Relax is easy to say, but often very hard to do.
I hear it all the time, you just need to relax. What they don’t tell me is how to go about it. Oh sure, they say just breathe, do yoga or meditate, but how do I shut off my mind so I can actually do any of these things.
While I just usually say thanks for the advice and then go off and figure out my own way to relax, I didn’t take into account how many other people are just like me. This was actually brought to my attention recently by one of my favorite personal clients.
She is the type of client that realizes a reading can’t fix things for her, but instead guide her through the process. She has graciously allowed me to share her story with you, but for confidentiality, I will be calling her Miss M.
Normally when she contacts me, I have no trouble picking right up on her energy, but during a recent reading, her energy was so scattered it was causing me problems with her reading. When I brought this to her attention, she confided she was having a lot of chaos at work and just couldn’t relax enough to even focus. Her mom kept telling her she needed to de-stress and relax but she just couldn’t figure out how to make it work for her.
One of the things she asked me was if I am making bath products again. I did this some years back but due to a health problem, I’m not able to make them so had to tell her sorry. She remembered some milk baths and bath salts she had purchased from me and how well they worked to help her relax.
While I can make a few for my own use, I can’t make the large quantities anymore but suggested I could give her the recipes and she could make her own. Of course, I’m going to share those same recipes with you too.
Milk Bath Recipe
There are so many wonderful different versions of milk bath you can make at home and it’s very easy, not to mention economical. For some of you, these may be things you already have in your pantry, but if not, they can be easily found at most grocery stores. You can have your own Cleopatra milk bath and not have to go to a spa.
1. 2 Cups of Powdered Milk
2. ½ Cup of Corn Starch
3. ½ Cup of Baking Soda
4. 10 Drops of Essential Oil of your choice (you can add more or less to your liking)
I use an old jar that I’ve washed out or a mason jar with a tight fitting lid to mix and store mine. If you are using essential oils, I don’t recommend using plastic as some will have problems with the oil. Put first three ingredients into the jar, put on the lid and shake to mix thoroughly, you could also use a spoon to do this. Next add the essential oil and shake it making sure the oil is being incorporated.
When you’re ready for a bath, just put about a cup of the mixture into the tub as you run the water. Light a few candles, sip a nice glass of ice tea, water or even a glass of wine, close your eyes and calm your mind.
While this will help you relax, it also has great benefits for your skin. Especially for those of us that are older, our skin tends to dry out more quickly and while lotions can help, they don’t absorb into the skin as well. The powdered milk, when mixed with water, will help exfoliate your skin, while the vitamins and minerals it contains can help fight against aging. The corn starch is added to help relieve dry itching skin, and the baking soda will soften your skin. You may want to add a little more baking soda to the mix if you have hard water.
This is also a great soak for your hands if they have become dry or overworked from gardening or cleaning house. As we here in the US are starting to come into fall and winter, it works great for dry skin we often associate with the cold or from having to run a heater. Some cleaning products can really wreak havoc on your hands, especially if you are like me and hate wearing rubber gloves when I’m cleaning.
I should tell you that not all scents of essential oils will work to make you relax, some have the opposite effect, but I’ll give you more on that information.
Bath Salts Recipe
If you’ve ever used Epsom salts to soak your poor tired feet, you already know its benefits. I’ve been using this myself for many years and can tell you first hand, it really works to help you relax and take away aches and pain. If you don’t have these ingredients on hand, I’ve actually bought them all, except for the essential oils at my local dollar store.
1. 2 Cups Epsom Salts
2. ½ Cup Baking Soda
3. ¼ Cup Sea Salt
4. 10 Drops of Essential Oil (again your choice and amount)
As the same as the above recipe, I mix it in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Mix the first three ingredients, then add essential oil and make sure it’s completely combined. Add a cup to the tub and begin to relax.
In addition to making you relax, a salt bath is also great for helping to relieve stress, and helps reduce minor muscle and joint pain.
If you have any health issues, it’s important to talk with your doctor before using either the milk or salt bath. This is especially true if you have high blood pressure, as you may not be able to use the bath salts. The reason being is the salt will be absorbed through your skin and may cause problems.
Not all essential oils are going to make you relax, some have the opposite effect and will cause you to feel more energy. For relaxing, I would recommend using peppermint, cinnamon, lavender or vanilla. There are some others and a little research on the internet can help you find one you like. Stay away from the more citrus smells, lemon and orange being two that are great to revive your energy, but not so great to help you relax.
