You don’t need a fancy spa or treatments done unto you by another to give yourself an equally relaxing day of indulgent self-care at home. Bath or shower, big bathroom or tiny water closet… size or shape shouldn’t hold you back from at home pampering. And making your own at home spa day can be a ritual integrated into everyone’s week; this isn’t something reserved for women, “girly” or the “vain” types. Self-care and indulgence is for everyone. Life feels increasingly stressful. We’re oversaturated, overbooked and under slept. Taking time out of the day to exact little rituals around bathing can have an impact on stress levels, which in turn impact one’s entire well being. Magnesium salt baths, essential oils infused during a shower, home made face masks and scrubs, ayruvedic massages, lighting candles and palo santo… rituals like this that alter one’s physical and emotional state is akin to magical spells for me.
Here are a few of my favorite bathing rituals for how to make a spa day at home...
Magnesium/epsom salt baths: Infusing baths with epsom and dead sea salts can do wonders for relaxing the body. Such baths charge the muscles with magnesium (a mineral in which most of us are deficient), helping them to relax. Food and water is becoming increasingly depleted in this crucial mineral. And many of us have trouble absorbing food forms of the mineral due to damaged gut linings and magnesium receptors that have shut down because we’ve become so deficient. No bath? Try soaking your feet, which are an incredibly “absorbant” location of the body. So not only is a magnesium bath relaxing your mind, but it’s nourishing your muscles and helping to regulate hundreds of actions in the body, including helping you get a better sleep. Think of this bath as a natural valium spell.
Essential oil infused showers: For an extra relaxing and healing shower session, sprinkle a few drops of your favorite essential oils onto the floor of the shower. Diffuse calming oils like lavender before bed, immune boosting blends when in need of extra strength, or peppermint oil to wake you up in the morning. Or try hanging branches of fresh eucalyptus, pine, or fragrant flowers in the shower and let the steam from the hot shower release the essential oils from the plants naturally.
Homemade masks: There’s no need for fancy store-bought or trendy sheet masks. Natural and transformative masks can be made with edible ingredients in minutes. Skin absorbs products directly into the bloodstream so you shouldn’t be putting anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your body. Try mixing together variations of spirulina/chlorella (packed with antioxidants), alma powder (very high in vitamin C that stimulates collagen production and helps clear skin of spots and imperfections) , green clay/bentonite clay/activated charcoal (to cleanse and tighten pores/balance pH and kill bad bacteria) in equal proportions and then add a few drops of water and blend until you reach a mask texture. Different combinations of these ingredients have left my skin softer and brighter than any chemical infused mask ever has. And they can be customized depending on what kind of nourishment your skin needs at a particular moment.
Homemade bath scrubs: Why would you ever spend money on store bought exfoliators when a $1 box of baking soda will exfoliate skin more gently and deeply than any scrub? And baking soda not only balances skin pH, is small enough to cleanse pores deeply, but is safe for the environment unlike store-bought brands with micro-beads that pollute the oceans. Also try other scrub combinations like brown sugar and honey or epsom salt and virgin coconut oil. Keep a small glass mason jar of your favorite homemade scrub in the shower and exfoliate your body in the shower, starting with the feet and moving upwards, while the steam helps open pores.
Shower massage: One of the key paradigms on Ayurveda relies on massage. This ancient Indian medicinal/lifestyle system believes that daily massage can help detoxify the body, relieve stress, increase circulation (our life-force), regenerate skin cells and contribute to over all well being. Ayurveda asserts the use of oils like jojoba and geranium oil in executing these gentle massages that start with the feet and work upwards to the head. And they can be done in the shower, and even with the use of homemade scrubs or oils to hydrate the skin.
Candle lighting: Think your bathroom doesn’t have enough aesthetic to induce a spa like feel? Flip off the switches and light candles. Lighting is transformative and the gentle flickering of candles illuminating corners can transform any bathroom into a spa.
Palo santo and sage cleansing: This ancient peruvian wood and common dried herb help cleanse spaces when burned. They release negative ions into the air, which helps kill bacteria and neutralizes positively charged “bad vibes” and stress chemicals released from the body.
Music: Don’t underestimate the power of calming music to transform your mood and stress levels. Whether it’s classical instruments, hang drums, chimes, Indian sitar and flutes, trying playing your favorite relaxation sounds while bathing… and massaging and face masking under the glow of candle light.
Hydrotherapy: Did you know that you can turn any shower or bath into a therapeutic treatment? You just need to understand the magical way that water can impact the body from the outside (water magic isn’t just about drinking enough of it). Try incorporating hydrotherapy into your daily rituals and reap it incredible benefits.
Infused baths: Try adding goat milk (or powdered goat milk) to your bath. Cleopatra was onto something with her camel-milk baths. The lactic acid and enzymes in milk are extremely nourishing (and regenerating) to skin. Goat milk in particular is a powerful anti-inflammatory, making it the perfect bath infusion for treating acne and inflamed skin.