How To... · Mental Health

How to Press Reset Part 1: Showers, Baths and Body Care

There are so many ways I get stuck in various emotional traps. Tonight I watched a documentary and got all emotional.  It was overwhelming waves of emotion, crashing down on me.  To describe what happens, where I go inside my head, that will take too long.  Never mind that…Let’s focus on the solution.  The solution is what I like to call ‘Pressing Reset.’  I do so in various ways.  Many of them involve attending to my five senses.  For this first blog I am going to focus on scents, showers, baths and overall body care.

Okay, so it’s time to snap out of it and get moving.

The five senses are very important to regulating your emotions.  I think one that is very often overlooked is the sense of smell.  The sense of smell can actually help calm you or distract you if in an intolerable emotion state.  I love to take baths and showers.  I get to combine the sense of smell and touch or sensation.  The key here, and in the other examples, is layering.  You have an overwhelming emotion on your hands, so you are going to need more than one sense, thought or activity to process and endure it.  That is the only way it works for me. That said, I love to use different soaps that feel differently on my skin.  I love the difference between body wash and or an exfoliator.  Exfoliators, brushes, sponges, and scrubbing the scalp can really reset through sensory intergration. Build that arsenal of sensory weapons!  It feels wonderful.  I have also heard people talk about taking cold or hot showers depending on how they feel.     I have not tried the cold shower, yet.  Nor, have I tried an ice bath, but I am willing to try it if it is going to help move me out of my mood state.  That said, I may have to start with that in the spring or summer.

Baths are great.  There are days when a shower just does not cut it.  You may be in physical pain (like I am right now), have a headache or are so anxious you cannot sit still.  I often do a quick shower, wash my hair and then fill the bath.  I love to soften the water with effervescent bath bombs (LUSH has awesome ones!), bubble bath, etc.  I slip into the bath and breathe deep.  Then I just soak.  Sometimes I bring my computer into the bathroom to listen to music.  I love to read magazines or a book.  Candles or a dimmer on the light switch can be very calming, too.  Treat it like a home spa and give yourself a mini facial, too.  Exfoliate that skin and put on a quick mask.  Deep condition your hair.  This is your time, enjoy it!

For the scents, have fun.  Pick different ones and always have them on hand.  What I love to do is grab as many of the samples you can from hotel stays or purchase trial size in drugstores, department and specialty stores.  I have a great friend that travels a lot and she gave me a large haul of all these things.  We had a great laugh because I got so excited, but it was more than just what met the eye.  It was the greatest gift, because it is one that keeps on giving.  The trial size soaps not only clean me, but recenter me.  I focus on the scents and the feel of the soaps, scrubs, etc on my body.  I am mindful of all that I feel and experience.  I let go of the emotion with each inhale and drop  of water that hits my body.  I reserve judgement about the fact that my shower pressure is not that strong or that it takes forever for the bathtub to fill.  I can make my lunch for tomorrow while the bath fills or re-up my iphone with new podcasts.  All is well with the world.  Don’t sweat the small stuff, and if you do, scrub or soak it off with a great shower or bath.

Another idea for soaps and scents is to go to the local whole foods store and grab essential oil.  I have a bottle of lavender essential oil that I have had for quite a few years and it still is in great shape.  Lavender is my favorite scent.  Go find yours and buy either sunflower oil, jojoba oil or other simple body oils to make a scented oil that you can put in the bath or rub onto your body after your shower or bath.  I put 8-10 drops of the lavender essential oil into the body oil and test how strong it is.  If you want it less dense in scent than that do less, if you want more put in more drops.  The essential oil will last you a long time.  The jojoba oils are cheap and also last quite a while.  It is a fun, great investment, overall.

A Word about Body Lotion

Switching up body lotions each day can be fun, too.  It is something I do every morning.  I get to kind of wake up my body by making contact with my skin with my hands, too.  I usually pick the scent that I want to feel that day.  If I wanting to feel happy, girly and flirty then I pick a scent that reflects that.  Think flowers, citrus, etc.  If I am feeling high strung and need to mellow out, then I pick something cooling and plant based, lavender or aloe vera, etc.  It does help throughout the day to reconnect with the way I smell.  It is a reminder to be mindful for a moment if you feel you are headed into a rough emotional state or even just a big meeting.  To make sure I have a variety on hand, I make sure to hit the big sales at Bath and Body Works in January and June of each year.  Again, I also pick up samples of this and that at department stores and specialty spas and shops.  With lotion, if I smell it and connect with it in the shop, then I will at least get a small one to see if it will get a place in my permanent rotation.

Well, that is it for how to reset with showers, baths and body care.  If you have other ideas, tips and tricks, please post them below in the comments section.  More blogs on How to Press Reset are on deck.  Stay Tuned!

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