#SCS: Soak

Sunday nights signal the end of the weekend for me, and for many. The promise of another busy work week beckons with the closing of each hour, and I cling to each hour left with an ironclad grip. 

Work is like a battleground - I enter it each day not knowing exactly what's going to hit me, but I'm prepared for the worse. I start each day psyching myself up with platitudes like "it's going to be a good day" and "keep positive" but by the end of the day, I'm a disheveled, tired, hardly recognizable, grumpy version of myself. It's not that I don't like my job, I love it in fact, but work is work is work, and it's exhausting.

Most Americans spend the majority of their adult lives working. In a study done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, if you're between the ages of 25-54 and you have children, you spend more than half your life sleeping and working.

I don't have kids, but I do have three pets, and while you can't compare the two, I will say that this pie chart speaks pretty directly to my day-to-day life. With that kind of schedule, Saturday and Sunday become precious, but anything that didn't get done during the week, still has to get done during the weekend: groceries, pet food, mundane errands, the occasional family event, paying bills, doing the never ending pile of laundry - I could go on. 

Carving out time for a self-care Sunday with the limited time most of us have on any given day or week or month (or year, amirite?!) can be challenging, to say the least. But you need not go to extreme measures to ensure you have time to re-charge before your busy week begins again. One of the easiest and most pleasurable treats I'll indulge in on Sunday night is a delicious, hot, scented soak in the tub. 

I will concede two things before I go gushing about the benefits of a Sunday soak: 

1. You will need a tub. If you don't have one, stop reading this, and go check out our other two #SCS articles focused on yoga, stretching, and breathing. All you need is a solid floor for that self-care. 

2. Your tub needs to be soak-in ready. If you're looking at your bathtub thinking "this doesn't look like a place I'd like to hang out," don't. The point is to take stress away, not add to it. 

Alright, that's my caveat, now back to gushing: 

The benefits of soaking are aplenty: from releasing tension in your muscles to improving gastro-intestinal health, soaking is good for the body and good for the soul.

Preparing for your Soak 

Lock yourself in > Lock them out 

Photo by anskuw/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by anskuw/iStock / Getty Images

This may seem harsh, and maybe it is, but this is YOUR time; take it all in! Whether 15 minutes or a full hour, you are entitled to use this entire time to focus, undisturbed, on yourself. Put some music on 

Put Some Music On

Photo by BrianAJackson/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by BrianAJackson/iStock / Getty Images

Me, I put Enya on. You, you do you, just don't make fun me for my Enya. Just set the mood, ok? 

Have water nearby 

Photo by Hyrma/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Hyrma/iStock / Getty Images

Despite the fact that your sitting in a container of water, you'll find yourself thirsty during and after your soak. This is because your body is still sweating to dissipate the excess heat you're building up. Keep your body hydrated by keeping water nearby to quench your thirst. 

Materials 

Photo by andronov/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by andronov/iStock / Getty Images

Anything that can add to your relaxation, add it. I love to read magazines during my soak. It keeps my mind distracted from thinking about, oh, I don't know, work starting all over again in a mere matter of hours. I also like to add candles and turn off all the lights so I'm surrounded by a warm glow. Whatever will heighten your experience, do it. 

Soak like a Goddess 

Yeah, hot water is pretty great by itself, but why not take your soak to the next level? Bath bombs, essential oils, and even some lemon slices or rose petals can add to your rejuvenation. 

For this particular soak, I used a Honey Almond bath bomb from Pacha Soap Co. that was gifted to me by a friend that knows my penchant for #selfcaresunday. Adding a sparkling fizz to my soak, the honey-almond extracts left my skin feeling silky and soft. 

Not into the bath bomb? No worries - essentials oils are great for soaking, and the ones I'd recommend using are: 

1. Lavender 

2. Roman Chamomile 

3. Frankincense

4. Myrrh 

No essential oils? No problem! Your kitchen will likely have a few ingredients you can use to DIY up your soak. Look for: 

1. Lemons or Limes - add as slices to your bath for a citrus explosion 

2. Baking soda - ultra detoxifying 

3. Apple cider vinegar - lessens inflammation and areas of pain

Stay tuned for our next #SCS series: Pick up the Phone! Where Liz will walk us through her practice of self-care. 

 

Erin E BarrioComment