Indulging in Self Care with a Hot Bath and Natural Products

A hot relaxing bath is such a treat.

A chance to take 20 minutes out from life and unwind.

The main principle of self care is to put yourself first in order to be able to then give yourself to others.

Making having a bath something special, just for you is so important. Those 20 minutes are not going to rejuvenate you if you are staring at a mess, sharing the bath with toys and having little ones asking for you every few minutes.

A Few Natural Bath Products You Could Add to Your Bathroom.

Here are my tips for a perfect Self Care Bath

  • Find a time in the evening when the house is quiet and you know you can have some time undisturbed.
  • Taking no more than a couple of minutes – quickly tidy the bathroom, putting everything away.
  • Start the bath running and instead of opting for normal bubble bath why not try a natural alternative instead – see below for some ideas.
  • If you don’t have candles in the bathroom already, find some and light enough to create a calm, soothing mood.
  • Enjoy your soak, pull yourself into the moment and stop your head from whirring around by scanning your senses – how does this feel? how does this smell? what do I hear? what do I see?
  • As you relax and if you trust yourself to keep your phone dry and safe – this is the perfect time to listen to a relaxing audio book or do a timed meditation.

These are my favourite natural bath products:

  • Oats – simply take a clean odd sock, put half a cup of normal oats into it and tie the sock tightly adding some essential oils as required. When running the bath, massage the sock in the water and the bath will gradually turn cloudy. An oat bath works brilliantly to relieve inflammation, moisturise skin and relieve redness. It is great (without the essential oils) for chicken pox and eczema too! A good choice in the summer to relieve sun soaked skin.
  • Milk – once the bath has been run add two cups of milk (ideally whole milk) and mix in – you can also add some essential oils or a large spoonful of honey. Milk baths are a great choice to take in the winter to relieve dry skin. Milk can naturally help to remove dead skin cells and like oats is also good at moisturising and removing redness.
  • Epsom Salts – Start by adding a large tablespoon of Epsom salts to a hot bath. Gradually over time you can build up to 2 cups. Epsom Salt baths have so many amazing benefits including reducing stress, relaxing the body, improve sleep and concentration, helps sore muscles, sprains and bruises, helps migraines and helps flush toxins out of the body.
  • Bath Oils – Use a base oil such as Almond Oil or Jojoba Oil – in a glass jar add 50ml of base oil and then 20 drops of essential oils – store in a dark cupboard. When your bath is ready add 1-2 teaspoons of this to your bath. You can tailor your bath oil to your requirements by changing which essential oils you add.
  • Neal’s yard – I love the fact that Neal’s Yard are made using good quality natural products. I ask for these products for my birthday or sometimes purchase them when they are on sale. My favourites are the Aromatic Foaming Bath and the Geranium & Orange Foaming Bath – a little goes a long way so despite being quite expensive they last a very long time.

Good Essential Oils for Homemade Natural Baths:

  • Lavender – relaxing and calming – ideal before bed.
  • Clary Sage – good to lift your mood.
  • Rose – good at calming anxiety.
  • Ylang Ylang – to relieve tension in the body.

There are so many more – experiment and have fun creating blends that work for you!

NB: If you purchase via the links on this page I will get a very small % which goes towards the running costs of this website. This is not a sponsored post and I have no links with the companies I have linked to.

Self Care – Using an Essential Oil Diffuser to create a calmer home & mind.

One of my friends owns an Essential Oil Diffuser and I thought it was such a great thing to have, after some research I decided to purchase one myself.

I decided to get this one (link to Amazon):



It is really easy to use, can be set for 1 hour, 3 hours or 6 hours, turns itself off if it runs out of water and can be used with single colour light or no light at all.

I thought it would be a good investment to help with a multitude of things:

  • Using Clary Sage to help with low mood.
  • Using Lavender to help sleep.
  • Using Eucalyptus to help unblock noses when we have a cold.
  • Using Lemon Oil to help awaken and focus – great when working from home or studying.

