enjoyed crafting a ritual around it that works for me. Yours can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish, but if you establish a bath-time ritual with your own personal touches, then the moment you turn on that faucet your brain will know what’s coming and head straight into relaxation mode.
A bath can do so much more than just relax you. It’s incredibly therapeutic. Studies have shown that bathing can give you so many benefits including calming anxiety, improving heart health, increasing lung capacity, reducing pain and inflammation, balancing your hormones, and, of course, soothing your sore muscles. There was even a study that found that bathing can have benefits similar to exercise!
I have two rituals that I choose between, depending on how much time I have and how much pampering I need, and I would love to share them with you.
A bath at home with pink Himalayan sea salt and a milk bath blend. And candles, of course.
My Simple Bath Ritual
Start the water, grab my bath time candles (some simple tea lights in votive holders) and put two on the bath’s edge and two on the counter just above, choose my add-in (more on that in a moment), set out my bath goblet (I will explain), and play some music on my phone.
When thinking of what you want to add to your bath to soak with, consider any extra therapeutic benefits you might need that day. I often use a salt bath to soothe my lower back, legs, and feet. If I’ve been feeling really dry, I choose my favorite moisturizing bubble bath blend, and if I am in serious need of some spiritual calming, I reach for a magical intention-infused bath bomb or blend such as this one or this one.
The unique part of my personal bath ritual is the addition of my beloved bath goblet. It’s a silly story, but I basically ordered this crystal goblet from a shop on Etsy without realizing it was HUGE. It’s over 13” tall. (I am notoriously bad about not paying attention to measurements when I order things online). My partner laughed at me for buying this enormous, impractical goblet and so, on the spot, I declared that I had bought it for bath time. Yea, it’s my uh, BATH GOBLET. So THERE.
And, let me tell you, this was a genius invention.
Think of it like an elevated version of the big plastic cup your mom used to wash your hair with. (Your mom totally did that, right?) I don’t usually even wet my hair, but I use it to lovingly scoop up bath water and let it cascade all over my upper body. And it looks really pretty sitting by my tub.
When I need an extra boost of self-care or am feeling extra divine and have time to really have a long soak, I channel Cleopatra. She was known for bathing in milk, honey, and roses. Yassss, Queen!
My Goddess Bath Ritual
Start the water and while it is running head to the kitchen and grab a large mixing bowl, into which you will pour an entire half gallon of milk and a whole squeeze bottle of honey. Mix it up until the honey is mostly dissolved in the milk. Then you are going to add this right to your bath water, followed by handfuls of fresh rose petals.
Um, yes, please.
This one requires extra ambiance – dig out the good candles and set out your fluffiest robe to wrap up in afterward. I also bust out my bath pillow for this one!
You do this version when you have some time to most definitely not be bothered by anyone except perhaps a lover who will wait on you hand and foot while you carry out this queenly task.
Who doesn’t enjoy some beverage service in the bath, am I right?
Ladies, I know a bath is a simple thing, but I implore you not to overlook it in your arsenal of self-care. I used to dismiss it as too time-consuming or frivolous, but making it a ritual in my self-care routine has been so lovely. My sore muscles feel great, my skin is happy and moisturized (it goes without saying, slather yourself with lotion when you get out of the tub), and my nerves are way less frazzled.
What special touches can you add to your own bath ritual?
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