Self Care Bath Ritual Essentials

Creating a bath ritual is such an essential part of self care. It’s as simple as carving out 20 minutes from your day, setting your intentions (detox, relaxation, focus, muscle relief, etc.), and creating the proper atmosphere. Therapeutic bathing rituals have been used since ancient times to promote overall wellness, and are known to help in the body’s natural healing processes. While self care encompasses everything from healthy eating habits to fitness to meditation, the power of creating a bath ritual should not be overlooked. Here are a few of my favorite bath products that’ll get you started on your own new bath ritual.

Ritual Turkish Bath Towels

If you haven’t used these towels yet, you’re totally missing out. Not only are they super pretty, adding an amazing amount of texture and style to your bathroom, but they’re also everything you’ve ever wanted in a bath towel. Absorbent, quick-drying, soft, and very large (100cm × 180cm). You might recognize this style of towels from your last luxury spa visit. They may seem pricey, but if you follow simple care instructions, these towels will literally last you at least until your next major bathroom renovation. I’m loving my Stray & Wander Turkish Towels. I have towels from both the Rio Collection and the Cove Collection and they do not disappoint!

Ritual Candles

Set the mood, y’all! Candles serve a dual purpose: ambience and atmosphere. I’m totally crushing on Basik Candle Co. right now. These coconut wax blend candles have a way better scent throw than soy and other natural wax candles, yet they’re still extremely clean burning and eco-friendly. Choose from earthy scents like oakmoss + amber or teakwood + leather for a relaxing bath. Choose from citrus scents like grapefruit + mangosteen or blood orange + bergamot for a detox bath or a bath centered around sharpening your focus. My personal favorite is the mediterranean fig tree scent. It always seems to go with my mood and intentions.

Ritual Bath Additives

Of course you can always DIY the perfect bath additive, but sometimes the right blend is as easy clicking a link. Lark, a company founded on the principle that skin care shouldn’t be complicated, has made one such perfect blend. For a crystal infused detox bath, try their  New Moon Ritual Salts. These bath salts use pink Himalayan sea salt and the soft fragrance of lavender and sage. I love to use exfoliating soaps as part of my bath ritual, whether I’m soaking in the tub, or just adding some spa style to my evening shower. Carriage 44 offers a range of exfoliating bar soaps that smell dreamy. Try the Gentle Exfoliating Oatmeal Soap scented with vanilla absolute. Or try the Exfoliating Cedar & Lavender Soap, a unique blend of ground oatmeal, cedar, lavender, and spruce essential oils. It’s like melting away at a mountain retreat. They also carry this pretty awesome Dead Sea Soaking Salt that sloughs away dead skin, detoxes, and moisturizers leaving your skin really smooth.

Take the time out for yourself and create your own bath ritual!

De-stress With These Mini Self Massage Techniques + A DIY Warming Massage Oil Recipe

Giving yourself a massage might seems as futile as trying to tickle yourself, but believe me when I say that not only is it possible, sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. You’ll be surprised at how effective these techniques are in reducing stress and promoting your overall sense of wellness. Add the oil blend below and you’re well on your way to a happy ending… I couldn’t resist.

Self Massage Techniques

Neck/Shoulders

Relax your shoulders down away from your ears. Slowly tuck your chin in toward your chest to stretch the back of your neck. Place your fingertips on the back of your neck where your shoulders meet your neck. Apply pressure and hold for a few breaths. Release. Roll your shoulders slowly in a circular motion. Repeat these steps as necessary.

Lower Back

So this one requires a tennis ball. Yeah, I totally had to buy one too. I don’t know anyone who plays tennis and Serena wasn’t answering her phone so yeah. Anyway, place your brand new tennis ball on the floor, or in the space between your back and a wall. Move your body slowly so that the tennis ball massages any tension in your lower back. Avoid rolling the ball along your spine. in applying pressure, try to find a balance that’s right for you so that you don’t further aggravate soreness.

Lower Leg

Using the heels of your palm, knead along both sides of your calf in small circles. Work your way up your calf slowly from the ankle until you reach the knee, flexing and pointing your toes as you go. Again, starting at the ankle, drag the heels of your palms along either side of your calf until you reach the knee. Repeat these steps to alleviate lower leg pain caused by rocking high heels, or yesterday’s spin class.

