Do you ever take the time to fill the bathtub, turn down the lights, light a few candles, put on some soothing music and just…relax?
Do you have a nice big spa with massage jets, or a deep, old-fashioned tub on feet that’s gathering dust? Or maybe the tub you once dreamed of spending quality time in has become an exclusive haven for splashing tots, or an indoor dog-washing station.
Whether hot, warm, or cool, make your bath a year-round oasis of comfort and a mindful retreat from worry, tension and stress!
It’s time to take back your tub! Toss those rubber duckies, half-empty bottles of baby and pet shampoo into a bin, and switch it all out for a soul-nourishing bath ritual!
Start by creating your bespoke bath bin, complete with everything you need for a soothing soak. You might want to include candles, matches, bath salts, essential oils, and music! I use the Pandora App for my music. I’ll date myself here, because my playlist is usually Carol King Radio (affectionately called Vagina Radio by my spouse), Meditation Sounds, Great Ladies of Jazz, or Classical Radio.
The mindfulness piece is to be here now — not ruminating about the convo that is troubling you, or your mountainous to-do list. Instead, turn down the lights, gaze into the flicker of the candle flame for a few moments, and feel the warmth from the water seep deeply into your body. Breathe in the scent of your candles and bath salts/oils; breathe out all your tension and stress. Let your favorite music take you away. Allow your mind to settle. Allow yourself to bliss out. You deserve it!
If your partner walks in and exclaims, “Smells like a French bordello in here!” just smile dreamingly and agree, “Ummm, yes… yes it does.”
Unfortunately, the condo we moved to in November has a bathtub that takes over 30 minutes to fill. This has a chilling effect, a big bummer for me as I am missing my nightly ritual. But not everyone loves soaking in a deep steaming tub as hot as they can stand it!
Maybe you associate hot baths with cold weather, or for soaking sore muscles after you have overdone a workout. Perhaps it’s not appealing when you are hot and sweaty from running around on a balmy summer day. If hot water in hot weather is not your thing, try running the tub full of lukewarm or cool water instead.
My daughter takes ice baths (with four bags of ice), does Wim Hof breathing and stays in for 10 minutes. She then gets into an infrared sleeping bag that we call her hot pocket. She does two rounds of this freezing/hot craziness! Recently she’s been dropping herbal bath bombs in with the ice, turning the water lavender or blue. Freezing cold water is not my idea of soothing, but she swears it helps with what ails her.
I use the bath as a turbocharged tool in my SNAP mindful self-compassion strategy under the “A” for Act. It’s a 12-months a year balm for my nervous system. I’m setting an intention as I write this to have the patience to fill my bath and slip into bliss at least twice a week. I realize how much I miss it!
So if you haven’t tried it in awhile, set aside whatever time you need to soak and relax. Add your favorite bath bomb for added aromatherapy and/or bubbles. Unplug and indulge your senses. Let the soothing water lull you into calm and peace as you listen to your favorite tunes or, if you have them, the hum of massage jets.
Lastly, give yourself a hug and an inward kiss that you are taking such good care of yourself, because your happiness matters. When you are replenished, you’ll have more mojo to continue taking care of everyone else in your world.