Life is fraught with ups and downs, stresses, and plain old bad luck much of the time, and some of us experience more of these than others – particularly if offspring, work, family, or money are adding to the day-to-day dilemmas that frequently arise. It can be easy to become overwhelmed in such circumstances and find yourself unable to cope.
Now, running a bath and sinking into a steamy stupor isn’t going to resolve all of your problems – a holiday, an appointment with your therapist, or a talk with your partner/family to discuss your feelings will be much more helpful in that respect. But running a bath to remove yourself from your stressors and indulge in some much-needed ‘me’-time is going to help you feel calmer within and help you to deal much better with the daily grind.
So, to help you, we’ve come up with a list of essentials that you need to consider if you’re looking to de-stress in the perfect bath.
Tune the Temperature
There’s nothing worse than getting in a bath that’s just about warm enough for you to immerse your whole body in and then finding, just 5 minutes later, that the heat has quickly leeched its way out and any movement on your part causes an outbreak of goosebumps all over your body. Equally, though, you don’t want to run a bath that you can’t even dip your foot into comfortably, either! The trick is to spend time getting the temperature right.
According to scientists, the perfect temperature should mirror the average body temperature. To check this, dip an elbow into the water: if it feels warm but not hot, it’s just right; if not, play around with adding more water (hot or cold, as required) until it’s comfortable.
The key to a perfect relaxation session is to focus on the aromas you include in your bath: too overpowering and you won’t be able to notice anything else; too weak and the desired effect will be nullified. Essential oils, bath oils, and scented candles are a must if you want to create a heady atmosphere with your favourite scents.
With unique blends of botanicals, such as rosemary with sage, mandarin, geranium, and thyme, and bergamot with lemon rind, you’re bound to find something that suits your tastes and relaxation requirements.
Not only do these botanicals smell beautiful, but they also have their own individual qualities that can help benefit you in different ways. If, for example, you’ve been struggling to get enough rest, oils containing lavender are really useful. Others have benefits including reducing the itching caused by eczema, evening out your skin tone, and antibiotic properties, to name a few.
High-end brands produce some stunningly scented oil blends from Aesop for example, which can heighten the bliss of the perfect bath.
This site boasts an expansive collection featuring some of the best brands and their self-care wares – simply have a browse through their website to find what you need!
Whilst some may argue that you need music containing a certain number of beats per minute to set the scene for relaxation (50-60 beats per minute, if you’re interested), each of us has our own tastes when it comes to music. Yes, you can choose some slower, bass-ier music and feel your body become one with the rhythm, but many of us will find ourselves becoming bored and craving something more familiar. So, if you want a song that contains a repeating melody or a catchy chorus, then go for it! It’s your perfect bath, after all, right?
If you’re more one for podcasts or audiobooks, a long, relaxing bath could be the ideal time for you to sit back and catch up – we all de-stress in different ways and you may enjoy the dulcet tones of someone talking to you to help.
All About the Ambiance
Creating the right ambiance is vital for running the perfect, relaxing bath to de-stress and chill out. Lighting is a big part of this, yet is often overlooked. Dim, low lighting has proven to be effective in establishing a relaxed vibe for your bath time. This can be achieved via candles, which you can dot around your bathroom carefully to create a warm glow that envelops you into its embrace.
The final element you might want to consider is a plush robe or towel – just-washed and fluffy – for you to wrap yourself in when you’re done (or to don prior to getting in the bath). Add your favourite beverage – whether that’s a cup of fruit tea, a Chardonnay, or a cup of hot cocoa – and your bath time is practically complete.
It should go without saying that investing in a comfy head pillow and treating your skin with a fresh mask is a must for the perfect bathing experience, especially when combined with each of the above. Relax in bliss for that essential ‘me’-time we all need every once in a while.