There are so many more oils and uses for them. I find it is good as it also humifies the room with the infused vapour so it stops the air in your home being so dry.

I have now incorporated the Diffuser into my morning and afternoon routines. When I wake up before I walk the dog, I switch it on in the kitchen and also again when I return from work. Sometimes after work I take it into my bedroom and put it on, so I can smell the relaxing scent whilst I do my 10 minutes meditation (more on that another day).

It is really useful to put in the children’s rooms when they have a cold as well with some Eucalyptus oil in.

If I have forgotten to put it on, I will often find my husband and children doing it for me so it must be a hit with the family too!

When you purchase essential oils, make sure you purchase 100% pure oils. My favourite for the diffuser is Clary Sage as it is such a beneficial oil in so many ways.

I would really recommend getting a diffuser, it definitely helps with your mood and is very relaxing. It has certainly helped me in my continuing self improvement.

NB: If you purchase via the links on this page I will get a very small % which goes towards the running costs of this website. This is not a sponsored post and I have no links with the owner of the product. It really is a product that has changed my life for the better and I genuinely believe it could help so many people.

The Benefits of Drinking Hot Lemon Water

After starting journaling in the 6 Minute Diary I realised that my morning routine needed an overhaul. I am determined to continue improving my morning routine to ensure that each day I start the way I mean to go on – positive & healthy!

So after rising early I make sure I drink a cup of hot lemon water each morning before I walk the dog. I either have a cup of boiled water with a wedge of lemon from the fridge or freezer in, or if I don’t have any lemon in the house then I just put a squeeze of lemon juice in from the bottle.

I find this really helps wake up my taste buds and kick start my body.

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There are so many amazing health benefits from this simple step:

  • It helps to flush out toxins.
  • It aids the digestive system (and has been said to help aid weight loss).
  • Helps bowel functions.
  • Its an excellent source of Vitamin C and helps the immune system.
  • It helps reduce pain and inflammation in the joints as it dissolves uric acid.
  • It has many other benefits for the skin, eyes, liver and more!

So next time you are shopping pick up one of these super fruits and if you see them reduced, cut them in to wedges and pop the in the freezer so you have a constant supply for first drink of the day.

Make this your one small change today!

 

Waking refreshed with a Sunrise Lamp.

I have found over the years that during the Winter months my mood dips, I become quite tired and lack energy. I probably suffer to some degree with SAD (seasonal affective disorder).

Getting up each day in darkness is particularly difficult. I am often in a complete deep sleep (I love my sleep!) and then I’m woken suddenly either by the shrill ring of the alarm or by the sudden presence of one of the children.

When I bought my 6 Minute Diary (link to my post about it) it started me on a path of self reflection. I decided that this was an issue I needed to address. The dark winter mornings last for a good 5 months and when you stand back and look at it, waking up for almost half the year in a tired, stunned and grumpy mood isn’t the best idea especially if there is a better way!

So after some research I decided to buy a Sunrise Lamp as there has been lots of evidence that they help people with SAD and any improvement to my mornings would be helpful. I was also needing my own alarm clock so I could start waking earlier as part of my better Morning Routine.

It was very easy to set up when it arrived and I especially liked the fact that I can use it to play the radio when I am in my room. There is also mood lighting which changes colour and just a plain white ‘sunrise’ light. I think it looks quite modern and slimline too which sits with the style of my room.

When you set up the alarm on the clock it then also sets the sun rise. About 30 minutes before the alarm goes off, the light very gradually comes on, gradually getting brighter until the alarm sounds and the room is full of light. I like that the alarm sound can be one of many pre-set alarm noises or the radio – I like the radio as it is normally gentle voices on our local BBC Radio Channel.

The real test was my first week back to work when I started my new early rise routine.

I was amazed to find that when the alarm went off at 5.45am, I opened my eyes, to the bright room to turn it off and felt completely awake. I am not a morning person so it was amazing to almost bounce out of bed! I was dressed, had completed my 6 minute diary and was out walking the dog within 15 minutes of alarm going off.

