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The All but Forgotten Art of Taking a Bath

Updated on February 19, 2015
Sallie Mullinger profile image

Sallie is a retired mother and grandmother who has written short stories for most of her life. Her stories are from her heart to yours.

Just give me a few, stolen moments of peace and solitude and some hot water and I can face the world again.

Many people don't like the idea of taking a bath. They see taking baths, at best, as time consuming and time wasting and at the very worst, somehow, unsanitary.

Unsanitary? Ive always wondered at that myself. Its my own dirt, my own germs, my own everything swirling around in that bathtub and eventually it will all be drained and washed away, so who really cares if its "unsanitary"? Besides, the peacefulness I gain lying there for those few moments, far outweighs the risk of Sacre Bleu! a few of my own germs swimming around my body.

Bath taking seems old fashioned and outdated. And God forbid we should embrace anything that falls under those 2 categories.

As I get older, these stolen moments of sheer self-indulgence don't make me feel at all guilty as they might have when I was a young mother and wife and barely had time to wash my face. Perhaps its because of all of those years of always taking time for others that things like a simple bath hold such an allure for me.

I love the ritual of baths and it is indeed a ritual for me. The water has to be bordering on 3rd degree burn temperature and yes, I know all of the warnings against doing so but the hotter the water, the better I like it and using hot water allows me to loll around in the tub for a longer amount of time without having my skin turn blue from being cold.

I use lavender bath salts and lavender soap and have a lavender candle lit and soft music playing. Can you tell I like lavender?

Lavender has soothing, calming properties and I love the smell. There is a product which I buy at my local grocery store or order through Amazon. It's a bag of lavender scented Epsom Salts by Dr Teal. I have no idea who Dr. Teal is, but he sure as heck makes a great bag of good smelling Epsom Salts and its cheap! Im all for cheap especially when it involves bath and beauty stuff which really can cost an arm and a leg. Try this product if you can find it. It gets 4 stars from me! And you can pump up the volume of these Epsom Salts and do double duty during winter's harsh, cold weather by adding coconut oil to the Lavender Epsom Salts which guarantees less itchy skin. See recipe below.

Supposedly (and this HAS to be true since I read it on the internet!), Epsom Salts contain magnesium which we humans are (again supposedly cos I read it on the net) sorely deficient in. So the word is that soaking in a tub full of Epsom Salts, with or without the lavender scent helps build your magnesium levels up.

And no, I don't have a magnesium tester to tell me if I was low and my levels went up. Im just gullible enough that I believe what I read on the internet!

In any case, Epsom Salts is also great for everyday aches and pains and when you start realizing that the clock is ticking in the wrong direction, who doesn't have aches and pains?

I have this great Egyptian cotton bath sheet which was given to me as a Christmas present, standing by, so that I don't have to jump out into the cold air, naked and wet, looking for something to dry with. It just feels so darned luxurious to wrap that bath sheet around and around my body and let it absorb all the water while I adjust to the temperature of the air in the bathroom.

But I digress and need to get back to the seriousness of this bath business!

The feeling of being wrapped in a warm, soft towel after submerging your body in warm, scented bathwater takes me back to being a child when getting out of the bathtub meant Mom or Dad standing there ready to envelope me in a big towel, briskly drying me off, rubbing me down with baby lotion, putting my jammies on me and then plopping me into bed. Maybe that's part of what I love so much about the whole "bath thing"....remembering back when, feeling pampered and coddled and well taken care of. Who doesn't need more of that?

I no longer have Mommy and Daddy to pat me dry, put my jammies on me and tuck me in, but I can still languish in bath water and let it soothe my troubles away. And I can certainly afford to pamper myself for a few moments every week.

Once the grandson’s rubber ducks and water pistols are removed, I am ready to sink into a partial state of oblivion for as long as the water stays hot and my skin stays attached to my body. Being alone in the house is a must for I don't want any interruptions as I lie there in selfish solitude.

There is something almost primal about lying in a bathtub of water. Perhaps there is some cosmic connection to our time in the womb. I love the feeling of weightlessness as the water swirls around me. The scent of lavender calms, relaxes and soothes me and before I know it, I am lulled into a state of semi-slumber.

My body aches and pains seem to melt away and when my back refuses to function normally, no prescription drug works the miracle that a hot bath can. Showers, on most days, are quick, efficient and definitely the norm. But when I am out of sorts and my mind and body arent in sync, nothing quite compares to a bath. There is nothing fast or quick and easy about the sort of bath I am describing. And that's exactly the way it should be and exactly what I am looking for.

I highly recommend taking a therapeutic bath, such as the one I just described, at least once a week. Forget the damned germs. Forget the ring around the tub. Forget that it takes more time. You're worth it and its such a wonderful, calming and practically free experience and everyone needs more pampering in our crazy, rushed, hurry up world.

Lavender Vanilla Salt Scrub

Glass container that seals (any size) I went with a pretty apothecary jar to jazz up my bathroom.

2 cups Epsom Salt. I use the Dr. Teal's Lavender Epsom Salts

1 cup Coarse Sea Salt

2 TBSP Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup Oil (you can use coconut, olive, peanut) I used Coconut Oil

15 drops Lavender Oil

Red and Blue food coloring to make purple salt scrub (Optional)


1. In a large mixing bowl combine the Epsom Salt and Sea Salt. Mix well.

2. Add in the Oil and mix well, make sure all salt is covered in oil.

3. Add the Vanilla and Lavender Oil and mix well.

4. Add a couple drops of food coloring to create your perfect shade of lavender. Mix well.

5. Carefully pour your salt scrub into your container. Enjoy!

Best Ive Found!

"Relax at night in the tub and let Dr. Teal's Sleep Epsom Salt Lavender Soaking Solution, 3 lbs, take away the stress of the day. This Lavender Solution is made with essential oils to help soothe the senses, so you can get a better night's sleep. The Lavender Solution will also help to relax your muscles after a tough day and soothe away aches and pains. Use this Soaking Solution before going to bed every night to sleep and feel better."


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