I was very much a shower on the run girl – squeezing in a quick rinse to clean the essentials while my head was full of the lists of things I had to do that day. Maybe once in a couple of months I’d treat myself to a bath and even then I’d get bored and hot and jump out pretty quick.
During this time of recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome combined with healing my heart I have learned to approach life at a completely different pace. I learned to slow down, and at times stop completely, because I had no other option, my body decided for me. One of the aspects that has been crucial in my healing journey, and a huge part of my ‘at home retreat’ is self care. Self care is very closely connected to self love in that it’s a the physical choices we make to take care of ourselves.
Taking the time for myself and treating myself everyday to a simple, leisurely bath has been my number 1 self care ritual during my retreat and I have continued since. It is a small way I show myself that I’m important and that I love myself, as well as it being healing in a practical way.
My self care, bath time ritual involves:
- Run your bath and set the scene – light a candle or two, lower the lights and I love to have a big glass of water (or drink of your choice).
- I love to have something to do while I’m enjoying my bath e.g. watch my favourite show on the iPad, listen to a meditation audio, watch a spiritual video or listen to music.
- I put a good amount of Epsom Salt into my bath nearly everyday – there are so many benefits to Epsom Salts such as relieving aches and pains, very detoxifying and cleansing for your energy and aura – its the best!
- Add essential oils or flower essences – depending on whether you’re bathing to relax or to wash before starting your day you can choose essential oils to help you. I love lavender to relax and sage to cleanse, citrus oils are good for lifting energy.
- Once comfortably in your bath I recommend using healthy, non toxic products to wash with – I use Arbonne products as they’re vegan, contain no nasties and work brilliantly. Use a specific face wash for your skin needs, I love the SeaSource Detox Body Wash for everywhere else and of course hair care. (Note if you put lots of Epsom Salt into your bath it can leave your hair a bit crispy – you can always rinse it in the shower afterwards).
- Give yourself at least 20 mins to soak in the bath with the salts to get the full benefits while you enjoy your music or video and when its time to get out do so gently, I always take time to rest a little after a bath before rushing to get dressed or get on with the next task.
Once or twice a week…
- Exfoliate your whole body twice a week – I use a natural exfoliating mitt and the Arbonne SeaSouce Detox Salt Scrub for my body and the FC5 Exfoliating New Cell Scrub for my face – which can double as a face mask too. Every now and then I use a more deeply cleansing or nourishing face mask.
- Don’t forget your feet and hands! It’s easy to focus on your face and forget about the parts of your body that do the most work – feet and hands. Once a week I like to treat my feet and hands to a revitalising salt scrub all of their own – they feel so soft and lovely afterwards.
There are so many aspects of this bath ritual that are healing both spiritually and physically; giving time and energy to yourself is so important, it sets the standard for how others treat you too. Switching off from your daily tasks by enjoying a TV show or doing a relaxing meditation while in the bath creates space in your mind to find peace, creativity and is like a re-set button. The essential oils, Epsom Salts and Arbonne products are nourishing your senses and physical body with minerals, cell renewing properties and removing toxins.
Now it’s your turn – enjoy!
The first step is crucial and needs nailing before you start your retreat – easy, healthy, whole food. Most of us are busy and creating healthy, delicious meals 3 times a day for a whole week is a challenge, especially if you’re creating a new way of eating.
Solution = order a week’s worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner + snacks to be delivered to your door! I decided to use Nosh Detox as they offered a 7 day alkalise, balance and cleanse programme. The first three days were mainly smoothies and soups with a proper meal for dinner and the rest of the week was proper meals; salads, quinoa porridge, stuffed peppers and many more yummy dishes.
I was impressed that the smoothies were not too sweet, as is often the case, and the meals were very filling and tasty. All the food is diary and gluten free and you can specify your own dietary requirements – for example I loathe mushrooms so none of my food included mushrooms.
The team at Nosh needed very little notice before my deliveries started and having all the food for all meals in the fridge (delivered fresh every 2 days) meant I could free my mind and my time of any and all food related concerns and concentrate on me and what was important to achieve during this week. After a number of months suffering from chronic fatigue and healing from a marriage break down my priorities were to get my body moving and release stored up emotions – which is where the following steps came in…Step 2 coming soon!
Image courtesy of Nosh Detox