This was a vast contrast to the usual snooze being pressed from 6 – 6.45, dragging myself out of bed and then rushing round in a whirlwind and ending up being 5-10 minutes late for work every day.

I have been using this lamp for weeks now and I can truly say I would never go back. I find now that I open my eyes before the alarm actually goes off and I am awake, refreshed and ready for the day. This has been another of the small step in my path to self improvement. Starting the day the right way is key to enabling all the positive change and habits we want to action. I am so glad I tried this and I really recommend it for you too.

I have shared a link to the lamp we have bought on Amazon as I am really pleased with it and recommend it – you can buy this or similar lamps from many places however – and don’t forget to check your local Freecycle, Trashnothing page, Facebook selling page, Gumtree, Car Boots or Charity Shops first as you may be able to save some money on your purchase too!

NB: If you purchase via the links on this page I will get a very small % which goes towards the running costs of this website. This is not a sponsored post and I have no links with the owner of the product. It really is a product that has changed my life for the better and I genuinely believe it could help so many people.

A Spring Bulb – Reminding us to stay in the here and now.

Each Christmas I ask for a spring bulb.

Not only is it a lovely (almost plastic free) consumable gift to receive but there is something comforting and relaxing about watching a spring bulb grow on the kitchen table during the depths of winter.

It’s a reminder that Spring is just a few weeks away and a nod to the fact that the days are gradually lengthening too.

Bulbs and seeds are quite remarkable really. You plant this small, dry round bulb into some soil, add some water and it magically comes to life. All that beauty, growth and potential grows from something so dry, dusty and dull. I never cease to be captivated by the transformation.

Sometimes when looking at our current work/life situations and our ingrained habits, we feel that our potential is limited to what we already are.

I can tell you no bulb would listen if I told it that it could achieve nothing more than what it is. Give it soil, water and light and it will grow and bloom regardless. It only knows how to be in the here and now. It only knows to grow all it can today. It does not focus on the anger or sadness of yesterday or the anxiety and stress of tomorrow. It simply just keeps growing, keeps taking small steps every day to achieve its potential.

Having a bulb growing is a constant reminder to re-focus on the now. This very moment, while you are reading this post. This is all you have. 5 minutes from now hasn’t yet happened, the only time you ever have to make change, to act, to create new habits is now.

They are also a good example of why Self Care is so important. If you put a bulb in soil it will try to grow but won’t succeed. It needs watering. Just like we need healthy food and drink, plenty of sleep, exercise, time to relax and meditate and to look after our bodies. We cannot expect to reach our potential and grow without making sure all of these daily essentials are happening. These should be your non-negotiables.

Bulbs are so easy to grow and bring so much joy – why not grow one yourself this year. My favourite bulbs to grow at this time of year are Hyacinth, Daffodils, Crocus, Paperwhites and Amaryllis (as pictured above). Do you grow bulbs indoors? What are your favourites?

How to come back to this moment – breathing technique.

On those days when you feel yourself feeling less grounded, when you feel your chest tighten, your shoulders tense and you feel your mind wandering from the moment.

Practice this easy breathing technique.

Close your eyes. Breathe in 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 hold the breath 1 – 2 and then breathe out 1 – 2 – 3 – 4.

The aim is to make a continuous cycle and repeat it over and over.

Whilst you are doing this concentrate on counting through the numbers and focusing solely on that. Every time your mind wanders, acknowledge that it has without any negativity and just bring yourself back to the breath.

As you practice this more and more you may want to count in and out to 5 or hold for longer – what ever is most comfortable for you. Make this your practice, make it how you want it to be. Within 30 seconds you should be feeling calmer and more present.

Remember we only have today. We only have this very moment. Everything in the past has happened and we can only accept it and move on. Everything in the future we can only plan for or take small positive steps towards.

All we ever have is this moment. You can only do what you can do now. Surrendering to this fact is very liberating and calming in itself.

