At first thought, a bath of fifteen minutes or longer will seem ridiculous or impossibly indulgent to some people. Think a little longer. A proper bath can help a body to relax, ease pain, give some essential personal time, warm you up right down to the bones, and help you get to sleep. For practically no cost. In my view that’s a better result than any offered by bottles of pills, hours of various therapies, alternative remedies, or spa days.
Baths have become unfashionable or even bad in some people’s view because of the amount of water they use compared to a shower, but a bath offers some things a shower does not, and is in fact a completely different experience. Also, when you consider that you’ll be in it for fifteen minutes (or longer) the amount of water used isn’t so terrible. The longer you’re in there, the more use you’re getting out of it.
So what are the secrets to having a decadent, indulgent, therapeutic bathing experience? Attend the recipe below for some ideas.
- Make sure you will be completely undisturbed for at least fifteen minutes. This means no phones, husbands/partners/housemates/children, no TV, no ipad. Also resist leaping out halfway through to see to any suddenly-remembered task.
- Make sure you have anything you need in the bathroom with you before you start running the water. E.g. if you’re using candles, make sure you have matches too.
- Turn on taps
- Add bubble bath or other desired bath product
- If using, place your book within reach of the bath, set up candles and turn off main light
- Test water isn’t freezing/boiling then get in (after undressing)
- Continue monitoring water temperature. If you’re very cold it may be necessary to slowly increase the amount of hot water as your body warms or you’ll finish with a lukewarm bath.
- When water is of sufficient depth (covering as much of you as possible) turn off the taps
- Stop active-thinking and settle in to unwind and enjoy. This means you need to stop worrying, planning, listing, thinking about what did(n’t) happen that day and what you’re going to do tomorrow. If it helps you could read, listen to quiet music, close your eyes and drift. . .
Hints, tips, and suggestions:
- Remember you’ll be in the bath for a while and the water will cool during that time. You may want to make it a bit warm to begin with or add a little more hot water part way through.
- If you don’t think you can stay in a bath for long without doing anything, then bring a book to read. I’d recommend an actual book rather than a reader (kindle etc) because then you don’t have to worry if you drop it – real books dry out and return more or less to normal!
- Candles can be a soft alternative to the main electric light. You do need somewhere safe to put them though. This means a place where they won’t set fire to anything, get knocked over, and are out of the way for when you get in and out of the bath. Candlelight can make reading difficult, so you may have to sacrifice one for the other.
- Consider using bubble bath, salts, or bath-bombs to scent the water as this can aid relaxation. Using different scents depending on your mood can be beneficial too. (Make sure to check the packaging for directions of use and safety warnings)
- If you feel yourself falling asleep you should probably get out. Or at least wedge yourself so your head won’t go underwater.
- Apparently it’s the cooling down after a warm bath that makes you sleepy, not the being warm part. So they say.
- Be aware that hot baths can be dangerous. As far as I know the main danger comes from the sudden change of putting a cold body into hot water, and this can be mitigated by getting in the bath early and gradually increasing the temperature as you get used to it.
- In the summer (or if you’re warm already) you can have a lukewarm/cold bath instead of a warm/hot one. This is down to personal preferences.
You may not want to do this every night even if you’re able to, but a decent bath offers many benefits that shouldn’t be ignored. See if you can stay in until your fingers and toes prune. Happy bathing!