In these uncertain times, stepping away from everything and taking a minute for yourself is more important than ever. Quarantine and social distancing has left many of us feeling lost, confused, and downright depressed — and understandably so. Whether you’re stuck in the house with a full family and feeling like you’ll never get another moment to yourself or you’re alone and missing human interaction, making a little time for yourself can be hard, especially if you’re not used to taking it!
When the quarantine first started, many people were stocking up on toilet paper. I, however, was investing in a bath tray. It had been two years since I moved into my house, two years and several months since I demanded that my realtor only show me homes with bathtubs. And here I was, still having never actually used the bathtub.
The bath tray got delivered and sat for several weeks before I set a date for myself to finally take that bath! The day came, work got crazy and went late, the time got to be 10 p.m. and I fell into full martyr mode. “It was too late for a bath and I’ll probably never get the time to take one.” Woe. Is. Me. “NO!” I thought. Even if it was only 15 minutes, I was going to make that bath happen, gosh darn it.
And so I prepped. I couldn’t find the bath bomb variety pack I had gotten for my birthday, I couldn’t even find a tub stopper! The candles needed to be lit and I needed to figure out if the bath tray would actually stay put on my tub. This was getting pretty stressful; not the bath experience I had envisioned. This wasn’t how the stock photo models look in their tubs! Heck, I didn’t even have a lotus to float around in the tub. Where does one even find a lotus to float around? Wine! Where was the wine, all I had was my giant workout water jug that was too big for the tray. But finally, the bath happened!
And I’m glad it did. Sure it wasn’t the five-star spa experience I imagined, but it was nice and it made me want to do it again. Maybe I’ll even get a little better at it. Here’s a few quick ideas for giving yourself that little bit of time for some pampering in the midst of chaos.
Drawing the perfect bath
Learn from me! This is by far one of the best ways to relieve tension and stress in any context, and not having to leave your house for it makes it the perfect quarantine wind-down activity. With a bath, you’re essentially creating a temporary space for yourself to relax, reflect, and just enjoy the present moment. Starting with the basics is easy enough: dim your lights, light a few candles, and run some warm water- but there are so many ways to make the experience all the more soothing.
One especially unique method is the “Cleopatra bath”, which takes its name from the belief that the Egyptian queen Cleopatra would bathe in milk and honey. Those ingredients are said to have particularly soothing properties and will leave the skin silky smooth. All you have to is add a cup and a half of milk and a half a cup of honey to your warm bath and stir. But make sure your bath isn’t too hot so as to not cook either ingredient! You can even further immerse yourself in this relaxing experience by adding a few drops of essential oils to your bath. Lavender is the perfect complement to this combination.
Make a homemade body scrub or face mask
Believe it or not, you don’t have to go out to the spa to achieve that confidence-boosting post face mask glow. There are plenty of ingredients you probably have in your own kitchen that can make a high-performance face mask. A favorite of mine for soothing tired, stressed-out skin is an oatmeal facial, and it’s also one of the easiest.
Aromatherapy to the Rescue
This is one of my favorite ways to escape with virtually no prep time. Find your favorite essential oils (mine are sage and rose, they make me happy) and smell them. Yup that’s it! The simplicity is their beauty. You can add in a jade face roller to add some extra relaxation (and supposedly anti-wrinkling) but just lie down and enjoy the smells of these oils. They can distract your mind and influence your mood. It’s amazing what a beautiful scent can do.