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Day 4/14 of Self Love :: Self Care Through Bathing

Taking a bath isn’t just about getting clean. Many of us know the sensation of sliding into a warm, bubbly tub at the end of a long day, and feeling the cares of the day melt and float away. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to bathing, and spending some time soaking can be just what we need to show ourselves some love.

The History of Bathing

A very long time ago, before the theory of germs, and even before widespread disease was a worry, bathing was popular amongst those who had the time and money to do it. Cultures from thousands of years ago weren’t just bathing for hygiene reasons, they also took a dip largely for religious, therapeutic, and even social reasons, as a way to cultivate community and all-important human connection. Those who bathed more often and who were therefore a little cleaner than everyone else, were seen to be more powerful, more beautiful and even more spiritually advanced.

It was the ancient Greeks who first invented intricate systems of pipes for showers, and this was later developed by the Romans, who created large baths to conveniently allow lots of people at once to bathe in the water. Often these bathhouses also provided massage, exercise facilities and entertainment, making having a bath probably a lot more sociable and lively than it is today!

Time For You

Fast forward to the 21st Century, and most people in the Western world have their own private bath in their house; a luxury for both hygiene and privacy! At a time in which being ‘busy’ is viewed as a status symbol, we don’t often make the time to slow down and enjoy a comforting, warm bath – at least not without feeling partly guilty for it!

The thing is though, whatever it is that is keeping us all so ‘busy’, is much more likely to get done if we feel good whilst we’re doing it, and feeling good comes from taking good care of yourself. Being ‘connected’ and online 24/7 can often take its toll on the nervous system, making us stressed, exhausted, and more susceptible to illness. One of the best things about having a bath is that you can choose to leave your phone out of the room, and whilst you’re relaxing in the water, no one can get at you! This is the perfect time to practice deep breathing and meditation, and even make the most of the huge benefits of essential oils you might add to the water.

6 Essential oils to boost your bath

Sage oil: can help sharpen the mind and memory, and enhance mood levels.

Rosemary: Brilliant for jogging your memory, and reminding you of things you’ve got coming up in the future. Also fantastic for sore, aching muscles.

Black Pepper: Relaxing for muscles and a great way to boost circulation due to its warming properties.

Lavender: A great stress reliever, and very helpful for pre-bedtime baths

Eucalyptus: Has the power to both de-stress and de-congest. Add to a bath when you need to both relax and relieve your head cold.

Frankincense: Said to help aid meditation and often used in spiritual ceremonies, this essential oil is a great addition for your bath time meditation, and can help reduce inflammation.

Disclaimer:  Use essential oils safely – always consult an expert if you are unsure how to use them, especially if pregnant or with existing health conditions.

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Emma Newlyn

Emma is a 500hr qualified Yoga teacher, musician, massage therapist, cook, and writer. Having grown up surrounded by Yoga and meditation, Emma began her practice at a young age and has continued to study and develop her understanding of Yoga on a daily basis. Training internationally with inspirational teachers, Emma’s passions now lie primarily in philosophy and Yoga off the mat. Emma currently teaches regularly in Sussex, co-leading teacher trainings, retreats, workshops and kirtans, and also manages the Brighton Yoga Festival. When she’s not teaching, writing or cooking, Emma loves spending time in nature, and travelling to new places.

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