soaked.

It's Sunday night and I just realized I soaked myself in a bath five times today. 

Once when I woke up, accompanied with ginger tea because I've been fighting some kind of head cold. 

The second, third and fourth time was at Mercey Hot Springs in a warm mineral enriched tub. 

...And the fifth time was when I just got home as a final-end-of-day-cleansing rinse. 

 

A few things to note on my Sunday soaks: 

1.) When I woke up I really wanted to go for a morning walk as I so often do, but decided to listen to my slow moving body and just go straight for the tub. <- that was actually a hard choice for me to make because I have not been as physically active lately and am trying to get back into my groove. 

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2.) Will and I have talked about going to the Mercey Hot Springs for a while now. It's about 2 hours away form where we live in Santa Cruz, and honestly, it's tough for me to justify driving that far to sit in a tub outside when I have a really lovely claw footed bathtub here in my attic apartment. We decided with both us feeling a bit under the weather, but yet still a strong desire to head out on an adventure, today was pretty ideal for hot springs. 

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3.) Mercey Hot Springs is a really neat place. It's kind of out in the middle of nowhere in Fresno County. The springs have been around since the late 1880's and it's really quite charming there. I don't know if we went during an off time, but there were barely any people in sight...in fact, by the end of our time there, it was just us. It was like we had the whole place to ourselves and it was awesome. 

I highly recommend a journey to Mercey Hot Springs if ever in the area. They have lovely little cabins to rent, camping grounds, BBQ grills, hiking trails; we spotted so many kinds of birds, heard the coyotes howling at the moon, and witnessed great big long eared jack rabbits hopping along our path. Oh, and they have Klondike Bars in the registrars office (sorry totally did not intend for this to turn into a YELP review). 

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4.) When I first submerged myself into the tub at Mercey Hot Springs, I had the same initial thought mentioned above: why did I just pay for this when I could soak in a bath at home?

But then I realized that at home I could not stare off into the mountains, listen to birds tweet, whistle & hum, nor see an owl fly out of the trees, and certainly could not feel the golden hour glean on my skin. And hey, that mineral water is seriously medicinal. I don't know how it does the things it does for your muscles, skin & soul..but it's good. 

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5.) Thoughts also ran in my mind like "we should really take a hike here today..." But really, my body just needed the restorative soak. 

I recapped my last week and a half of traveling across the country, seeing friends & family in three different cities, dashing across airport terminals and subway stations; I really shouldn't  be surprised that I feel as low on energy as I do. 

And then there's the holiday season we're about to be in the thick of the thick of, and we all know that just gets cray as we endure more traveling, more exerting of social energy (yay ugly sweater parties), more exerting of creative energy (cards cards cards i make so many cards), and lots of kitchen-y energy (hey what are you baking this holiday season? I want to make peppermint marshmallows this year). 

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And so the moral of my Sunday soak story is this: it's hard to prioritize self care, but in times like these, you gotta. 

For someone like me, it's easy to mistaken solo endeavors as self care (i.e. taking a morning walk, yoga, writing letters, baking, etc. ) And, sure, those things certainly are forms of self care. But letting your mind and body just be...just be in a bath, free of any and all kinds of activity: I am learning that it's this kind of nurture we need to benefit us more holistically. 

Once the racing thoughts subside, being in a bath can really be quite meditative. 

And with that: I dare you to give it a whirl some time this week. Whether it's with bubbles or epsom salts or hot minerals: soak up some solitude and give yourself the gift of tub time.  -emidobz 

  

p.s. my heart was further soothed to learn that as I was soaking up all that good & scared medicinal mineral water, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced they will not grant permission for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross Lake Oahe. Incredible news, though still lots more will need to be done and at this time, still too much unknown/unguaranteed. I remain amazed & inspired by all the water protectors who stood on the front lines and continue to hold sacred space for the resistance. Petitions, phone calls, voices & ongoing prayers DO hold power. WATER IS LIFE

emily hope dobkin