Practice this easy technique whenever you feel you losing your grounding to the present moment, like anything the more it is practiced the more you will benefit.

Sleep Easy with Lavender Essential Oil

Self care is such an essential part of life.

You must take care of your mind and body so that you are then able to enjoy every moment of life and be able to help others.

One small step I take is to remove the pillowcase from my pillow and sprinkle on a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil before then replacing the pillowcase.

Lavender is a natural sleep aid. It reduces stress, anxiety and nervous tension, is calming and can help the respiratory system. You can double up the relaxing effect by putting a few drops of the essential in a hot bath before you go to bed.

Not only will the Lavender oil in the bath help you unwind but the inhalation of the Lavender infused steam is good for your respiratory system as it can help loosen phlegm and has antibacterial qualities. It can help with pain relief making it a great choice for bathing tired muscles and it boosts healing of the skin tissues so will be an all round winner for your skin too.

Just simply adding a few drops to your pillow and bath is one very small self care step with so many benefits. I hope you try this and enjoy the benefits it brings. I have linked this page to the Lavender Essential Oil I purchase from Amazon. You can purchase it anywhere however make sure you only buy 100% pure essential oil.

NB: If you purchase via the links on this page I will get a very small % which goes towards the running costs of this website. This is not a sponsored post and I have no links with the companies I have linked to. These are just products I have used and recommend.

The 6 Minute Diary & how it changed my life.

I bought The 6 Minute Diary, back in September 2018. I was a little dubious about how much it would help me given I have been in quite a low place for quite a while.

The diary starts with just over 60 pages of reading. This section explains how to use the diary, the importance of completing it every morning and evening and the scientific research that details how this method is proven to work.

I found this first section really inspiring – in fact I read it twice and the second time highlighted all of the points that stood out to me.

Each morning you complete 3 items that you are thankful for, you list and visualise the small steps you will take to make today great and also your positive affirmation for the day.

Each evening you write down a good dead you have done today, something you could improve on and three great things that have happened.

Also daily you complete the 3 habit trackers (you choose which habits to track) to monitor how you are sticking to the changes you want to make.

Each week you have a new challenge to do which helps you to explore your mind, ideas, be creative, thankful or do something kind.

Every week as well as a notes page there is a list of explorative questions that delve into the depths of your strengths, weaknesses, emotions and thoughts. These are really eye opening and can often unpick things in your mind that you didn’t necessary realise you wanted/felt sad about/wanted to do.

Finally each month there is a monthly check which asks you to rate on a scale of 1-10 how you feel about 20 different areas of your life. This is a great way to check in with how you are doing/feeling and to reflect on any positive or negative changes to the prior month.

Whilst this may sounds like lots to do I can assure you it very quickly becomes second nature, I complete the morning section before I walk the dog each morning and the evening section is the last thing I do before I go to sleep. The weekly part I do Sunday morning with a lovely cup of coffee and the monthly review only takes a few moments.

When I bought this diary I had been in a very low place for quite a while and I bought this as it had good reviews on Amazon but I can honestly say it was the start of a huge movement of change in my life. Within 10 days of completing this I felt happy. Really happy and so thankful for all of the blessings I have in my life.

I got a bad cold during October and because I was sleeping a lot to recover I stopped using the diary. You guessed it. Within a few days my mood/outlook on life had slipped again and I was back to feeling tired, unmotivated and unhappy with myself and things around me. On restarting it I quite quickly realised that I need to commit to completing it every single day.

What this diary made me realise was that I have everything I need to be happy (no matter what is happening in life). I don’t need to keep looking outward to be happy, only within. This book is an amazing tool to help you be thankful, see the positives, work on good/healthy habits and be a good and kind person.

I would really urge you to have a go yourself – The 6 Minute Diary is available on Amazon .

NB: If you purchase via the links on this page I will get a very small % which goes towards the running costs of this website. This is not a sponsored post and I have no links with the author of this book. It really is one of the most powerful diary’s I have ever completed and I genuinely believe it could help so many people.