Bath time is my all time most favorite self care ritual. I don’t use the word ritual lightly here. I make a big fuss over my bath time. At least once a week I try to treat myself to a long quiet soak in the tub. Most of us work hard every day taking care of the needs of others. We are a giving and busy bunch and that’s what we love. It makes us feel good to do for and care for others. The most common complaint in my studio is that ” I never have time for myself”. I bet even if you haven’t had the nerve to say it out loud, you’ve definitely said it in your own head. What a bath does for us is make us stop. There’s not a whole lot you can do while you’re soaking in the tub. Sure, you can sip some wine or tea…maybe read a book, though I don’t recommend it, or listen to some of your favorite tunes. That’s pretty much it…and that’s a good thing.
Make a big deal out of your bath. It’s a big deal to stop everything and take time to care for yourself. Good for you for choosing YOU! Caring for ourselves allows us to be better partners, parents, friends, employees…you name it. Caring for yourself just makes you better…so let’s get started being better.
Here you’ll find a few of my favorite bath soak recipes. Before you even start to run the bath get yourself set up for maximum relaxation. Light a few candles and dim the overhead light if possible. That will relax you just by sending a signal to your brain that you are no longer working on anything. Brew some hot herbal tea or pour a glass of your favorite wine and set safely by the tub. Lay out your towels, slippers and robe so it’s all ready when you get out of the bath. Nothing ruins the soak more than draining the water out only to realize you are freezing and it’s laundry day. Turn off your phone and tell your family you are headed to the bath (ie. don’t bother me for a while). Get everything for the bath water prepared ahead of time and add to the warm water as you fill the tub. Soak until your heart is content…or til your toes look like raisins. Dry off, slather on your favorite rich moisturizer and continue the relaxation as long as possible.
Here are a few of my easiest homemade recipes. Most of these ingredients you can easily find in your yard or pantry and definitely at the local supermarket. Happy soaking!
Cleopatra’s Luxe Soak
A milk and honey bath? Yep, Cleopatra supposedly soaked in this luxurious blend daily as part of her beauty routine. Feeling like a queen? Go for it! Run just a bit of very warm water into the tub then add the following while continuing to fill: 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup honey, 2-3 drops rose, neroli, ylang ylang or geranium oil and a sprinkle of rose petals fresh or dried. You could also use cherry blossoms, periwinkle or whatever blooms you have available. Maybe stop on the way home and buy yourself flowers, then steal a bloom for your bath. Go ahead, you deserve it! Swirl to blend and soak in the mega hydrating and softening benefits of milk fat and super emollient honey. Not only will your busy day be nothing but a distant memory but you’ll emerge silky smooth and hydrated ready to rule your kingdom again.
Stress Be Gone Soak
Sometimes after a long day you just need a minute to breathe and unwind from it all. There’s no better way than a long soak in a hot bath. I’ve always loved the idea of tea in the bath. Yep, you heard me right, IN the bath. I try to keep lavander oil and buds on hand at all times but sometimes I do run out. This recipe can be made with or with out essential oils. I recommend with, of course. Here’s what you’ll need for this super relaxing bath… before you start your water running in the tub you’ll want to brew a strong tea. Heat a large pot of water on the stove until just about to boil (scoop out a cupful for some tea to drink if you like). Cut off the heat and add two chamomile tea bags and two lavender tea bags. If you can’t find plain lavender tea look for Traditional Medicinals “Cup of Calm” or Yogi Teas “Calming” or “Stress Relief” at the grocery store. Let that steep while you run your bath. Add in one heaping scoop of Epsom salts, about 1 cup, 1/4 cup heavy cream for softening, 3-4 drops pure lavender essential oil and 1-2 drops german chamomile essential oil, vetiver essential oil or sandalwood essential oil. Each of these oils targets the nervous system to induce a more relaxed state plus they smell wonderful. Alright, now you’re ready to pour in the tea. You can float the tea bags in your bath if you like but be sure not to let them tear open. No fun cleaning the tub after a lovely soak. I usually take mine out and just pour in the steeped tea because I’m not the most coordinated gal. Slip into your tea bath and soak your stresses away. Afterwards, add a drop of lavender to your moisturizer to extend the relaxation and smell divine.
Achy Muscle Relief Soak
Whether you had a rough day at work or really dialed it in at the gym, sometimes those muscles need a little TLC. There’s no better way to soothe away the stiffness and soreness of overdoing it like a super soak. This recipe is chock full of muscle relaxing and pain relieving ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need: 1 cup Epsom salts, 1/2 cup baking soda, sprig of fresh rosemary, peppermint and pine (yes, pine, trimmed right from a tree in the woods). Tie them together with a piece of twine or string so they can easily be fished out later. These herbs are all anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, analgesic and energizing. They are also great for respiratory conditions and very healing during colds and flu This can double as a healing bath when you’re feeling like a bug is taking hold. If you have essential oils on hand, a blend of pine, balsam, juniper, rosemary, peppermint and lavender would be nice. Pick 2-3 oils from the list and add for a total of 6-8 drops. Now that everything is in the tub, start running the bath. Fill it up with nice hot water for a good long soak. Sometimes with these herbs and oils I can get pretty warm and start to sweat but I’m not ready to get out. Here’s another little tip: in a medium bowl beside the tub place a washcloth in a little ice water with one drop of peppermint. You can place the chilled washcloth on the back of your neck or wipe over your shoulders and face while you continue to soak. This is really refreshing and cools ya right down.
If you’re wondering why all these recipes start with adding ingredients instead of adding water first, here’s why… essential oils are very volatile and evaporate extremely fast. They can also be super irritating to the skin if not diluted. The salts, cream, honey etc. act as carriers meaning the fats, salts or sugars bind to the essential oil helping it combine with the water and keeping all that goodness suspended so you can not only inhale for aromatherapy it but you can absorb the healing benefits through your skin while soaking. Plus, undiluted essential oils sit right on the surface of the water…like oil and vinegar. Let me tell you, it’s not a good thing to set your lady bits right on a blob of peppermint oil. Ouch!
If you’d like to mix up one of these recipes and gift or just keep for another use that’s a great idea. Just mix all the dry ingredients together and label the jar. At bath time you can add the liquid ingredients to the water and you’re all set. Happy soaking!
Now, what are you waiting for. Run everyone out of here and start your new bath time ritual.
For a full on Shaaahhh Day see our other indulgent homespun recipes.