Stress: it gives you breakouts, can make you feel totally drained, and has a slew of other negative effects on your general health and well-being. And yet, it doesn’t seem like the world is going to stop producing stress-inducing challenges, not the least of which are work, relationships, and financial obligations. That said, there are a few things that can help manage — or ease — the inevitable, and a simple solution that’s also totally accessible includes concocting a luxurious, stress-relieving bath.
Sunday is the best day to recover from a busy week and prepare for a new exciting one. When you’re busy, you must schedule some me-time during your weekends. It helps you to reduce stress and makes you feel good about yourself. A warm bath helps relax tensed nerves and makes you happier! What better way to end your weekend with a long relaxing bath and turn your bathroom into a private spa.
But before you get lathered up, here are a few tips on how to create a soothing experience that will help you rebalance in the comfort of your own home:
1. Get the temperature spot on
Dim the lights and make sure your bath is the right temperature. A warm bath is best for relaxing your body. If it’s too hot, you could get dizzy (we don’t want that). The perfect bath for a healthy adult should be between 40–45C, ideally in a room that is 25C.
2.Essential oils and mineral salts
Mineral salts and essential oils make an excellent addition. Add some scented oil when your bath is halfway full. It’s important to always use some vegetable-based carrier oil such as almond, avocado or jojoba oil to dilute your chosen essential oil; otherwise they may cause skin irritation. A good rule of thumb when making a 2% dilution is to add 12 drops per 30ml of oil.
Here are some suggestions for essential oils: Eucalyptus for sore muscles & respiratory congestion, Lavender for regeneration, Orange to ease respiratory & digestive problems, Sweet basil for everyday muscular aches and pains, Jasmine is uplifting and harmonising, Vanilla for everyday stresses and strains, Rose oil for relaxation. Ylang ylang for a good night’s sleep.
Caution: Read labels carefully, especially if you have allergies. Some oils CANNOT be used during pregnancy.
To sooth the skin and stimulate circulation use skin brushes or loofahs. For best results use salts or natural body scrubs to exfoliate the skin.
3.Light it up
Many of us are exposed to blue light all day in the form of computers and mobile devices, leaving us mentally drained and prone to headaches. If your bathroom has lots of natural light, then consider a daytime bath. Not only does it feel like the ultimate extravagance, but natural light can lead to an improved sense of wellbeing, and better sleep. In the evening, consider leaving the lights off and bathing by candlelight, as exposure to artificial light at night suppresses melatonin, interfering with sleep timing and quality.
4.Set the tone
It can be tempting to prop up your iPad and catch up on your favourite Netflix shows while you’re in the tub, but I recommend leaving technology out of the equation. Remember that draining blue light? Instead, enjoy the silence, or envelop yourself in a natural soundtrack like rainforest sounds or lapping waves. Studies show that nature sounds can decrease the body’s sympathetic response (that anxiety jolt that comes from fight-or-flight) and can increase feelings of relaxation.
If you struggle to meditate in a normal setting, then try a few minutes in the bath. Your body is already physically relaxed, which should make it easier to empty your mind and zen out in your hydrating haven. Simply close your eyes and concentrate on long, deep breaths. Keep your mind quiet, and focus on the present moment. The sound of the water. The smell of essential oils. The complete relaxation. It’s your time, don’t let anyone disturb your ritual.
Use some fluffy cotton towels that make you feel warm and comfortable. You can even warm your cotton towel by placing it on a radiator while you’re in the bath. This way, your cotton towel is nice and warm when you come out of your bath. Also, make sure your pj’s are already in the bathroom.
Finally, finish the experience by moisturising your skin with a herb-based lotion.
Afterwards just enjoy some time for yourself. Get a glass of tea and read or listen to music. Enjoy!