BATH TIME RITUALS FOR RESTORATIVE REST
Make bath time into a ritual and sleep extra well by following these steps and including the following healing products into your bathing routine.
Oh my gosh, after thinking taking baths was pretty gross over the last few years… I’ve come to re-discover just how delicious bath time can be for my self-care routine. I’ve put together a list of products and techniques I use to help me relax in the bath during these cold winter months (or whenever really).
Make taking a bath into a self-care ritual! I’ve been working on my personal self-care ritual and would love to offer some tips and tricks on making your bath time the best time ever. Taking a bath helps me relax, makes falling asleep easier, and allows me to achieve a more restful sleep.
I like to start my bathing ritual by cleansing the space. Sometimes, cleansing practices seem a little “out there” and “woo-woo,” but I really enjoy cleansing myself and my bathroom with Palo Santo. Make cleansing your space into a ritual by striking up a match and lighting up your palo-santo stick. Shut the door, get NAKED and prepare to cleanse yourself too!
Breathe deeply and think positive thoughts like, “I cleanse you,” “I clear you,” “Only good energy allowed here,” “My space is clear.” Really, think whatever you want to think, but believe it. Wave the smoke from your Palo Santo in circular motions around the space. Get into the cracks and corners of your “sacred space” and wave the smoke and positive energy in circular motions around your door.
Next, take the palo santo stick and cleanse yourself in the same way. I like to start cleansing myself in circles around my stomach. Then, I wave the incense in a circular motion starting at my feet and moving up and out through the crown of my head. Focus on allowing pure energy to enter your body. Imagine white light and fresh air filling your body from the tips of your toes to the crown of your head.
Not only is dry brushing beneficial for your skin, it also helps you feel calm simultaneously.
Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, exfoliates the skin, helps the body rid itself of toxins, increases circulation of blood and body energetics, and aids in breaking down the appearance of cellulite.
Dry brushing is a great bath time ritual that’s gained popularity for its calming effects as well. It’s been used for centuries as a ceremonial process and it’s totally worth adding to your self-care routine.
The use of a dry brush stems from Ayurvedic medicine. It involves brushing your skin with a dry bristled brush from the tips of your toes all the way to your neck. I prefer dry brushes that utilize natural fibers such as horse hair, cactus, and sisal bristles.
Exfoliate your skin by manually removing dead skin cells before your bath. This will improve your skin’s appearance, aid in anti-aging effects, and give your skin a visible healthy glow.
With sedentary lifestyles like most of us have today (no longer laboring on the farm outside all day), many of us can use dry brushing to boost our lymphatic drainage. Stimulating your lymphatic system will help remove waste from the body, which helps cleanse your body and aid in the release and detoxification of the lymph system.
Dry brushing offers you a moment to simply care for your body. It encourages you to relax by taking a moment to really focus on your body, its health and your natural state of being. Take the time to feel good about your body during this stimulating process and thank your physique for all it does for you.
Start with your extremities. Brush from the ends of your fingers all the way to your armpits. Brush in short and soft motions from your toes up your legs. Massage the brush in circular motions moving up from your abdomen. Spend extra time brushing along your armpits (a center for your lymphatic system), and end by dragging the dry brush up your neck.
Lighting candles and turning the lights down low really helps set the mood and atmosphere for a relaxing bath. Lighting candles with natural scents can trigger your sense of smell and help relieve stress.
The glow of lit candles coupled with a variety of scents is known to decrease anxiety. Make sure you choose candles with colors and scents that are natural and appealing to you and your senses!
The flame of the candle really helps sooth your soul, reduce stress and increase self-awareness. The soft light provided will help you calm down and achieve a relaxed and meditative state. The soft and low flickering light that comes from candles is processed as peaceful by the brain.
Light up some candles and relax your mind. The perks of relaxing are better sleep, increased immunity and ease of mental and emotional pain you may be feeling.
Add some Epsom Salts to your bath for ultimate relaxation. Simply soaking in warm water allows your muscles and joints to relax. By adding Epsom salts, easing in only increases.
The benefits of using Epsom salts in the bath are endless. They help sooth the skin by softening rough skin, soothing dry skin and exfoliating dead skin cells from your body.
Epsom salts are often used to aid in arthritic pain and swelling by reducing soreness and pain.
Using Epsom salts in your bath adds healthy magnesium levels that boost your brain’s neurotransmitters. Proper neurotransmitter functions help you get a good night’s rest and reduce stress levels. Magnesium aids your body in its natural production of melatonin, helping you achieve a more restful sleep.
I usually add about 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to my bath water.
I’ve started using loose herbs in my baths to find ultimate relaxation. Adding herbs to your bath makes bath time such an enjoyable sensory experience. Basically, I make myself into a nice warm cup of tea, hop in, and steep.
