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Tag: stress relief

Bath nirvana

Lavender fields

Recently I put together a few simple elements that I thought resulted in the most relaxing bath ever–so of course I wanted to share!

It all started when I came across a magazine article about magnesium, “the relaxation mineral.” Magnesium fights stress, improves sleep, and not having a magnesium deficiency makes you only half as likely to die as other people. Sounds good to me! If you’ve noticed twitching around one or both of your eyes when you get stressed, that’s a symptom of magnesium deficiency, as are insomnia, high blood pressure, sensitivity to loud noises, and–you may have noticed others suffering from this!–irritability.

I have some magnesium malate tablets (horse pills if I’m honest) that I take occasionally. (It’s difficult to get the timing right for optimal absorption, I find.) But then the article I was reading mentioned that I could simply take a bath with epsom salts and absorb magnesium through my skin. Aha! I pulled the carton of epsom salts out of the linen closet.

Package instructions on epsom salts often say to use 2 cups in a bath. I’ve found that’s far too much for my sensitive skin. In a hot bath (I like to run a bath just shy of as hot as I can stand), I have gotten excellent results with 1/3 to 1/2 cup epsom salts + 6 pumps of Dermalogica Stress Relief Treatment Oil, which includes lavender. If you have lavender essential oil, such as Aveda’s, you can substitute about a dozen drops. The oil balances out any drying effects of the salts. I like to soak in this bath for about 30 minutes, flipping over so all of my skin can participate!

The first time I tried this, I cannot tell you how mellow I was–and the effect was quite noticeable for at least 24 hours. It also noticeably improved the quality and depth of my sleep. At this rate, it’s possible I could become more laid-back than my herb-smoking uncle. (OK, on further thought, that’s probably not possible.) Maybe the answer’s been completely legal and lurking in an obscure aisle of the health & beauty section all along …

Peace out.

This post is illustrated with my SoulCollage card Lavender fields.

SoulCollageĀ® cards are for personal use, and are not for sale, barter, or trade.

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Sayonara to stress

Some days are more stressful than others. And then there are those days when stress reaches epic proportions–you just can’t believe so many things have come down on you at once, a perfect storm of stress. Last Friday was that kind of day for me. As the day ended, I felt sorely in need of a treat, not to mention a way to cope.

For the treat, I considered food … I’m a foodie, so good food is always a treat, plus it’s awfully nice to have someone else do the cooking at the end of a horrid day. But I quickly realized that going to a restaurant would involve extensive interaction with people–the very same species, as it happens, that had been doing its utmost (or so it seemed) to drive me out of my ever-loving mind since the very beginning of the day.

Plus I had perfectly nice homemade spaghetti sauce in the fridge.

So I began to consider Barnes & Noble … books are a great treat too, not to mention a great source of coping mechanisms … and, Barnes & Noble is a leading provider of emergency chocolate. Sold. Let it not be said I don’t know how to create a mini perfect storm of my own.

So having eaten my spaghetti, I headed to the bookstore and checked out the spirituality section. I don’t actually remember what they call it at Barnes & Noble, but it’s a weird mishmash of books I might be interested in, plus books about real werewolves (hey, I guess anything’s possible), Wicca, and other topics I feel no immediate need to read about. I picked out a couple books my inner voice indicated would be helpful, as well as a Godiva dark chocolate and raspberry bar, and beat a hasty retreat home.

One of the books had a guided meditation CD in the back, including morning and evening meditations. I popped it into my laptop and did the evening one, and wow! Even though the title didn’t lead me to believe it was directly relevant, it turned out to have an incredibly helpful emphasis on releasing all the negativity of a difficult day. Perfect!

After completing the guided meditation, I felt much better, but could still feel a bit of a knot in my stomach. A hot bath seemed like it would hit the spot, so I ran one with a generous amount of relaxing aromatherapy bath oil, and lit a candle against the darkness.

I like a bath to be sauna-hot, and so I lowered myself into it strategically … feet first, then knees, and so on. Ahhh.

Afterwards I felt like a new woman, or at least a very sleepy rag doll. I meditated, sprayed my sheets with more lavender, and slept the sleep of the just.

*****

Here’s what I used …

  • Doreen Virtue’s Chakra Clearing CD
  • Dermalogica’s Stress Relief Treatment Oil
  • Aveda’s Pure-fume Spirit custom-made with 100% French lavender essential oil (used as linen spray).
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