There is something undeniably, intrinsically relaxing about baths. Whether it’s a ten-minute post-workout soak in epsom salts, or a full-on self-care experience with music, candles and a glass of wine; for some reason, when your body is immersed in water, every muscle seems to sigh and let go.
Taking a bath sometimes seem like a luxury (who has time for it these days?), but this simple self-care ritual has the potential to provide so many benefits to your physical and mental health. It might be more worth your time than you think.
Baths are nothing new. Their use has been documented for millennia for both hygiene and therapeutic purposes. The ancient Greeks and Romans had a big thing for them, and legend has it that Cleopatra, the ultimate self-care queen, bathed daily in the milk of 700 donkeys to guard her complexion and keep her skin supple!
More recently, the therapeutic use of hot and cold water has been studied, with the advent of hydrotherapy and its wide-ranging applications, such as relief from discomfort and for providing an overall wellness boost. In the realm of professional sports, many athletes take ice baths immediately after competing, or after a tough training session, to reduce inflammation and speed up muscle recovery. Thus far, evidence continues to point to baths being incredibly good for us.
Increasingly, though, baths have become a luxury, an indulgence that we don’t have time for. But what if a bath was the best thing you could do for yourself in a day? Because that might just be the case.
Here are three great reasons to bathe more, with some top tips to help you:
Start Sleeping Better
In his excellent book ‘Why We Sleep,’ Matthew Walker includes taking a hot bath in his tips for healthy sleep. He explains that a drop in our core body temperature is needed to get ourselves ready for sleep, and as you leave the bath, the water evaporating from your body cools you down, which triggers sleepiness and can help you get ready for bed.
- Lavender Oil. Add a few drops of lavender oil to your bedtime bath. Lavender oil is wonderful for inducing sleep and will help you to wind down.
- Disconnect From Your Tech. See if you can commit to putting your phone away for the night before your bath. Consider your bath as the first step in your bedtime routine: bath, brush teeth, bed. You’ll give your mind the chance to relax along with your body, without distracting yourself with what’s happening on social media or work emails.
- LUV Unwind Tincture. Before your bath is the perfect time for this relaxing formula, as it will help you wind down ready for a restful night. SHOP HERE
Soothe Your Muscle Soreness
Hot water can improve your circulation, which can help heal your muscles. However, we don’t recommend jumping in a hot bath right after a workout, because your body is going through an inflammatory response and hot water won’t help. However, a hot bath is great for relieving daily strain and tension. If you are on your feet all day, struggle with pain from being hunched over at your desk, or suffer from general muscle soreness after exercising, a hot bath works wonders.
- Epsom Salts. If you haven’t used epsom salts in your bath yet, you’re missing out! Epsom salts break down into magnesium and sulfate in water and help ease muscle contractions. They promote relaxation, and work as an incredible natural stress reliever.
Take Time to Slow Down
Turning your bath into a ritual can make it a meditative experience that will help you unwind. We love adding little things that make a big difference like music, rose petals, candles, or essential oils.
- Multi-Task with your Favorite Face Mask. A bath is a great opportunity to apply your favorite de-tox or hydration mask. Let it do the work, while you relax!
- Make it Meditative. As you lie in the water, bring your focus to each part of your body, starting with your feet. Working your way up slowly: feet, calves, thighs, chest, hands, forearms, upper arms, shoulders, neck. Notice how each part of your body feels in the water, and whether you’re holding onto any remaining tension. Ask your body to relax and imagine the stress leaving you.
- Focus on the Water. Notice how the water feels against your skin. Watch how the water ripples, feel the difference in temperature, let your arms move slowly back and forth. This gives your mind something else to focus on instead of all the internal chatter. All you have to do is enjoy the water.
- Just Breathe. The bath is a great place to reconnect with your breath. Take a few long, deep breaths and slowly bring your attention back to your surroundings. Close your eyes and let your breaths get deeper and slower each time.
Ready to create your ultimate bath experience? We hope you’re inspired to make a little extra time for this special self-care ritual. We promise, it’ll be worth it.
What do you do to make your bath even better? Contact us and let us know; we’d love to hear from you.