Lavender is often used in aromatherapy for stress reduction. Purchase organic lavender buds and add a sprinkle to your warm bathwater before stepping in.
Other aromatherapy herbs to add to your therapeutic bath include rose petals, chamomile, peppermint, rosemary, ginger, and jasmine. You can also add freshly sliced grapefruit, oranges, and lemons to enhance the bright cheerful feeling of your soak bath.
If you don’t have fresh or dried herbs, you can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. I like to use lavender, calendula, geranium, and bergamot.
Make yourself a wonderful smelling bath-time potpourri and dive in!
Sooth your body and nourish your mind by reading in the bathtub.
Reading in the bath makes your bath time extra efficient if you don’t want to simply sit there and relax while focusing on deep breathing techniques.
No more wet pages thanks to the array of beautiful wooden bath shelves on the market. Get yourself a bath time bookshelf to lay across your bathtub.
You can even make your bath time extra relaxing by bringing in a glass of your favorite wine or a nice hot cup of tea. There are many plastic wine tumbler options to make your bath time fun, safe and extra relaxing.
AFTER BATH CARE:
After a nice hot bath, I always like to drain the bath and take a nice warm shower to rinse off all the impurities that you’ve been soaking in over the last hour.
I recommend using Tea Tree shampoo and conditioner for an extra invigorating shower. Tea Tree leaves your scalp with an awakened burn, enlivens hair follicles to stimulate hair growth, provides antifungal and antibacterial benefits, and makes you feel extra clean and calm.
In this new age of wellness, Dr. Bronner’s soap is the only soap I use to wash my entire body. It’s really the go-to soap for bathing, shaving, aromatherapy and can even be used as a household cleaner. Dr. Bronner’s soap cleanses your body without harsh chemicals and toxins, helps control oily and acne-prone skin, sooths dry and irritated skin, naturally hydrates your skin, provides free-radical protection, and eases skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It’s safe for sensitive skin and cleaning out clogged pores. Truly, it leaves your skin feeling absolutely delicious and smooth.
After washing my body, I love using my handmade Coffee Body and Face Scrub to rehydrate my skin, making me feel nourished and supple. My formula contains organic coffee grounds, coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, Himalayan sea salt, lavender and eucalyptus essential oils.
AFTER BATH ROUTINE:
After my restorative bath ritual, I dry off to remove excess dead skin cells, then slip into my matching pajama set and a slippery silk robe made from upcycled fabrics.
I like to apply relaxing essential oils to my tummy, on my wrists and around my neck to help me relax and prepare for the best night’s rest. I’ve been using the book: Essential Emotions to help me uncover uses for essential oils that ease any emotions that keep me awake.
Often, I hop into bed and write in my journal. Anything that may be causing you stress or worrying you, you can tell it to your journal. Journaling is your best friend and writing is the perfect therapy. You can write letters, write about your day, or write yourself positive notes and affirmations.
Massaging your body and your sore muscles helps undo knots that are stored in the body from work, poor posture, colleague annoyances, sitting at the computer all day, and physical activity (or lack thereof). Self-massage helps maintain overall health and muscle relaxation. I’ve been using an off-brand Thera Cane to melt away stress stored in my body from a day in the life of Alena. It’s great to get into those sore spots and break up tension in your neck and back.
Try to steer clear of screens after your bath. Set your phone on airplane mode and stay in bed without turning on the television. Emails, social media, news, and bombardment from advertisements can stick in your brain and cause you stress.
Instead of picking up your phone, make time to read a book you enjoy before bed. Reading aids in stress reduction, improves your focus and concentration, stimulates your mind, expands your knowledge, improves your memory, and helps you relax before sleep.
There are so many useful video and audio resources that can help you relax before bed. YouTube provides a wealth of knowledgeable teachers and leaders that will guide you through strategic practices for meditation. Whether you want a quick 10-minute guided meditation, or a 3-hour meditative musical set, they’ve got it all.
Find a meditation teacher and music tracks that speak to you. Voice, pace and music is all subjective, so make sure to find something that works for you! Plug in your headphones, focus on your breath, and follow along in whatever guided meditation you choose. Slowing your breathing before bed will help your muscles and mind relax even further.
Though I’m not a religious person, I’ve began praying before bed. Not praying for things that I want, but praying for things that I have and am grateful for. Even if you don’t know who you’re praying to, it’s good to say thanks.
Remember to kiss and hug yourself goodnight! Your body and mind are amazing and have accomplished so many great things for you. Feel grateful and thank the universe for your breath, for loved ones and for your time spent on this planet.
What’s your favorite suggestion from the topics mentioned above? What will you be trying out for your next bath time? Have you found any other bath and nighttime rituals that work for you? Let us know in the comments below! Sharing is caring and by sharing what works for us, we can help others in their quest for knowledge, healing, stress-reduction and good sleeping habits.
THE WAVY BUNCH