You stress me out. *insert bubble bath here*
What (or who, rather) stresses you out? What is the first thing that pops into your head? Time, money, bills, Frank, Jill, kids, your job, traffic, Jennifer Aniston every time you see her timeless, flawless, perfect skin on television as you pick at that pimple on your face that just won’t go away? (Sorry…I’m a little bitter.)
I feel like there are a lot of superficial things in life that stress us out. At least here in the western world, we stress over little things. And maybe that’s just because life is so fast, we don’t have time to stress over big things.
For me, the big things are the problem. Having had zits for about seventeen years now, I’ve come to realize that there is not much I can do about them. So I’ve stopped stressing and accepted my lot in life. I’m sure Jennifer Aniston has something she’s had to accept as well, right? But, the big things always weigh on me whether I acknowledge them or not.
When I say “big things”, I think I mean that feeling I get when I’m tired and there’s too much to do and the world seems so small and impossibly unkind. I know I can’t be the only one who gets so overwhelmed that moving on doesn’t feel do-able anymore.
My mom has always told me to look at the big picture. And when I do that, it seems that the big things turn into small things. It’s taken me a long time to learn this simple principle – Look at the big picture.
So, what doesn’t stress you out? Do those things. For me, taking a hot bath while reading a book does not fill me with worry and stress and an overwhelming feeling of dread. So, I am making it a point to do the same. Here’s the drill for any day you feel the least bit overwhelmed:
Here’s what you’ll need:
Bath Time – set aside at least thirty minutes for soaking.
Book – a good one
Hot Tea – your very favourite
Water (because you’ll get thirsty)
Epsom Salt – about 2 cups
Essential Oil or smelly good bubble bath
Flowers (just to make you feel like a goddess)
Start that warm bath water running. Get the temperature just right. Remember, it’s going to cool down as you relax and you don’t want to be wet and cold. Pour in your Epsom Salt, position your favourite mug of hot tea and your water on the side of the bath tub, along with your book. But don’t knock it over into the water! That would be stressful and counter-productive.
While the tub is continuing to fill, just drop in some smelly-good stuff (I’ve used relaxing essential oils before, but my favourite is when I pour in a really strong green tea because I like the smell).
Get naked and sprinkle flowers over your bath if ya wanna. Like rose petals, dried rose buds (which you can normally get for pretty cheap in a natural foods store), or even lavender. Sink in to that water, read your book and drink your tea, sweat some, drink some water, and enjoy time to yourself.
Sometimes, if I’m reading a reallllly good book, I even take an hour…
This system was a life-saver for me when I was a teacher. I could relax after a long day of grading, and often instead of reading, I could just rest in God’s spirit and pray for the students I was worried about.
I found that it not only helped my anxiety, but helped me sleep better, get to bed faster, revived me the next day, and even gave me quite a bit of relief from fibromyalgia pains.
Ladies and gentlemen, the art of the bath. Relaxation, contemplation, and tea.