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FreeTreat Activity 5: Washing Away Stress

By Michelle May, M.D.

(This is the 5th FreeTreat activity in our stay-at-home-retreat e-book – download it free here. It is based on Chapter 8 of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat.)The goal of this activity is to release stress and tension by creating an opportunity to relax your body and your mind.

  • Schedule uninterrupted time for this meditation. Save reading or watching TV for another time; this experience is all about sensory awareness and relaxation.
  • Listen to the splashing as you run the water in your bath tub.
  • Add your favorite bubbles, salts, and/or oils. Pay attention as the aromas fill the room.Self-Care - Copy
  • Light candles (the more the better!) and notice the calming glow and flickering.
  • If you’d like, add soothing music to further enhance the relaxing experience.
  • Have a clean, fluffy towel waiting for you when you get out.
  • Enter the water, and rest your back on the side of the bath tub. You may want to place a washcloth or towel behind your back to make you more comfortable.
  • Begin breathing deeply, observing the air moving in and out of your body.
  • Wiggle your toes in the water and feel the sensation of the warm liquid and bubbles touching your skin.
  • Observe any tension you feel in your body and release it into the warm bath water.
  • Thoughts may arise as you practice this meditation. Observe them briefly without judgment, then allow them to float away.
  • When you are ready to end this meditation, move slowly and mindfully as you dry your skin, apply an aromatic lotion. Go to bed or calmly re-enter your life, carrying the relaxation with you.
  • Decide whether you would like to treat yourself to this personal spa experience on a consistent schedule.

Reflect on the experience

When is the last time you gave yourself permission to relax and let go of stress? What activities bring you a sense of mental clarity and well-being?  Where can you create more space in your life for self-care time?

Need more stress relieving activities?  Checkout our FreeTreat stay-at-home-retreat e-book for ideas.

Next Post- FreeTreat Activity 6: Love, Your Body

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About the author

Michelle May, M.D. is a recovered yo-yo dieter and the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs and Training. She is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: A Mindful Eating Program to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle , winner of seven publishing awards. She is also the author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes, Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating, and Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Bariatric Surgery. Michelle shares her compelling message and constructive keynotes with audiences around the country, offers workplace wellness programs, and has trained and licensed hundreds of health professionals to facilitate Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs worldwide. She has been featured on Dr. Oz, the Discovery Health Channel, and Oprah Radio, and quoted in Diabetic Living, Fitness, Health, Huffington Post, Parents, Self, USA Weekend, US News & World Report, WebMD and many others. Her personal success story was published in Chicken Soup for the Dieter's Soul. Michelle cherishes her relationships with her husband, Owen and grown children, Tyler and Elyse. She regularly enjoys practicing yoga and hiking near her home in Phoenix, Arizona. She and Owen, a professional chef, share a passion for gourmet and healthful cooking, wine tasting, photography, and traveling.

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