Living Well Favorites: Bathing Beauty

bath time via Domino & Mama Medicine.jpg

I believe a nightly bath is one of the very best self-care strategies ever.

Simple, calming, inexpensive, sleep inducing, meditative, physically and emotionally relaxing… a good bath is pretty much perfect, in my book.

After leaving my insane teaching life (where I never took baths and yet probably needed them the most), I started a nearly-nightly bath routine as part of my healing and quality of life overhaul.

Now my evening bath is sacred for me, and I think I’ve perfected the routine.

Here, a few essentials — and fun extras — for an optimal bathing beauty experience.

If you do nothing else, put some lavender essential oil and epsom salts in your bath and turn down the lights. This alone promises to be an incredible sleep aid before bedtime. (Plus, it’s pretty inexpensive.) No surprise, my favorite candles right now are P.F. Candle Co. in Golden Coast (says the California girl still obsessed with her new home). I accompany the candles with a few crystals, these magical moon matches, and an abalone shell bowl and some palo santo for when the crystals need some extra-extra.

While in the bath, truthfully you will sometimes find me watching Violette videos on YouTube, my most favorite thing ever. I love her artistic sensibilities, her soothing French accent, and pretty much everything about these little perfect gems. But if I’m feeling more analog, my reading choices are decidedly anti-intellectual. I don’t want to think in the bath; I want to turn my brain off. So how about my tattered copy of The Bombshell Manual of Style when feeling glamorous (served with a decided wink and tongue in its cheek), or Love Poems by Pablo Neruda or The Essential Rumi? If something spicier, I’ll reach for one of Tiffany Reisz’s stories

Surprisingly, I’m really not about the bubble baths (not a fan of slippery chemicals in delicate places), but should one day I upgrade my bathtub situation to something more palatially marble, I might go in for some California Baby Super Sensitive bubbles, with no fragrance and weird stuff (and a bubble wand, if you’re feeling effervescent).

New moons are a perfect time to contemplate some intentions while soaking in a bath, and this journal gifted to me at Christmas has become a favorite for writing manifestation lists and other important inner-work briefs. My new moon lists have moved away from goal-type listing for the next month, but rather getting quiet and identifying what qualities or feelings I want to ground into more in the next month. I keep it simple and don’t overthink things. It’s nice to put it in a journal so you can go back and reflect month-to-month as well.

In the decadent department, when I get home from tango late at night, not only do I want a bath to feel fresh and unwind, but I am also sometimes hungry for a snack after several hours of dancing. My indulgence of choice is bringing some kombucha and gluten-free cookies into the bath with me.

When you exit your amazing self-care soak, you’ll want to wrap up in something extra cozy. I like the plushest white robe possible (or this one embroidered with a single “J”). And I have a true pet peeve regarding the total lack of cozy-yet-chic slipper options: I avoid shearling, I want it washable, and I don’t want granny scuffs, ugly breadboxes, or emoji puffs. Truly, there is very little left after that (something an entrepreneurial endeavor of mine will hopefully one day solve), but right now I’m slipping into these simple scuffs. I can’t abide cold or dirty soles, not after a bath or ever.

I will forever sing the praises of a good evening bath for physical and mental self-care. If you’ve joined the bathing beauty bath club, let me know here what your favorite bath essentials are!

Tub goals via Domino magazine and @mamamedicine.

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