The Bath is Back! Take Some Time Out - Stop Working and Start Soaking!
Nowadays, we seem to have a hard time relaxing. Our days are spent making appointments, running errands, going to meetings, and fulfilling social obligations. From the time we wake up in the morning until we go to sleep at night, our schedules are packed to the hilt. We take great care to work hard, to be productive, and to make sure everyone around us is happy. We are so busy trying to be everything for everyone, taking time for ourselves is often our last priority.
We have to realize that taking a break is just as important as taking on that new project. Sure, you’re saying to yourself, I’ll take a break – right after I finish [insert important task here]. The thing is, you probably won’t take that desperately needed breather – there will always be something that needs to be done “now”, someone who needs you “immediately”.
So how do we find the time to pamper ourselves? We have to treat this valuable time as if it is just as important as that meeting or that lunch. Because it is: our health depends on our ability to slow down – heart disease is still the number one cause of death in the United States, and stress greatly contributes to our risk of heart problems. So block out two hours on your calendar and schedule a date with yourself – for instance, a bath date!
Taking a bath is a wonderful way to cleanse your body and your mind, decrease your stress level, and unwind after a long day. In addition, bathing improves your circulation and soothes tired muscles. But possibly the best thing about taking a bath is that nobody will interrupt you. You can close the door and leave your worries (along with needy roommates or family members) in the hallway; bathing is an excuse to put responsibilities on hold and enjoy yourself.
The Perfect Bath
Not just any bath will do the trick – you need to take certain steps to make the perfect bathing experience. Ideally, all of your senses will be invigorated. It'll also be nice and long. You hurry enough during the day - don't hurry through your bath! Your idea of the perfect bath will be different from anybody else, but here are some ideas to get you started:
Bright lighting is not soothing or relaxing. Get some candles and arrange them around the bathroom, on shelves, near the sink and on the edge of the tub. This isn’t a movie set, you won’t need more than 2 or 3 candles to create a nice, warm glow. Take great care with the placement of candles on the side of the bathtub, however – nothing kills a nice relaxing mood faster than burning yourself!
Bring a waterproof radio into the bathroom and bring your favorite CDs with you. Talk radio works too – just don’t listen to the news (news is quite the opposite of soothing).
Scented bath salts are a wonderful addition to your bath, as Aromatherapy is often used to heal, renew, and relax. Choose your bath salts carefully and find a scent that matches your mood (or what you want your mood to be!). Lavender is known for its soothing properties; Eucalyptus and Peppermint are popular for effects on breathing and circulation; Citrus is invigorating and energizing. These are only a few of the choices you have – and don’t be afraid to combine scents!
To make your bathroom smell and look beautiful, place some flowers in a vase on the windowsill or on a shelf. Colored bath salts also look beautiful when on display. Put your favorite colored bath salts in a glass bottle or jar and put them on the side of the tub. This will come in handy, as you will soon see.
Now You’re Ready To Take Your Bath
If you need to shave, go ahead and get that done ahead of time, so you can truly enjoy your soak in the tub without any distractions.
Take a handful of your favorite bath salts (Dead Sea Salts are wonderful for the skin, for instance) and hold them under the running water as you fill up the tub. Slowly let them fall through your fingers to release the aromas and essential oils of the salts into the water.
Close your shower curtain to seal in the heat, moisture and scent. Lean back and breathe in deeply, close your eyes. Congratulations! You are now enjoying the therapeutic benefits of an aromatic, relaxing bath. As the water begins to cool, drain your tub just a bit and add more hot water. Add another handful or two of your bath salts as you go (see? That jar of bath salts isn't just pretty, it's useful!), and repeat when necessary.
Make sure you have nice, fluffy, clean towels ready when you get out. Also bring your favorite fuzzy pajamas and slippers so you can get into them while you’re still warm.
So what are you waiting for? Shut down your computer and go take your bath!