Self Care Isn’t Just For Sundays (And Neither is Bathing)
Having a bath is making a home for me. As I to wrap my arms around myself in steaming hot water, whether that’s in my parents home, jumping in the tub at my friends place over the weekend, or traveling across the world. It’s knowing I’ll always be able to make a home.
I always know when it’s bath day. It’s almost like I can feel it in my bones —my being calling to be steeped into hot water. The stressful moments in the day always lead to that moment of relief.
Being a freelance editor and writer and running a publishing house is exhausting. Are we all exhausted as women – working mothers and students alike – or am I just imagining things? So many of us are givers. So many of us experience the highs of running the world and incomparable lows exhaustion, of coming down after a long week. To paraphrase Nayirrah Waheed, we all have a little trouble in taking our life off our shoulders and resting.
Taking a bath has been suggested as a cure to stress for centuries. What sounds like a wives tale was put to the test recently from researches at the University of Freiburg in Germany. The small study of 45 was split into two teams, one side had to take a bath regularly and the other half had to aerobic exercise for around 45 minutes twice a week. The results showed that those that were taking regular baths were effectively boosting moods twice as more.
As we know there is no one method in being calm all the time if anything proportionate stress is good for us; and this isn’t a response in how to “fix” depression, anxiety and mental health-related issues as there isn’t one cure. Psychologists even argue that it’s a matter of living with your mental health on good and especially the bad days. One of the ways of taking care of me is sitting in water, for you, this could be anything. It’s all ways of having a present moment only for yourself.
When visiting Tokyo recently for the opening of Lush’s first bath bomb concept store, Lush tapped into the long Japanese norm of regular bathing. I learned how Japanese tubs are even created to be deeper so when immersed into the water, your entire body’s temperature has risen, usually calming your whole self down.
Though a new year is a fresh start, it can also be overwhelming in committing to resolutions and fulfilling goals. A new year can feel like this isn’t the time to switch off — the holidays have only just happened — but instead of burning out our natural resources by March, a bath is a reminder that staying still is a good thing. It is in the every day moments that balance happens, not with haphazard so-called bursts of self-care.
Using a body brush on dry or damp skin in motions towards your heart i.e. the opposite movement of your bloodstream is a good way to wake up your body and also be aware of all of your limbs, from your palms to your calves and toes.
A Little Bottle of Calm by Lush, any peppermint and argan bath oil and scrubbing on Delhicious Black Tea Scrub is a good way of reminding myself that this body is one of the reasons I’m doing this all for.
Words, Tahmina Begum.