I love a good, long relaxing bath. Always have. It’s so easy, and inexpensive, to create a luxurious place of healing and serenity in your bathroom. All it takes are some bath salts, the warm glow of a candle or two (or 5), maybe some heavenly essential oils, and a fizzy bath bomb - hopefully made with natural ingredients, and possibly a zen playlist.
Imagine it - at the end of the day your body is heavy, drained, and a little bit achy. Your eyes are somehow dried out and watery from hour after hour of exhausting zoom calls, while criss-cross chatter runs amok in the recesses of your brain.
Then, you step into that pool of warm water. Relaxation hugs you in a dreamy steamy luxurious soak. The thick of the day unravels, simply rolling off your skin in damp beads of tranquility. A sigh of relief, or is it joy, escapes your lips. Nothing else exists in these moments. You think to yourself, I could stay in here for the rest of my life. To reap the benefits, experts recommend at least 15-20 minutes in the tub.
Taking a bath can even be a way to connect back to yourself. Chaotic days leave us fragmented. It's easy to forget who we are, as we can spend our days pleasing everyone else, taking care of everyone else. A warm bath can heals us, bringing us back to the connection of our breath.
A hot bath after a long day is an oft indulged and sometimes sacred ritual. But! did you know there are actual health benefits - other than that accompanying glass of red, of course - to your favorite ritual?
Who has difficulty getting a solid night of sleep? I know I do.
A cooler body temperature aids in a better night sleep. Taking a hot or warm bath before bed raises the body temperature and upon exiting rapidly cools it down - queuing your body to product melatonin. Note; experts suggest the ideal bathwater temperature should be just above our body temperature, at about 104 degrees. So, get your thermometers out!
A warm bath opens the pores, exfoliates and removes dead, no longer needed skin cells. It can even provide relief from certain skin conditions such as psoriases or eczema. To keep the moisturizing benefits going, upon exiting the bath towel dry the body just a little, leaving a slight dampness. Smoothing in your favorite lotion on slightly damp skin helps to seal in the moisture.
A Healthier Heart
Some research suggests a warm bath can help reduce blood pressure. Heat prompts better blood flow and circulation which could help prevent stroke or heart attack.
Down in the doldrums? Having a blue day, week or, well, year? Conventional advice usually tells us to move our bodies. Get some exercise. Do some yoga. Maybe go for a run or jog. When feeling down in the dumps, sometimes getting dressed is just to much effort. Why not get undressed? Insomnia is often a common symptom of depression. A regular warm bath has shown to treat depression more than exercise. How? jump up to reason #1; improved sleep and improved circadian rhythms.
So, even if you enjoy the rush of water showering down on you instead of soaking in a pool, it might be worth it to give it a try.