This idea is so well-worn it’s like your favourite gauzy old bit of blanket, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. And face it, when was the last time WE did this for ourselves?
The activity below will give you a hit of just about everything we’re aiming for with the self-care / alone time element of The Small Escape. Besides which, it’s about time we all gave ourselves the time and permission for half an hour of ne plus ultra self-care. Follow these rules and sink right in…
1. Stop by your nearest ironmonger’s / hardware shop / general store and buy:
- a bag of tea light candles
- a box of matches
2. For extra luxury, go into your local chemist’s / drugstore and pick up a bag of Epsom salts.
3. This evening, get off the sofa half an hour before your usual bedtime, and run yourself a hot bath.
4. While it’s running, clear the sides and lay tea lights round the edge.
5. Tip half the bag of Epsom salts into the water. Follow with your favourite bath oil. I adore Kniepp’s Stress Free in Mandarin and Orange (and I wasn’t paid to say that!)
6. When the bath is full, light the candles with the matches.
7. Undress, turn off the overhead light and climb in. No reading!
8. Soak for at least twenty minutes to get the full effect.
9. Climb out, get yourself ready for bed and look forwards to a blissful night’s sleep.
We all KNOW a long hot soak in the bath is good for us, right? But why – aside from getting clean – might that be?
As you probably know, our brains are overloaded these days with constant hits of stimuli, which isn’t good for our long-term health or our short-term stress levels. Sensory deprivation (or, failing your own personal floatation tank, a candlelit bath in a dark room) gives our brains a chance to reset, optimising our chances of a good night’s sleep.
Epsom salts contain magnesium sulphate, which when dissolved in a bath is supposed to aid with aching muscles and detoxification. There is very little scientific evidence for this, but bathing in Epsom salts will definitely make your skin feel lovely and soft, which I think is as good a reason as any to try it.
And for more on the benefits of candlelight, see my earlier post on adding harmony to your evening at home.
Remember to be safe around candles. Don’t fall asleep in the bath, blow them out before bed and don’t set fire to the house! Happy bathing…