How to Master Spring Break
Spring Break is Here! In the CSRA (that is what we locals call the Aiken/Augusta area), spring break means we either prepare for “The Masters” or we leave town because of it. I have lived in Aiken County my entire life and have never experienced one without the other. It is the one time that our area is not only nationally celebrated and viewed as a beautiful place but internationally as well. It is beautiful place. April in the CSRA brings to life brightly colored azaleas and dogwoods both competing for best of show everywhere you go.
This time of year has always made me want to slow down, look around and take in the beauty that surrounds me. It also tends to make me ignore other “things” that are just as important. I don’t know what that “thing” you ignore is, but for me it has always been myself. As a nurse and naturally born caregiver, I have always met the needs of others before I took care of my own. It did give me a sense of joy doing this. However, eventually, I became depleted, my cup empty. My friends, you cannot pour out of a cup that is empty.
Last week, I listed steps to spring cleaning your health. I would like to go into greater detail about the first one that I listed. Self-Care. Acknowledging what is presently going on with oneself and what is needed. Taking a break. Spontaneous and built-in short breaks that are for you personally. The importance of setting aside time as a woman is so important. Why? Because when we take care of our bodies and practice self-care, we become stronger, better versions of ourselves. We are showing our daughters, nieces, and those around us that we all have value. Self-Care also allows us to ultimately provide emotional and physical support to those we love. If we are daily filling our own cup, then it will not become empty. We create balance, a sense of calm, can spark joy and with practice, promote peace. Now this will not happen immediately. I must warn you- it does take practice and trial and error to find what fills your cup most efficiently. The rewards are so worth it!
Below I have listed some of my favorite “Spring Break” or Self-Care Tips:
- Morning me time (cup of tea/coffee, reading, prayer and meditation). I read scripture and meditate on God’s Word.
- Foot soak/bath
- Afternoon quiet time (book or journaling-set a timer)
- Call a supportive friend, plan a monthly call-in chat
- Take a slow, relaxing walk
- Listen to favorite music, create a playlist
- Plan a fun night with someone who brings you joy
Personally, I find one of the best ways for me to relax is to take a bath with some soft music and of course aromatherapy. I am going to share with you one of my favorite ways to incorporate essential oils in this ritual.
First some safety tips:
- Be careful what you put in your bath water! When using essential oils make sure they are 100% pure and organic. When we soak in a hot tub the pores of our skin open and absorb what is in our baths. I do not recommend bubble baths or products containing fragrance and dyes.
- Do NOT put oils directly in your bath water. Oil and water do not mix. You need a medium for the oils. Epson salt, sea salt and magnesium flakes are all great for this.
- Drink water before and after your bath.Hydration is important for overall health.
DIY Bath Salts:
- 1 cup of epson salt
- 6-9 drops of your favorite essential oil or blend (do not use hot oils like cinnamon and oregano and be careful when adding citrus oils) some good oils to use are lavender, frankincense, marjoram, ylang ylang, clary sage and sweet basil.
- My personal favorite is equal parts of lavender, marjoram, and vetiver.
- Glass storage container
Mix these and allow to sit at least an hour before bath. This allows the oil to be absorbed into the mixture so you will have even distribution in your bath.
While running your bath (prior to entering) you can also add ½ cup of baking soda to the water. Upon entering the bath, add 2 Tablespoons up to the full amount of this essential oil infused Epson salts in your water. (Amount depends on the size of your tub and the desired effect). Move salts around with your feet to disperse and then soak for 20 minutes or until water has cooled. Breathe in and enjoy!
Everyone enjoys a break and here at Women’s Health Associates we have some wonderful options including a variety of bath salts and foot soaks in-house and on our retail site for you.
Enjoy your Spring Break, and if you find yourself at The Masters, eat a pimento cheese sandwich for me!
Give Yourself Grace,