We all need those times of calm, when we can shut off from the world and relax – now more than ever. But one person’s idea of relaxing can be different to anothers and we all have our own ways of destressing. For some it’s throwing themselves into exercise or doing something mindful, while for others it’s taking the time to slow down, take a breath and relax.
I fall into that last category and for me, a long bath is the perfect antidote, whether I’m stressed, worried, tired – or all three. There are a few key ingredients for a good bath I find:
- A good book or magazine to catch up on some reading.
- A nice fragrance, whether it’s a candle or bath oil.
- Pampering products.
Herbal bath salts fall into both categories 2 and 3, and not only do they make bath time prettier and more fragrant, they also have lots of health benefits, too. The salts are great for your skin and can help it retain moisture, plus the exfoliating texture can leave your skin silky soft. Then there’s essential oils, which depending on which one you choose can help to reduce stress and anxiety, relieve headaches, promote better sleep, and improve your immunity and respiratory levels – and if we’ve ever needed any of these attributes, it’s certainly now!
The great thing about herbal bath salts are that they’re easy to make and you might even have some of the ingredients already. Plus, they’re a great gift for someone – and you can personalise them to what you think the receiver would like. For instance, if they’re tired or not sleeping well, try peppermint oil which is said to boost energy. Maybe they suffer from eczema or arthritis? Eucalyptus is said to help. And for stress, lavender and lemongrass are both good choices. The process of making the salts is itself a really nice mindful activity, whether you get the kids involved or do it solo. Ready to give it a go? Here’s how…
What you’ll need:
Small jar with lid (a Kilner jar is ideal – just make sure it has a seal around the top to prevent the salts from escaping. You could try these)
Himalayan or sea salts – try and get a fine grind if you can, so it’s not so harsh on the skin. You will need enough to fill your jar.
40g dried herbs – I used lavender but you could try elderflower or mallow leaves as a good alternative
10 drops of your chosen essential oil
Dried flowers – to scatter (I used these)
Spoon or spatula (to mix)
Scoop the salts into your kilner jar, making sure not to overfill it, as you still need to add your herbs and flowers.
Empty the salts into your mixing bowl and add your chosen herbs and dried flowers (if using). Mix well.
Add your essential oil and mix again.
Place your herbal bath salts into your storage jar and sprinkle some of the flowers on top.
When you’re ready to use them, add a few spoonfuls to your bath water for a relaxing and fragrant experience.
They make a great gift too – just add some twine and a small label. Enjoy!