Affirmations are a proven technique for building positive body image and self-esteem.
Inspirational quotes are great reminders to help change negative thoughts about your body into positive thoughts.
Loving your actual physical body through regular self-care, however,
is essential to really feeling better about your body!

A visit to a spa is an amazing treat…
But in the daily mix of family, job and personal responsibilities,
it’s often easier to ignore your body than find time to spend on special self-care.
If you are at all like me, your life is already over-booked with “Essential Stuff To Do”.
Schedules, errands, chores, tasks, and duties
fill the day and often spill over into the evening.
It’s really easy to let yourself fall to the bottom of the list!

How to find time for self-care body-love every single day?
My best excuse for not finding time to pamper myself is… not finding time.
How to solve this problem?
What do I already do every day that could be upgraded into a pampering experience?

And then it struck me while taking my usual rushed, first-thing-in-the-morning shower:
One simple change in my daily routine could make all the different in the world…

The luxury of hot running water
I’m guessing that if you are reading this blog,
you are among the fortunate humans on this planet with heated indoor plumbing.
You can take a bath or shower whenever you want!
Fresh heated water, at the turn of a handle, is an incredible modern luxury,
but so common in the industrial world that it’s often taken for granted.

Bedtime Bath Time
I’m also guessing that when you were a child, you took a bath before bedtime.
It was time to get clean, but also time to play with bubbles and toys,
a happy transition from the busy day to getting ready to sleep.
Somewhere along the line, however,
bathing made the switch from relaxing evening routine,
to gotta-get-ready-for-school, gotta-get-ready-for-work morning task.
If you are a typical 21st Century woman who juggles family and career
(or even just career! or just family! or just you!)
you rush through your daily shower as fast as possible,
as part of a hectic morning schedule.

Big Girl Bath Time
It really doesn’t take long to get clean.
But bathing can also soothe tension, help relieve pain, and calm the mind.
When you allow time to luxuriate in a long, hot shower or soak in a warm, relaxing bath,
you can pay attention to your body.
What does it need? How does it feel?
You can daydream, review the events of the day,
listen to music or just think of nothing for a change…
You can indulge in a post-bath massage with body oil,
deep conditioning of the hair, or spend a little time exfoliating feet or elbows.

So where does all this magical, extra self-care time come from?
Make the switch to bedtime bath time, instead of the morning rush hour!

Instead of fast forwarding into the rest of your day,
unwind into the rest of your evening.

Some may have objections to making the change, but give it a try for one week.
You might find that instead of an occasional bit of pampering,
you have time for attentive self-care every single day.
Your magnificent, one-and-only body deserves all the love you can give it!

There are a zillion ways to add daily self-care into your routine.
Here are 3 links to other sites that I found useful when writing this blog post:

A Better Hot Bath: Tips for getting the most out of the oldest form of therapy

Showering at Night, Bedhead in the Morning

25 Science-Backed Ways to Change Your Life by taking Better Care of Yourself

A personal note:
My mother grew up in an 1800’s farmhouse in rural New Hampshire that had no indoor plumbing.
Taking a bath meant hand-pumping water, heating it on the coal-fired stove,
and pouring it into a big tub in the middle of the kitchen.
Sounds quaint, but yes, this was mid-20th Century America!

©elizabeth patch, all rights reserved

Sketch and final art for bather in an old fashioned bathroom, © Elizabeth Patch,

As always, I love, love, love your comments!