Water is relaxing in so many ways. Whether you touch it, hear it, or notice how scents change when the world is wet, water involves your senses. Any sensory experience can ground us. Take time to appreciate these moments when your senses reconnect you with the world, and with the moment. We are just one small part of this world, but we are no small part water.
- Drink Water: In The Healing Power of Water, Dr. Batmanghelidj, M.D. claims that dehydration can cause depression, hypertension, unbalanced cholesterol, and other common ailments and diseases. He writes that balancing water in the body can even alleviate pain! If everything I read online about water is true, you will probably become superwoman if you drink a half gallon a day (not all at once). Look at me, I’m chronically dehydrated, and I spend most days quipping at my spouse, building up steam until I yell at my angelic children, pulling my hair out, craving sugar, feeling sorry for myself, barely keeping up with household chores, berating myself for my lousy housekeeping, and crying at even the tiniest bit of sentimentality. The connection is obvious! Just imagine how much better off than me you will be every sip you take of clean, clean water.
- Take a Bath or Shower:You don’t need me to tell you how relaxing a bath can be. Lock the door. Add some suds, a few drops of your favorite essential oils, maybe some Epsom salts. For the full escape, light some candles, drag in your boom-box, and turn off the lights. I’ve even been known to sip some wine and keep a bowl of chocolate next to me in the tub. If you need to escape, read a book or magazine. Just the feel of the warm water though is all you need. If you don’t have time for a
bath, take a hot shower, even if you don’t need to wash your hair.
- Go Swimming: You can usually find a pool open any time of year, and most have a hot tub, steam room or sauna as well. Take anhour at the YMCA or your favorite health club to swim a few laps or do some water walking, then relax for at least half a hour by rotating through the hot tub, steam room, and sauna. Go alone if you can, or take children to a family friendly pool that is warm enough for you to relax in. You’ll all get some exercise, and you can’t help but having fun.
- Open the Window on a Rainy Night: Close your eyes. Smell the wet world curling into your room. Listen to the sounds of the rain hitting the soil, hitting the leaves, hitting your house, hitting the cement. Breathe.
- Go Walking in The Rain: Go ahead, get wet! Put on your galoshes and grab your umbrella and head out into the deluge. You won’t want to. But there are plenty of things in life that you don’t want to do, but are definitely worth doing. You will feel better when you get home. Just dress the part, and plan a short jaunt, especially if you are heading out with the little ones. Let yourself splash in the puddles. Send little sticks and leaves down the rivulets alongside the road. Watch where they go. Throw pebbles into the manholes. Get in touch with your inner child, or just let yourself be swept away and washed clean in the downpour.
- Visit a waterfall or rushing creek: Throw a rock in. Skip pebbles. Feel the misty spray from the waterfall on your skin. Watch the leaves moving from the force of the waterfall. Bring your journal and make it a real retreat.
- Go wading: Definitely bring your child if they are old enough to enjoy this activity. Be sensitive to the environment – we don’t need to trample pristine habitat. Find a well-used and safe stream or pond. Get your feet wet! Get your legs wet! Look under (and return) rocks and debris in the water. Find hidden pools and see the tiny rootlets in red and yellow lapping up water. Getting wet is grounding. Let your sense of touch come alive and your mental stress will melt away. I recommend a pair of old sneakers and socks for this activity. Tie them very tight, and don’t expect them to ever be the same again!
- Listen to Ocean Waves: Even just listening to water can be calming. I listened to an ocean wave recording during my labour and birth. It was the only thing I wanted to hear. The ocean is more powerful than you. You can let yourself go in its presence. You are nothing compared to the vast and endless sea. Your problems are not problems. The ocean can take you somewhere else, away from the stresses of your small life. Let yourself be swept away in the sounds of the gulls and surf.
- Plan a Trip to the Ocean or Shore: If you are lucky enough to live near a large body of water, take a walk to where you have a view. Seeing the open water horizon always balances me. When you are motion sick it usually helps to look at the horizon,so that you can synch the visual information with your inner ear’s sense of balance and motion. In this same way, seeing horizon,especially the watery horizon, may help you find some sense of harmony. And of course, get down to the surf, to the shore if you can. The smells of algae and the feel of wind and the wildness of these places will help you to breathe deeply and relax.
- Do The Dishes: Ok, so I’m sure you don’t want to see this on a website about taking care of mothers. However, doing the dishes with love and intention, while breathing and listening to music, can be a very calming experience. Try to avoid doing any work when you are angry or resentful. If you come to the dishes expecting to have a relaxing moment, you really can learn to enjoy it. The water is warm, the soap is slippery, the bubbles reflect and refract the light so beautifully. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and doing the dishes is like a spa treatment for you hands. A miniature bubble bath.