To say that this week has been mind-numbingly stressful and muscle-achingly exhausting would be an understatement. Now, all I want to do is slip my weary, achy body into a warm, relaxing bath, then slip under a fluffy duvet with a hot chocolate in one hand and The Museum of Extraordinary Things in another.
But first, the bath. Seriously, there is little that compares to a warm, fragrant, cozy bath when you are feeling tired, achy and generally blah. But as I have absolutely no energy, I am going to opt for an effortless bath, which is just as great at soaking away all cares as its more exotic relations. Since I need to calm my nerves more than anything else, it’s the sandalwood-ginger-rose oil for me. However, I am also giving you more tried-and-tested remedies to target your specific needs.
Add 4 drops each of sandalwood oil, ginger oil and rose oil to very warm water and soak for about 15 minutes. This bath is guaranteed to relax, soothe and calm your frazzled nerves with its cocktail of stress-relieving ingredients.
The sleep-better-tonight bath
Too tired and wound-up to sleep? Add 20 drops of lavender oil and 5 drops of marjoram oil to very warm water. The complex chemical composition of lavender promotes sleep-inducing alpha waves; while marjoram is is known for its warming and soothing effect on the body.
The comforting bath
Remember when we were hurt or upset and mom would tuck us in her lap and make all the bad stuff go away? This bath can’t compete with mom (nothing can!) but it does help chase away the blues. Pour 2 cups of milk and a packet of unflavoured instant oatmeal in warm water. The oatmeal exfoliates and revs up blood circulation, while the milk soothes and moisturises. More importantly, the scent of milk and oatmeal conjures up images of mom, vacations and chilly mornings spent bundled up in a fluffy, cozy sweater.
The headache busting bath
This is the one I turn to when my brain feels like it’s going to explode right out of my skull: tie 2 ounces of dried chamomile in a clean sock and hang it under the water spout of your bath. The oil of azulene in this anti-inflammatory herb will relieve tension and sedate your nerves. Keep it very warm (but not scalding): a bit of steam will step up the results.
The pick-yourself-up bath
Too tired to move but still need to head out of the house? Add 15-20 drops of rosemary oil to tepid water. Full of borneol, camphor and camphene, rosemary is an antiseptic and stimulant that will make your skin tingle and wake up your entire body (and mind). Scrub from head-to-toe with a bath puff to supercharge the bath’s rejuvenating effects.
PS: For our purposes, “tepid” is about 88 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit (think of a heated pool), “warm” means 92 to 100 degrees (a shade warmer than what you’d bathe your kids in), and “very warm” means 100 to 104 degrees (hot to the wrist – with some visible steam).