• Despoina Arcadia

"Dust Yourself Off" Anti-Anxiety Bath

Updated: Mar 22

The title of this one makes me giggle, it reminds me of chickens taking dust baths to rid themselves of mites and other crawlies. My bath is similar in some respects. I don't have mites though.

Today I really needed to pick myself up and dust myself off.

After our week-long belated-Christmas break, we were back in the swing of things. It's a Monday morning; with kids back at school and a backlog of work to face. On top of this, my partner had a "performance review" meeting first up, so of course, I was taking on a little bit of his trepidation as well (he's always cool as a cucumber so it was needless worry on my behalf).

After school drop-off, I was unexpectedly met with a client in my driveway who told me that he has decided to utilize the services of my opposition. Which of course, is completely fine, and his prerogative. Although the conversation was not heated, I would be lying if I said it didn't sting. Here I was, back from the first holiday I've had in 2 years, in my daggy around-the-house clothes - and "let go" on my own turf. Felt a bit rough in many ways, and I have so many unanswered questions. Was I "not good enough?" "What did I do wrong?"

After this, my partner called with the results of his performance review. The feedback was pretty cutting - I know he's doing the best he can with the limited staff and resources he has been allocated, but his output never seems to be good enough with the current committee.

Then, the thought train left for the rumination station. "Are we not trying hard enough?" "Don't we deserve to take holidays?" "Are we failures?" "Are we not good enough?" "Are we disliked?" "Has somebody said something untrue about us?" Fear of failure can quickly lead to "what ifs", "whys" and general anxiety about the future. This is when the train needs to apply the emergency brakes. I needed a "dust yourself off" bath to ease the anxiety.

In the past, I have made quite a few "Courage Oils" for my step-daughter, who struggles with separation anxiety. The key ingredients in these were apricot kernel oil, sweet orange, marigolds, and calendula. I also felt tightly wound up so needed a bath, to calm myself I added valerian root* (great for anxiety), chamomile flowers, blue lotus (I adore this flower, it makes me so giddy), stress-relieving lemon balm, and some protective rosemary from the garden. I also added cedarwood for wisdom.

Colour can be used to guide your intentions for strength (red), fearlessness and courage (orange), and happiness (yellow). While collecting marigolds, I also added some nasturtium flowers from the garden as well. In the bath went Citrine along with Tigers Eye and Carnelian. I also added my trusty clear quartz, as I always do.

For tea, I chose valerian root and chamomile for their calming properties. Side note: my young son could smell the valerian from the next room. He very innocently asked, "what smells like anus?"🤣 I have no qualms about the smell although a lot of people seem to have a strong aversion!

I recently purchased some large-sized teabags that I can fill with herbs. Once I've finished with it in my teacup I let it float around the bathtub as well. I absolutely love the smell of chamomile.

I am happy to report that the bath resulted in the desired feelings of calm and strength. I now feel up to the task of facing another day of potential pitfalls and disappointments! Life never throws quite what you expect, all we can do is equip ourselves with the tools to "dust ourselves off" whenever we need.

*Valerian is great at soothing rattled nerves and anxiety, so much so that it is great for inducing sleep. This bath was quite mellowing and probably better to take later in the evening closer to bedtime :) be careful, a little valerian goes a long way!

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