It’s been quite a while since I’ve added to the “essentials” category here on the Diva Dispatch. If you’d like to read the other posts in this group, please just enter the term “essentials” in the search box and the blog brownies (not to be confused with the “bog brownies“!) will helpfully pull up all the relevant posts.
In a nutshell, the “essentials” are things and notions that make it so much easier to take proper care of yourself and to be a Diva, in the sense of being a generous, kind person who is devoted to taking care of others. To do that requires a great deal of energy and compassion, and it’s dreadfully difficult to have that energy and compassion if you’re tired, run-down, and generally out of sorts. Therefore, taking care of yourself is the basic building block that allows you to take care of others in this often-naughty world.
For me, a hot bath is an essential. I’m in the midst of a house-hunt right now and a hot bath is an essential to this degree – first, a night or two before the final documents were signed to officially sell our house, I took a laundry basket of bath things over to the soon-not-to-be-our house and had one last, long, hot bath and second, I won’t even consider a house that doesn’t have a bathtub. In fact, I once had a hydrotherapy treatment at a spa that involved soaking in scented water in an antique tub and all these years later, I still dream about that experience.
So it’s safe to say that I know a thing or two about the therapeutic value of a hot bath. While a hot bath will not solve all your problems, I have found that a good soak often shrinks problems down to a more manageable size.
Good baths take planning. After all, you’re not so much trying to get clean (showers are great for that necessary activity) as you are trying to get some serenity in a seriously crazy-making world. Here are some suggestions on how to get the most out of your soak.
- If at all possible, have the house to yourself. If that’s not possible, a lock on the door is a must. This needs to be a respite and interruptions are to be avoided.
- Therefore, leave your phone in another room and be sure the ringer is turned off. The only exception to this rule is if you’re using your phone to provide music. (YouTube has entire spa music playlists, as do Pandora and Spotify.)
- A bath tray is nice to have, as are other bath accessories, like a spa pillow. Do some online browsing and make a wish list. But don’t wait – you can start reaping the benefits without these lovely fripperies – fold up a hand towel and you’ve got a pillow and use plastic for your snack tray and goblet (which is probably a good idea even with the bath tray!).
- Bubbles are great and even a dollar store will have something to get you started. Those scents tend to be chemical-y, so I suggest going with unscented Epsom salts and a touch of coconut oil, both of which you can easily find in the grocery store. For truly entertaining “bath recipes,” I heartily recommend Rhonda Van’s The Bath Gourmet, which will teach you how to have a sushi bath (not what you think), a pirate bath (for really bad days), and the Cleopatra bath (for when you really need to feel appreciated), among dozens of other ideas. I like a hot bath, but that is up to your own likes and preferences.
- Scrumptious snacks should be close at hand – pastry is always nice – and something wonderful to drink. Again, use plastic – having to clean up the remnants of a broken glass or plate would just undo all the good the bath has accomplished for you.
- A book or magazine is always nice, even if you don’t wind up doing much more than flipping pages. Whatever suits your fancy is what you should read, whether that’s a gossip magazine, a murder mystery, or the memoir of an amazing woman who inspires you.
These are just suggestions, Diva – not rules. Take from them what works for you, gather a few things, lock the door, and turn on the taps. Hot, clean water at the turn of a faucet is a gift many in the world would marvel at, even in 2022. Celebrate your good fortune, soak blissfully, and towel yourself off (apply lots of lotion afterward!) and now go forth into the world determined to make it better and more just.
Hot baths. A true Essential.