May 30, 2021
Memorial Day Weekend Special Edition on Baths
Welcome to my Self-Care Sunday’s B.R.E.A.T.H.S. blog post. A couple weeks ago, I discussed the top five reasons self-care is important, followed by 10 Tips You Can Do to Maintain Proper Self-care. I decided to break down the ten tips and focus on one tip each week to give extra pointers on how to better manage self-care at least one day a week. This week, I have a special Memorial Day Weekend post on Self-Care Sundays regarding baths or bathing.
Mental Health Awareness Month
We are wrapping up Mental Health Awareness Month and I would like to discuss how proper self care is necessary, but also can be difficult for those struggling with mental and physical health issues. Of all the ten self-care tips I mention, bathing is the scariest and most difficult self-care routines for me. The fear of falling in the shower due to my physical disability with HEDS causes great mental anguish. Because I cannot go through life without showering or bathing, I have to make some modifications and I might as well make it fun, like bathing in gold, haha! (see pic below)
10 Tips on Making Bathing an Enhanced Experience
Whenever I get the chance, I choose a bath over a shower any day, for mental and physical reasons. When I am seated in the bath, I am calm, warm, and relaxed. To enhance my bathing experience, I have come up with a list of 10 ways to make my bath time more fun and enjoyable. Maybe some of these tips will work for your enhanced bathing experience.
- Music – I use my Amazon Music App (comes with my Prime membership) to play relaxing playlists such as classical music, meditation/spa sounds, or my favorite sounds are healing crystal bowls and chakra chants.
- Nature – I like to have some plants like succulents and eucalyptus around my bath or a window open (if applicable) to let in fresh air and natural light. Sometimes, I will play nature sounds on my music app such as birds singing or ocean waves crashing.
- Candles – I use purifying beeswax candles with organic dried flowers and wooden wicks that are handmade by my friend @ Bravo Balms (check out her candles and body care products on Instagram, most of her balms are perfect for application after bathing).
- Soaps – I use different soaps for different parts of the body. For shampoos and conditioners I prefer ones that are paraben-free and sulfate-free as those chemicals tend to cause skin irritation. I use Beauty Society facial cleansers. For bath soap, I like to purchase special ritual bars from Lunam Love.
- Scrubbers, loofahs, & sponges – I use my Beauty Society Body Treatment Mitt to wash my body. For my feet, I use a few different foot scrubbers, Beauty Society Foot Scrubber a couple times a week for the dry areas, the loofah on my mitt to clean the foot, and a brush to scrub the toenails.
- Bath bombs – these neat creations add fizz, fragrance, and foam all in one. No need to fuss with essential oils, bags of bath salts, bottles of bubble soap, or lighting incense, these bath bombs have it all in one little ball of magic.
- Ice water – I have my 40oz hydro flask filled with water and ice for a nice cool, refreshing sip to stay hydrated. I will also have a washcloth handy where I dip into the water and drape it across my face to close the clean pores.
- Snacks – I usually stay in the bath for a while and I like to have a light snack around such as crackers, nuts, fruits, and sometimes chocolates (chocolate-covered strawberries would make it pure heaven).
- Book – One of the reasons I am in the bath so long is because I am enjoying a good fiction book. I read nonfiction all day and while I enjoy it, it’s not that relaxing. I will often pick a fiction book that lets my imagination flourish.
- Bath massagers – Yep, you know what I mean 😉 Start up those jets, massage shower heads, and waterproof massage tools/toys! Have ffffffuuuuunnnnn! 😀
*Pro tip: Cold Shower – while this may not sound pleasant, there are way too many benefits to skip this first step before you fill up the tub. Cold therapy showers increase blood flow, minimize muscle soreness, calms inflamed or itchy skin, and increasing the time each day helps with improving mental strength by building better tolerance.
*Super pro tip: for a real natural bathing experience, I recommend getting an outdoor bathtub. This came in handy while on the road at camp sites without showers or when I felt like I wanted to take a bubble bath on the beach. The hardest part was heating enough water to make it enjoyable in the colder weather. I would heat 3 large pots at a time and it took about 12 pots to have barely enough water to sit in, and the bathwater would cool waiting for the other pots to heat up. Therefore, this outdoor tub is really best if you want to bathe in unheated water. Of course it would be a handy personal pool for staying cool or perhaps an ice bath, too. I’m guessing this can also be used as a floatation device, I have not tried that yet.
Memorial Day Special Edition on Bathing
I am so very happy and grateful for the privilege to bathe just about whenever and wherever I want. Bathing is a privilege many of us have, but unfortunately, there are some people in our community that don’t have access to clean baths. As I discussed earlier, bathing is a huge part of self-care that affects our mental health and overall well-being. Please consider donating some self-care items to a church or nonprofit who provides these items to the less fortunate, monetary donations always help, or offer your time and physical abilities to deliver the items into your community.
One of the nonprofit organizations my late friend, Joe Quintanilla started for our homeless veterans is called, Operation Zero Hour. Their mission is an immediate call to action, to stop and help now by providing care kits to veterans all over the United States living in the streets from Skid Row LA, Seattle, Detroit, New York City, and New Orleans. The donations go towards $60 care packages for the veterans and also future housing projects to provide them safe shelter.
Thank you for reading. Have a blessed Memorial Day Weekend!
Dr. Jaime Brainerd, Ed.D.