One summer at sleepover camp, my mom sent me a series of packages that were a little different from what most kids usually receive. First, she sent me an empty binder with “A Girl in the World is a Wonderful Thing” printed on the front. Every day after, I received a few pages to put in this book, compiling a series of inspirational messages, encouraging words, and pieces of advice. This book is intended for younger girls, but I’ve found these messages to be equally, if not more, applicable in my later years.
One of my favorite passages from the book reads as follows,
“When things get hard…take a bath. Taking a bath won’t change anything, but…when you are in the bathtub, you are not responsible for anything…you can’t answer the phone or read any email or messages…or…maybe it should be a long bath.”
I have taken this advice many times in my life. Escaping into a bath or shower to make everything that might be weighing down on me just disappear for a little while. Especially today when people can be reached so easily in so many different ways, be it a phone call, email, text, Tweet, or Facebook wall post, sometimes it can be so nice to just tune out completely. Taking the time to stop all of these distractions gives your body and your mind a break.
I feel like the passage from my book could also read, “When things get hard…go to the mikveh.” Many people come to Mayyim Hayyim to immerse for specific occasions, such as before a wedding or a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. These events require so much work and planning, all of which can be quite stressful for everyone involved. Taking the time to immerse before such an occasion forces you to stop, and gives you a break from it all. You can’t talk to a caterer or DJ or wedding planner while you are immersing – that time is just for you, and that is an incredible thing. Even if you aren’t planning a huge life event, coming to the mikveh gives any that sense of refreshing clarity, and momentary break from the real world that is hard to find anywhere else
Taking these breaks to give myself time to relax and reset always helps me feel calmer about what is awaiting me outside of that bath. It can help me see how it’s not all so bad, and that everything can and will get done. What also helps is following my other favorite piece of advice from the book, “Some days…you just gotta forget it all…and dance.”
Sarah Gurvis is the Administrative Assistant at Mayyim Hayyim, and works as a nanny. Sarah is grateful everyday for her wonderful mother, Laura, who not only took the time to photocopy the entire book “Girls Rule” by Ashley Rice, but also colored in every page, giving Sarah one of the best gifts ever.