It’s very important to make sure they are not only well combined into the mixture but also you don’t use too much, as some of them may cause skin problems. If you have sensitive skin or worried they might cause you a skin irritation, you should avoid using them, maybe just light a candle with the scent instead.
One of my favorites I add to a lot of my bath recipes, not for the scent, but for its herbal qualities, is tea tree oil. I usually just add a few drops in along with the regular essential oil. It is not only great for relieving muscle aches, but because of its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, it helps with dry patchy skin. It’s often used for athlete’s feet and mixing it into your shampoo can help fight dry scalp or dandruff. Again, there are warnings for this oil and you should try to avoid putting it directly on your skin as it may cause irritation. As with anything else, a little internet research can go a long way, just make sure you use a good source.
Coloring the Bath Recipes
This is often a question I would get when making bath recipes, is how do I color them? While some recipes say you can add food coloring, this is not something I’ve done personally, so I have no idea if it will color your tub or skin. When I am making my own, I don’t often use a coloring for them, but if I do decide to use something to color them, I use products that are made especially for bath and body products. These are easily found on different sites that specialize in these types of products. Again, while I don’t use food coloring, it’s totally up to you, however, I would do a little test before using them.
Back to my conversation with Miss M, she said it all sounded good but she didn’t have the ingredients on hand and was too tired to make a trip out to the store. Was there anything else she could do or put in the tub to help her relax? If you are a tea drinker like her, you are in luck because one of the easiest things to do is make a tea bath.
While there are a lot of different types of tea baths you can buy on the internet, again you probably have the same thing in your own kitchen. This one doesn’t really require a special recipe, just a couple of tea bags. I recommend using a tea that is not loaded with a lot of extra stuff, but prefer to drink and or bathe in ones that are just the pure leaves. What I mean by this, if I’m using peppermint, the only thing I want in that bag is peppermint leaves. It can’t get any easier than this, just drop a few tea bags into the water as you run your bath. While you aren’t getting some of the properties of the other ingredients in the above recipes, plain tea baths have their own qualities.
Chamomile is great for dry skin and also helps relax you. Peppermint, while also helping to relax you, has anti-fungal properties. Lavender is great to ease headaches and also helps with insomnia.
If you are using regular sized tea bags, I recommend using anywhere from 4 to 6 bags to get the best benefit. You can also use loose tea, which is recommended more often in tea bath recipes, by putting it into a muslin bag. I don’t usually have muslin bags to use, but a piece of cheese cloth or even a coffee filter work great. Just remember to make sure the end is secured tightly or you’ll have tea floating in the tub. In a pinch, I have also used a sock and tied the end shut with a piece of string. If there’s a will, you can always find a way.
I absolutely love using cinnamon, imagine the smell of baking with it, the house just seems so calm. Down side for me is I don’t drink cinnamon tea, but not to be undone, I just wrap a couple of cinnamon sticks in a coffee filter, tie the end shut with a piece of string and throw it into the tub.
I always recommend you be sure to stay hydrated when using any type of bath, even just very hot water can dehydrate you. Always remember if you start to feel flushed or dizzy, get out of the tub, drink some water and cool down.
Something I hear all the time is “I don’t take baths or I don’t have time for a bath.” In this fast paced world we live in, baths seem to be a thing of the past. My answer to that is maybe it’s time you slowed down and made time for a bath. So, what do you do if you don’t have a tub?
For me, a requirement to buy my home was it had to have a tub, but many homes and apartments I’ve seen do not have tubs, only showers. While you will not get all the great effects of soaking in a nice tub bath, you can still use the same recipes by putting them into a sock or coffee filter, tie the end shut with a string and then tie the whole thing right under the running water of your shower head.
Will taking a nice soak in a tub fix everything? Of course it won’t but it can help you relax, de-stress and give you a few quiet moments to put your problems aside long enough to quiet your thoughts. Soaking in the tub is also a great place to meditate, which is always a great help in calming your mind. Don’t consider it a luxury, instead think of it as something necessary to bring you better emotional and mental wellbeing.
I hope this article has helped you in some way, if even just a little information and a way to save on a trip to the spa. As for me, I’m off to have a good tub soak and relax.
In most cases I’ll get right back to you and it will never take more than 24 hours.
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