I have been taking a daily relaxing bath most of my married life, ever since I had children because, as you may know, kids can drain you. The ritual actually started with my mom. She did it and I always knew that I could get a few minutes of her focused time during her bath. She would hear me out and then scoot me out to let her finish her bath in peace. I followed that system when my kids were little, even letting them crawl in with me occasionally.
Having a luxurious bath is what kept me sane and now it keeps me connected with myself. When all you are doing is taking care of others you have no downtime. It is the half hour of the day that is mine. It puts you back together to start fresh. If you have a problem going on, it removes you from the issue and lets you catch your breath. Then you can go back in with a clear mind.
Before my bath, I am tired and wore out from the day and my mind is scrambled with every kind of thing that has gone on during the day. I find the bath just shuts everything off and empties your brain for the night. You are really relaxed and refreshed.
I also find nothing seems to hurt in the tub. Any throbbing joints or aching back stop hurting from the hot soothing water. I am not having a bath to clean, I have a shower in the morning for that.
Creating The Perfect Relaxing Bath Ritual
Feed The Senses
The goal is to focus in on you and your senses. So set the stage and have something for each.
Taste: Wine, chocolate, tea, nuts
Smell: Scented candle or bath salts, essential oils, bath sachet
Sight: A window to look out, a seashell, a piece of coral, a beautiful picture, a large crystal
Sound: Quiet music, silence
Touch: Bath salts, a soft neck pillow, a soft cloth, a bath brush or sponge
Set A Time And Stick With It
You should take a minimum of half-hour but an hour is perfect. If you set the expectation that you do it every night around the same time it helps others realize the boundary. It can be just before you are ready to go to bed or in the late afternoon before you start supper. Whatever works for you.
Optimize The Temperature Of The Room And Water
The degree is a personal thing but you don’t want a draft or to be cold. Consider that really hot water can rob your skin of moisture. Checking the temperature of the water with your elbow, just like we did for the baby bath, is more reliable than using your hand which is acclimatized to hotter temperatures.
Teaching Yourself How To Take A Bath
You want to focus on each sense one at a time and use two or three things to dial into the sense. Clear your mind and practice being present.
I like lavender bath salts, so I might start with that smell. Concentrate and think how it smells. Every time some other thought comes sneaking in, return to the sense and smell. Soon you will notice the smell of the candle and the wax. Spend some time there, and then you might pick up the smell of your skin.
Then focus on sight. It is nice if you have a window to look out, which I am lucky enough to have. The trees and moon give you something to look at that is always changing. It is part of the earth and makes you feel you are part of the world. You could have a picture or a piece of coral or shell that you can look at. Think how amazing the earth is to make something so beautiful from nothing.
Remember to draw your mind back to the sense each time another subject skims through your mind.
Next, feel the water on your skin, silky from the bath salts, the soap on your body as you scrub, how the cool tub feels on your back. It could be the water movement from the jets if you have a spa tub.
Then you move to taste, the glass of wine or I love a piece of chocolate and nuts. Focus on the taste buds, the saltiness, the smoothness of the chocolate, the bitterness. You will find the nagging thoughts intruding less as you become more relaxed.
Finally, you zero in on the sound. Whatever is going on, listen to the sounds and concentrate on what you are hearing. There is never silence, always a creak here or a squeak there. Really listen to those little sounds and concentrate on what you are hearing.
You will be surprised how soon the worries of the day float away.
Take action and start a bath ritual of your own. It is a good thing to do.