I’ll start by saying, if you’re not taking a bath now and again, consider it. Especially if you’re stressed. I take a lot of baths. They’re a great way to unwind, have an hour to yourself, and take care of your body. Most of us are working too hard. I’m sure there’s a statistic I could cite but let’s be honest: we all come home from work some days and say, “if I don’t get a moment to myself tonight, I cannot go back there. I’ll kill everyone.” Maybe not that specific, but the weary brain can often get carried away when all it really needs is some R&R. I’m an advocate of baths, and I’ve gotten pretty good at taking them — you can thank me later for the research and development legwork — and from that I present to you my favorite ways to make an already relaxing bath… personal and indulgent.
Girl, have a glass of wine. You deserve it. Grab whatever one you want, but I personally like a bubbly rosé of some kind. You’re sitting in warm, still water. The last thing you really want to drink is warm, still liquid. Bubbly, chilled liquid is the perfect contrast to your steamy bath. One glass usually does the trick — dehydration and hot water are a precarious combo — but I’m not judging you. It’s your bath.
Turn on Netflix. I have a laptop that I shamelessly bring into the bathroom, set it on the counter, and watch Queer Eye on Netflix for the duration of my bath. It’s like I’m getting a body cleansing and a brain cleansing at the same time. Your show of choice might not be the same as mine, but I like a little bit of Bravo-esque, brightly colored inspiration while I’m in the bath. I get out feeling rejuvenated, not zombie-ish like I do when I take a nap.
If you haven’t bought a bath bomb, do it. Now. Lush blows my mind with their ability to make bath-time fun. Over the holidays I tried their Golden Wonder bath bomb and it was like someone threw me a parade with a fireworks finale at the end. In my bath. Totally worth the 5 bucks. They have a huge selection that changes seasonally, and if you’re not into fizzy entertainment, they’ve got bubble bars, too, which do exactly what you would think they would do. Their employees are groomed to be un-pushy but simultaneously super-stoked on baths, so just ask them. They’ll have some ideas for you.
Light a candle. Taking a bath is sort of like creating your own chamber of concentrated awesomeness. So smells are as important as ambience. It takes mere seconds to grab a candle and bring it into the bathroom with you, but just the ceremony of making sure there’s a candle just for your relaxation purposes is a nod to the process. The process being your brain detaching from the stress of the day and your muscles chilling out from the knotted mess they’ve tied themselves into. I love Capri Blue candles of any kind, but the volcano scent is my favorite. Also, my friend drove Ellen DeGeneres’ tour bus recently and Ellen and Portia left some super expensive patchouli candles on the bus so she gave me one. So I have Ellen DeGeneres’ super-fancy candle now. I feel pretty special.
Try some tea. No, not in a cup. Remember, no hot-on-hot? You don’t want to nap in the bath. That’s dangerous. Instead, grab some tea bags and float them in a big container of hot water. Once you’ve got your bath drawn, pour the entire contents of the pot into the bath. Just putting the bags into the bath doesn’t get the most out of them, but if you have the patience to brew them separately, it makes for a super-relaxing bath that makes your skin feel fabulous. I love using a really fragrant chai tea. Oh, and they don’t have to be pricey, as long as they smell good.
When life gives you a hard time, sometimes you just have to get off the ride for a minute. It’s amazing what taking a little bit of time for yourself now and then can do for your mental health, your mood, and your ability to handle stress in the long run. Don’t deny yourself the personal indulgence of a really fabulous bath. The world owes it to you, and you deserve it.
Do you take a lot of baths? How do you unwind from a hard day?