It’s Advent! The time of preparation for Christmas. The festival of love, of light, of coming together… but many of us no longer have the time to actually experience this contemplative time as contemplative… do you know that? Do you feel the same way? That the pre-Christmas stress doesn’t let you relax?
I have a brilliant offer for you – Advent baths for a relaxed, contemplative Advent season! I’m giving you 4 recipes for Christmas-scented bath blends so that you can enjoy the tranquillity of the pre-Christmas period at least once a week this year.
As a busy adult with a job, bills to pay and a schedule to keep, you may not have the luxury of lying in the bath until your fingers get wrinkly. So you jump in the shower. You do what you have to do. You dry off and get on with your day. Efficient. Powerful. Reliable. A hard-working member of our society who, especially now in the pre-Christmas period, hardly gets a chance to rest.
Taking a bath has powerful positive effects on your physical, emotional and mental health. And what could be more important than your health and well-being?
Bathing doesn’t have to be every day. But if you take 20 to 30 minutes once a week for a bath, you will realise that it has a positive effect on your health.
Here are my 5 main reasons for regular, fragrant baths:
cleansing & peeling
A bath can help cleanse and care for your skin in several ways. Bathing gives your skin time to soften, and scrubbing with a gentle body brush also removes old skin cells. This makes your skin silky soft and is also the perfect time for a close shave.
Bathing cleanses your skin and helps prevent irritation, inflammation and sores caused by the build-up of dead skin cells. It can also help to remove bacteria and fungi caused by contact with the environment. Because when these accumulate, the risk of infection increases. The warm water also opens your pores. This flushes out the dirt that has accumulated throughout the day and allows the soap to penetrate and do its work.
2. strengthen your mental and emotional health
Just imagine: Relaxing music, a good book, a candle burning and your favourite scent in the air. If you do it right, a bath can be the epitome of self-care and self-love – something that would do many people a lot more good. Self-care is not about being selfish or neglecting others. Practising self-love is about making time for your own needs, desires and wellness.
Self-care reduces stress. Stress is not only an emotional burden, it is also poison for your body. Too much and prolonged stress is associated with a range of discomforts:
- Sore muscles
- heart disease
- hair loss
- Weakened immune system
- Weight gain
- and much more
Warm baths are associated with a reduction in stress hormones and a more balanced serotonin level. Put simply, you could almost say: bathing makes you happy!
3. restful & deep sleep
Several studies show that a warm shower or bath before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more restfully. Why?
Your core body temperature fluctuates a little throughout the day. This is normal. For ideal sleep, your temperature needs to drop by around two to three degrees. Even if it seems as if a bath makes you warm and cosy and therefore raises your temperature, the exact opposite is the case.
When your body warms up in the bath, your blood comes to the surface. This means that the heat is drawn from inside you. This lowers your body temperature and promotes relaxation and sleep.
And that’s not all…
Baths are a great way to meditate, reflect and escape the stresses of everyday life. By relaxing, you can better let go of things that would otherwise keep you awake at night. It is best to take a 20-30 minute bath one or two hours before going to bed.
4. pamper your strained muscles and joints
It’s not for nothing that many sports films show athletes soaking in a large bathtub in the changing room after a big game. A warm bath can help with sore muscles and tension. If you relax your strained muscles, you will get through the coming days with less pain. This means more freedom of movement and better training options. A win-win situation.
Do you love adventure? Then ice baths could be just the thing for you. Cool the bath down to a temperature between 11 and 20 degrees. That’s pretty cold, so start slowly. Try to soak in an ice bath for about five minutes and then slowly increase to 10 minutes.
5. skin care
Salt water in particular can nourish, pamper and heal the skin. Mud baths and baths with essential oils also have a very positive effect on the health and elasticity of the skin.
Insider tips for a perfect bath:
- Don’t take a bath every day. This could dry out your skin. Don’t bathe more than 1-2 times a week, otherwise your skin will lose too much of its own oil and your skin’s natural protective layer could be damaged.
- Don’t let the water get too hot. Make sure you feel completely comfortable.
- Enjoy it, but don’t stay too long. As soon as your fingers and toes get wrinkly, it’s time to get out of the tub. On average, this is 20-30 minutes.
- Only use purely natural soaps, bath additives and essential oils. Artificial fragrances in soaps in particular can cause lasting damage to the skin.
- Wash your towels once a week and treat yourself to a fresh towel after your weekly bath. There’s nothing more unsexy than a dirty towel full of germs…
- Remember to moisturise and nourish your skin! Because bathing and showering can wash away the skin’s natural oils, which can dry out the skin. Pamper yourself with a high-quality, natural lotion cream with essential oils such as rose, lavender, geranium, spruce…
- Create a cosy atmosphere in your bathroom. Set up candles, lay out a few fir branches. Hang up something beautiful. Switch on soft sounds or music. Set up a diffuser with essential oils that support your processes. Do anything that makes you feel good.
Upgrade your bathing experience!
Adding essential oils to your bath is the icing on the cake. They have far-reaching, holistic, soothing effects and turn your bath into a luxurious experience…. it is not necessary to take elaborate bubble baths, mud baths or unicorn baths. Pure water with a few drops of essential oil in an emulsifier such as bath salts, honey, magnesium salt or milk can open the door to a new quality of life. Caring for and cleansing your body can be much more than just another item to tick off your to-do list. It can be an opportunity to strengthen your self-love, become aware of your dreams again and then realise and live them with the extra energy and well-being that regular aroma baths give you.
Only use high qualitäy essential oils therapeutic grade (everything else will do you more harm than good).
Here are some important tips to bear in mind when using essential oils
- Be careful with essential oils if you have scratches or skin injuries.
- Watch out for sunlight when applying citrus oils to your skin. Of course, this is not a problem in the run-up to Christmas. But don’t go to the solarium until 24 hours after your skin has come into contact with citrus oils, as citrus essential oils can cause photosensitivity.
- Essential oils can cause skin irritation due to their concentration. When using an essential oil for the first time, test it on the inside of your upper arm first. And if you are using an essential oil that is hot or burns your skin, rub yourself with a plant-based oil before getting into the bath. Water and heat intensify the effect of essential oils. Vegetable oils dilute them.
Here I give you my 5 favourite recipes for Christmassy, contemplative baths in the run-up to Christmas, because: what better way to prepare for the festival of love and light than with a bath that not only cleanses your body, but also touches your soul and caresses your heart?
Mix 3 drops each of essential oil of
- Balsam Fir or Grand Fir,
- Pine and
- with a tablespoon of honey.
Decorate your bathroom in a Christmassy, contemplative way with a few fir branches, candles and dimmed, atmospheric lighting. Choose a 30-minute playlist of gentle singing bowls or something else to help you relax. Then run hot water into the bath and add the essential oil and honey blend.
Now it’s time to relax and enjoy!
Eila Büche from Team ENJOY
Ps: Don’t have your own Young Living order account yet? Then go to our aroma experts here, pick someone from your area, and order your essential oils right away. Why wait any longer?
Pss: Would you like to come to a fragrant evening and experience the oils live? Then register here, as soon as the next oil evening takes place in your area, you will be invited to it.