As we transition from the slow days of summer into the hectic beginnings of the school year, feeling overwhelmed is quite common. The stress suddenly hits and taking time to take care of ourselves can move down further and further to the bottom of our to-do list. Not only that, while we are teaching, we are being bombarded with the energies of everyone in our school community, students, teachers, principals, and parents. Schools can often be spaces of high stress, and environmental stress can latch onto us, zapping our energy and taking over our minds. Does this sound familiar to you? I remember days when I would walk into school in the morning feeling ready and refreshed and leave that evening feeling overwhelmed and anxious. And on days like this my best self-care go-to would be an epsom salt bath as soon as I got home.
Epsom salt baths are a great way to relax your body, reduce overall inflammation, and decrease muscle soreness. And, even more importantly, they help to remove toxins from the body and also clear away anybody’s energy that is not yours that you picked up during the day. I immediately feel better after an epsom salt bath, and try to have a bath at least once a week during the school year, if not more. Below are some tips and tools I’ve learned along the way.
1. Make the act of cleaning your bathtub relaxing!
Sound crazy? It’s not. Most likely your bathtub is not the cleanest, and before you can even think about taking a bath, it needs a scrub down. One of the best ways to do this is with some baking soda, some peppermint essential oil, and a scrub brush. Just sprinkle in baking soda and about 10 drops of peppermint oil, and once you begin scrubbing, the essential oil will begin to smell and feel great. An added benefit is not being forced to use any chemicals before your bath.
2. The Recipe to Follow
The general recipe is 2 cups of epsom salt and very warm (not scalding) water. Soak for 20 minutes. If you are pregnant, please ask your doctor beforehand, as this is not recommended for pregnant people. You can buy epsom salts at a pharmacy and many grocery stores. Just the 2 cups is all you need! However, if you would like to jazz it up a bit, you can do some of the following:
- Add essential oils. Ten drops of lavender does nicely to relax the senses. Frankincense also helps to relieve stress. Grapefruit oil is a great pick-me-up if you want to take a bath at the beginning of your day. Epsom salt bath first thing in the morning with my morning coffee? Yes, please!
- Add half a cup of baking soda. Baking soda helps to neutralize the acidity of the body, is good for the skin, and also promotes the removal of toxins.
- Add a half a gallon of organic whole milk. Milk baths are an ancient technique in Ayurvedic medicine that help cool the body down. If you are feeling really heated from a angry interaction from the day, for example, a milk bath is a great remedy. I also like to add a few drops of rose oil to promote the cooling down process. Milk baths also help to moisturize the skin, and it’s believed that Cleopatra took milk baths regularly for the beauty benefits.
Add epsom salt baths to your self-care tool box. On the days when you feel like school is overwhelming your space, an epsom salt bath can be a simple cure to get you back to your center. Enjoy!