Posts tagged #calm

Take a Bath: 4 Natural Concoctions to Totally Relax You

Enjoy this piece I wrote for Naturally Savvy--it needed to be brought forth again. Anxiety is very prevalent right now:

You’re wound up like a top from work, or your best-friend-in-a-crisis shows up unexpectedly for the weekend. What do you do? Take a bath and let your troubles melt away. Don’t just pour some dish soap into the bathtub and pretend you’re at the spa, try these concoctions to really help you relax.

1. Essential Oils: Made through steam distillation of botanicals, essential oils capture the pure essence of the plant. They are potent, aromatic and highly therapeutic. Since one of the best ways to benefit from essential oils is vaporization, putting drops into a hot bath is an excellent way to use them. This is a form of aromatherapy. "Aromatherapy can be defined as the controlled use of essential oils to maintain and promote physical, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing."  ~ Gabriel Mojay

Here are some essential oils to use for relaxation

  • Chamomile 
  • Clary sage 
  • Frankincense 
  • Jasmine 
  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Marjoram
  • Ylang ylang

How to use them
To help the oils dissolve better, add them to the bath with a tablespoon of whole milk or Epsom salts. Add the drops just before entering the bath and use your hands to stir them around the tub.

Try this relaxing recipe from Laurel Vukovic, author of Herbal Healing Secrets for Women:

5 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops sandalwood essential oil
2 drops clary sage essential oil

2. Epsom salts: These contain minerals, one of which is magnesium. Magnesium is used to relax muscles and help people sleep. Put 1-2 cups of Epsom salts into your bath for a deeply relaxing experience. This is a perfect bath to take just before you slide into bed.

3. Herbs: You can also use the dried herb version of some relaxing plants. One suggestion from the Crunchy Betty website is to make a very strong tea, let it steep at least seven minutes and then pour it into the bath. Take the remaining loose tea and wrap it into a wash cloth. Tie it up and let it float in the bathtub with you. You can also use this as a scrub to wash your body.

The following herbs are both relaxing and rejuvenating. You can combine whatever scents you like the most in combination or use one at a time. The fun thing to do is to experiment and take as many baths as you can. Dedicate an entire week to research!

Use Sage, Green tea, Chamomile, Peppermint, Rosemary and, of course the belle of the ball - Lavender.

4. Oatmeal: It isn’t just a cereal. As a grass it contains high amounts of minerals including calcium, which can relax the nervous system and muscles. An oat bath is an age-old remedy for anyone stressed out and sore.

Boil oatmeal in a large pot for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain the water into a bowl and leave the oats behind. Use the emollient water for the bath-pour it in when you’re ready. This is soothing as well as very moisturizing.

Posted on February 22, 2016 and filed under anxiety remedy.

How my Cat Barney Taught Me to Meditate

At times in our life, we need to look around and see what or whom is influencing us. We may be surprised…

Recently, I realized that one of my biggest influences in my life is my cat Barney. Before you start rolling your eyes and feeling sorry for the poor girl with no life, hear me out. I’m talking about how Barney models perfect behaviour for self-care and relaxation. Not only that—he is the perfect teacher of meditation.

At the tender age of kittenhood, he was dropped off at a farm in the middle of winter, basically to fight it out in survival of the fittest mode. With great revenge to the inhumane individual who did this to him, he thrives today. So, with his relaxed attitude to life’s ups and downs, he continues to teach me—don’t sweat it lady.

For instance, each time I walk in the door, Barney is either chilling at the window, stretched full length on the couch or sitting casually by his food bowl. He doesn’t get uptight. He doesn’t get bent out of shape. He’s cool.
 

I attribute his gift for flow—living to his regular practice of meditation.

Every 2-3 days, I find Barney either on the couch or in the corner on my bedroom floor, in full meditation pose (cat style). He lays on his back with his paws curled into his chest, his head to one side and his lower body turned to the right. His eyes are partially open (this is the creepy part until I got used to it) and rolled back into his head. His mouth is open part way with his mouth in a strange trance-like grin. He does this for about 20 minutes and then rolls off his back, shakes his head, meows confusedly and walks away. Note: I know the difference between when a cat is sleeping and what Barney is doing—big difference!

So, every time I see Barney doing this, I think—meditation. I need to meditate more. Then I will sit and meditate or just close my eyes and breathe. I feel more relaxed, I feel less stressed, I feel more connected to my inner self.
He is a constant reminder to go with the flow and go within to balance, centre and refocus myself.
Thanks Barney—I’ll remember this article the next time you scratch my couch to shreds.