Feet

You can stick to the tried and true tennis ball rolling treatment, or you can grab some oil and give yourself a proper foot rub. Sit with your ankle resting on the opposite knee. Grasp each toe, one at a time, and rotate them clockwise and counterclockwise, Bend each toe backward and forward, and finally give each toe a gentle pull. After giving each little piggy some attention, use both hands to firmly grasp your foot on either side.  Wiggle your foot back and forth with your hands paying attention to ball of your foot and your arch.

Warming Massage Oil

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
  • 4 drops orange essential oil
  • 3 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 2 drops ginger essential oil

Directions

  • Add all ingredients into an amber glass bottle.
  • Give it a little shake to blend the oils.
  • To use, add a few drops to the palm of your hand before practicing any of the massage techniques above.

4 Wellness Rituals to Start Today

There’s been a lot of talk about self care recently. While it may sound super indulgent at first glance what with all the emphasis on ‘me time’, it is an essential part of physical and mental health. If you’ve ever felt like you have nothing left to give, like you’re emotionally and physically exhausted, or even like you just need a moment to get away, you already know how important self care is for you and everyone else around you. There is no shame in hitting the reset button. There’s no shame in trying to keep all the cogs and wheels in your mind and body running as smoothly as possible. That’s essentially what all this ‘me time’ talk is hinting at.

There’s no one-size-fits-all method for self care. Sometimes it’s as simple as lighting a candle and meditating. Sometimes it’s as painful as confronting the obstacles that we put in our own way. Whatever method of self care we choose, the fact of the matter is, we just need to find the rituals or habits that allow us to be our best selves. The mind and body are inextricably connected. We have to nurture both. Here are 3 suggestions for self care that you can incorporate today!

Drink warm lemon water every morning

As a coffee drinker, I completely understand if you hesitate on this one, but if I can do it you can too! Warm lemon water, detoxifies and hydrates the body, aids digestion, and gives you a nice kick of Vitamin C. Just squeeze the juice from a fresh lemon into a mug of warm water and enjoy.

Start a gratitude journal

I used to think journaling was something you did just to vent out deeply repressed frustration. Not so! There is so much to be thankful for and sometimes we lose sight of it. Each morning, take a few minutes to jot down a quick list of things you’re grateful for to kick the day off with a positive frame of mind. Seriously, a gratitude journal will remind you to be happy and keep you grounded.

Try Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic tradition that is primarily for oral health, but is also known to vastly improve overall health. Oil pulling is said to boost energy, clear up the skin, alleviate headaches, and much more. Swish a tablespoon of organic coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes first thing in the morning. Spit it out in the toilet or in the garbage to avoid clogging your drains. Rinse your mouth out and start your day!

Dry Brush Your Skin

This is another Ayurvedic tradition that has a ton of benefits. Not only does dry brushing stimulate the lymphatic system, it promotes detoxification, improves circulation, and you guessed it, it exfoliates your skin. Using a brush with natural bristles take an extra few minutes before your regular shower routine to dry brush. Beginning at your feet, gently brush in upward strokes working your way up toward your heart. Shower as usual. You’ll totally feel the difference.

Again, there is no right or wrong blueprint for self care. Don’t hate on yourself if you’d rather take a bubble bath than do any of the things on this list. Find what’s right for you and start today! Your future self will thank you.

3 Apps to Support Your Emotional and Mental Health

Does running away from my problems count as cardio? Sigh. If only that was the way things worked. Anxiety and stress are no joke. No matter what changes you make to your diet and your fitness routine, your mind can always find a way to convince you to be miserable. Now that self care is an actual trending topic, we can finally openly talk about the struggles we’re facing in our quest for emotional and mental well being. What’s even better is that there’s always an app for that.

Meditation Studio

This app goes beyond just general relaxation meditations. Meditation studio offers a wide variety of guided meditations that focus on specific areas like anxiety, sleep, and gratitude. There’s even an ‘unguided’ feature that allows you to create custom meditations.

Talkspace

This app is like having the magical ability to get your therapist to make a house call. For $32/ week, you can chat with a professional as much as you need to. You can even do couples therapy! This is unlimited, on-demand counseling, y’all.

Happify

This app is like a one stop shop for emotional and mental support. Happify describes its mission best: “How you feel matters. Whether you’re feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, or you’re dealing with constant negative thoughts, Happify brings you effective tools and programs to take control of your emotional well-being.” Set your goals and let the app do the rest.

***Didn’t find exactly what you’re looking for? Go here for the low down on more Health & Wellness Apps available on ios and android.