Relaxation - Bathtime

Bath-time - Pamper - De-stress - Relax

Is your bathtime more of a quick dip and scrub than a chance to relax and unwind?  You are not alone. 

We re-evaluate the bathing experience to help you transform a hasty wash into a heavenly indulgence...Let’s face it: we all have to wash!  So, why not let this everyday task become something that refreshes, invigorates, lifts our mood and gives us that all important ‘time out’?  A bath really can change our mood; if we are tired and stressed, it can relax and soothe.  Equally, if we want to be refreshed first thing in the morning, a bath or shower can awaken and revive us.

A bath does not just stimulate our sense of touch, it can be a sensory experience that will trigger all of our senses.

Touch

This is most obvious sense that springs to mind when enjoying a lovely warm bath.  But what is the right temperature for a bath?  Well, according to most temperature gauges you can buy for this purpose, you should be looking to bathe in water just above your own body temperature, somewhere between 38°C and 41°C.  Babies and children should have this reduced to between 34°C and 37°C.

If you want a detoxifying, tension relieving muscle soak, then the bath should be between 39°C and 42°C as this temperature improves circulation and helps open pores and release toxins.

For an invigorating morning soak try having a slightly cooler bath, somewhere in the range of 20°C–30°C depending on your preference and resilience!  It is not advised to bathe in very hot or very cold water if you are pregnant or have a health condition that may be affected.

Bathing is not just about the act of washing, we can enhance our experience further by having our towel, gown and slippers warming on a heated towel rail or radiator ready for when we step out.  It’s a sad moment when you get out of warm bubbly water into a cold bathroom only to realise you have no towel out of the airing cupboard!

Also to stimulate our sense of touch, we can explore different textures with bath oils, bubbles, creams, milks, salts and even bath bombs!  These can each transform our bathtime experience.  We recommend a lavender oil in your bath before bed for a relaxing and sleep-encouraging soak.  Or for a burst of morning vitality, try a citrus bath bomb that will awaken your body and give off a marvellous zingy fragrance.

Try adding a little bicarbonate of soda to your bath for a really fresh and new sensation.  It will soften your skin and wash away oil and perspiration (and can help relieve chickenpox and other skin compliants in children!)

As you lie in the bath, sense the water surrounding you, feel how cleansing and warm (or cold!) it is on your skin, breathe deeply and allow yourself to embrace peace for a moment.

Sight

Your bathroom will be nothing new to you (unless you have just moved house!) so it is easy to take what we can see for granted when bathing.  Staring at the loo or a waste bin is not the most soothing of visions!  So why not light some candles or dim the lights just enough to create a wonderful atmosphere, helping you drift away into your imagination.

Smell

Aromas have powerful effects on the mind.  Lavender, eucalyptus and ylang ylang are among the most well known and readily available oils for relaxation (please see our list opposite for some other great ideas).  Ylang ylang is also reportedly an aphrodisiac. 

Citrus oils and fragrances are especially good in the morning or used as an afternoon pick-me-up as they are reviving scents.

Try not to choose too many conflicting scents; a lot of brands do a range of products in the same fragrance, which will mean you end up smelling as you really want, instead of an unusual concotion created by you!

Scented candles can be lovely, but again chose complementary ones that go with the bath fragrances you are using.  If you are just having a shower, why not add a splash of essential oil to the floor of the shower (away from where you are standing – don’t slip please!) as this will scent the room as the water creates steam.

Sound

I love nothing more than some tunes in the bath.  Imagine a great cheerful song to scrub along to as you start the day, or a smooth and relaxing ballad to unwind to.  For a spa type experience you can try a relaxation CD, or music of nature such as whale songs or waterfalls.

Taste

If you want to keep the theme going, why not sip a morning green tea or cold water with lime, while you have a cool citrus scrub?  Alternatively, for a pre-bed treat, why not take a cup of hot chocolate or glass of wine into the tub with you – although we would not recommend getting drunk, as it can be dangerous to bathe under the influence.  Horlicks is great of an evening to help you feel warm and ready for bed, and would compliment a nice milky bath with Aveeno, or other cereal scrub.

Take note of your breathing and, especially if you are using essential oils, take time to inhale the vapours and immerse yourself in the moment.

Further articles

We hope you have found this interesting, please see these for more on relaxation:

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