I really LOVE baths. But, as a kid, I hated them. Baths used to feel like these weird things Mom only made me do when I was sick (or was that just me?). But, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate how baths can be incredibly relaxing and helpful for both body and mind. A wellness focused bath can be mindful experience and a part of a self-care routine.
Keep It Clean!
No one wants to bathe in a dirty tub, right? Aside from the not-so-great optics of stepping into a dirty one, a bath in an unclean tub might be sabotaging your wellness efforts too.
It’s good practice to give the tub a quick clean before you step in for a bath. You’ll be getting rid of lingering germs and bacteria that you’ll be in lot closer contact with (and for longer) if you’re luxuriating in your tub.
Set The Mood
I find that ambiance is often overlooked when it comes to baths, and generally bathrooms overall. We tend to view them as just functional spaces in our homes. But what if you put in a little extra effort to recreate a spa-like experience? That ordinary tub might become more of a place of rest, and a psychological safe haven for however long you decide to soak.
Maybe you should consider bringing in some essential oils, candles or adjusting the lighting if you really want maximize your time in the bath. Ambient, and non-lyrical music, can also completely change the vibe. Those little details can add up to make a big difference when you’re trying to ground and center yourself.
Choosing the Right Temperature For You
When you’re considering the right temperature for your bath, consider that temperature is both a matter of personal taste and intended purpose. For instance, if you’re looking to provide your muscles with some much-needed recovery time and reduce inflammation you may want to opt for a ice/cold bath (although new research questions that assertion). However, if you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, then opting for a temperature on the warm to hot end (degree depending on preference) might fit the bill.
In any event, as your tub fills, especially if you have a deep one, check the temperature periodically by dipping your hand in as that might give you a better idea of how your whole body might respond once you’re in it (rather than just jumping in and burning yourself – I’ve been guilty of this on occasion). Also be mindful that heat tends to draw out skin’s moisture which might leave your skin feeling dry and itchy post-bath and this can also aggravate any longstanding skin conditions. Don’t forget to moisturize after.
Using Essential Oils and Salts
Using essential oils and salts can be great additions to your wellness focused bath routine. I personally am a big fan of essential oils, especially for help with relaxation. Eucalyptus is one of my personal favorites as it helps open up your breathing and nasal passages, which can help you breathe more mindfully. I also love lavender for relaxation, or a bergamot for extra energy and vibrancy (it’s also good for sore muscles). Tea tree can also help kill lingering bacteria so if you’re not feeling your best it’s a good one to add in (although I don’t think it smells particularly nice).
No matter what oils you use be sure to add them near the end of filling up your tub to ensure that they don’t end up just making your bathroom smell good. Those wellness focused properties get lost quickly that way. It’s also generally recommended to add essential oils to your epsom salt, or a carrier oil, beforehand. You can learn more on that here.
Baths can be a great part of a wellness routine and help you center yourself in mindfulness. Creating a wellness routine is all about finding what is accessible and works best for you. If a bath is something that you think could help heal your mind and body give it a try with some of these tips and enjoy!
Ready to learn more self care tools and how to make them work for you? Schedule a free phone consult with a therapist today.