If you know me at all, you probably know that one of my favorite indulgences is a nice, steamy bubble bath! What can I say? Something about hot sudsy water, the soothing flickering of candles, and the peace and quiet centers my soul and gets me ready to take on the day!
Sound appealing? You know it does! Everyone wants a luxurious bubble bath, but in order to achieve that level of bliss you can’t just take any ole’ bath. To make it worth your while, you want to create a soothing bath experience that can knock out stress, detox your body, and send any discomforts and troubles packing! How do you do that? Take it from an experienced bubble bather – the best bubble baths take a little prep!
1. Dim the lights, light soothing candles, and place them around the rim of the tub where you can’t accidentally knock them over. Nothing about an accidental fire screams peace of mind!
Allow those calming, flickering lights to break up any tension in your mind. Focus on pushing out any negative thoughts and letting your mind wander away.
2. Invest in some natural epsom salts without any added fragrance
You’ve probably heard of athletes taking epsom salt baths after tough workouts, or maybe you have used epsom salt yourself at one time or another. This wonderful salt is a great exfoliant and anti-inflammatory remedy that can help combat dry skin, boost your magnesium levels, and beat that muscle soreness!
The University of North Carolina found that magnesium deficiencies can actually bolster stress levels, so simply soaking in a magnesium salt bath can increase your magnesium levels and boost your mood naturally!
The sulfates in epsom salt also help pull toxins out of the body to allow your body to detox while you soak! Simply add a cup of salt to your bath water and soak for 30 minutes to one hour to reap the benefits!
3. Add in a few drops of calming essential oils
The use of aromatherapy for treatment of disorders of all levels is on the rise as the research surrounding the topic expands. While this may be new for some people, others have been using aromatherapy for years, some without even knowing they were! For instance, keeping a vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen table can have the same effect as using an essential oil diffuser. Calming floral scents can invoke a stress-reducing effect.
Some common essential oils used to combat stress include:
- Lavender is the most commonly used essential oil that has a restorative effect on the nervous system. Clinical trials have found that participants inhaling lavender essential oil experienced calmness and a sense of ease, often reducing their anxiety levels (1).
- Bergamot essential oil has shown to be effective at reducing the stress response in participants in clinical trials, and is often blended with other soothing herbal oils to promote a reduction in stress and anxiety. In five out of six clinical trials, participants using bergamot essential oil experienced a reduction in blood pressure, heart rate, and stress (2).
- This oil can have a calming and tranquilizing effect on the body, allowing those who inhale the scent to better quiet their mind.
- Lemon or grapefruit.
- Citrus scents are said to help with soothing stress and anxiety. Some people also find citrus scents to boost energy however, so the best way to see if this helps you is to give it a try to see how you feel after! Or maybe add it to the bath at the end to add a little pep in your step for the rest of the day!
- In a clinical trial of postpartum women using rose essential oil for aromatherapy purposes, the women who used the oil twice weekly for 1 month experienced a lower occurrence of anxiety and depression compared to those who did not use the oil. So aside from all the skin and antioxidant benefits of rose oil, simply smelling this floral oil a few times a week can greatly impact your mood (3)!
4. Natural bubbles anyone?
What’s a bubble bath without BUBBLES?! Epsom salts don’t give you the fizz you like, so sometimes a good sudsy bath soap is necessary. You want to try to avoid soaps that contain a lot of harsh chemicals and fragrances. In fact, if you can get soap scented with the natural essential oils listed above, that’s a win-win in my book!
Some brands I personally enjoy or have read that are good include:
- Deep Steep Lavender Chamomile Bubble Bath
- Bubble Therapy Pure and Natural Bubble Bath, Shampoo & Body wash
- Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Bubble Bath (not just for babies!)
5. Put on calming music
Nothing like soothing sounds or your favorite calming music to drift off into bubble bath bliss… Not into music when you’re trying to relax? No problem! Either relax in silence or turn on background noise that mimics the sound of a babbling brook or ocean waves. Ahhhh 🙂
6. Loosen and relax your muscles
Hold tension in your shoulders? Don’t let your shoulders clench up in the tub. Lay so that your shoulders and neck are straight and relaxed, allowed all tension to be released. This may prove difficult at first, but rest your head against the back of the tub, keep your face above the water, and allow you neck to remain straight, keeping tension off your shoulders. Find that your tub isn’t long enough? Rest those feet up on the sides! No one said every part of your body had to be in the water at the same time. I often find this pose to be very relaxing, and it allows a lot of tension to be released from my legs as well!
7. Alternate between breathing through your nostrils
Alternating nostril breathing helps bring awareness to your breath. Performing this simple technique for merely a few minutes can help relieve fatigue and any tension or stress one may be experiencing.
When inhaling, concentrate on belly breathing, where as you inhale, your belly expands first, then your ribs, and then your chest, rather than your chest simply rising. Then exhale starting with the chest and ending with the belly. Belly breathing is said to promote increased oxygen levels in the blood, boosting concentration, mood, and reducing anxiety.
8. Bath tub yoga time! Restorative yoga poses
Why NOT take your yoga practice underwater? Just because you’re naked doesn’t mean you can’t get in some quality stretches! Just be careful of slippery surfaces, and don’t go crazy now! Some fun tub-time yoga poses may include:
Upward facing dog
Seated palm press
9. Clear your mind and rid yourself of all distractions! This time is your time. Don’t let work or life troubles intervene.
When I was younger, I used to take baths whenever I was sad or had a big life decision to make. It was my thinking time, and I often went into the tub with a purpose and came out with a clear mind and answers to all my woes. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that it’s harder for me to concentrate like I used to in the tub, and often find my mind drifting off into nothing-land. I take that as my body telling me it’s time to use baths as a place to detox my mind from stress and everyday issues. After all, one often takes baths to unwind and relax, and thinking about that nagging work issue or those pestering chores isn’t going to allow you the tension reduction you need! So let those troubles fade, and allow your mind to think about your breathing and how relaxed you feel at the present moment!
10. Use a detox face mask
Want to up the luxury factor one more time? Before hopping into the tub, apply a detox facial mask, and allow it to sit on your face and do it’s thing while you soak! This allows the steam from the bath to open your pores, and the wonderful detoxing properties of the mask to work its magic while leaving you with supple skin upon emergence! Looking for a great detox mask? Try my favorite pumpkin turmeric facial mask! Don’t let the pumpkin fool you; this mask is great for year-round supple skin!