We’re all being constantly told to do things to de-stress from our busy lifestyles and work environments. We know that stress is bad for our health and wellbeing, but being told that we need to de-stress is actually quite stressful in itself! I can’t be the only person who often feels they don’t have the time to de-stress, and being nagged about it doesn’t help!
So what de-stressing tools are most effective and can be fitted into our busy lives?
You’ve probably already discounted a relaxing bath – takes too long to run a bath and you haven’t got time to lie in it to get any benefit. If this sounds familiar, let me try to convince you to make that time…
HOW A RELAXING BATH WORKS
A soak in the bath, even for just 20 minutes, is a highly effective stress buster. It takes you away from stress-inducing distractions like your phone, the news on TV, and even the people you live with!
It relaxes your muscles and soothes aches and pains, which in turn helps to reduce the amount of information your brain is processing and helps you to achieve deeper relaxation. A soak in hot water has also been shown to lower your blood pressure*, very beneficial for those who suffer from stress-related high blood pressure.
Our bodies naturally associate being in a horizontal position with relaxation, and warm water echoes the sensation of being in the womb – safe and secure. All this contrives to create an environment that promotes a relaxed state of mind.
It can also improve our sleep at night by promoting a more relaxed state, and a good night’s sleep is essential for recharging our batteries and reducing our stress levels.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ‘ME TIME’
A relaxing bath gives you ‘me time’; time to focus on how you’re feeling, take stock of what is on your mind, and allow negativity and stress to quite literally float away. By shutting the bathroom door you symbolically and literally create space just for you, which other people must respect.
It’s time to just be, recharge and reset ready to face the world. ‘Me time’ helps reboot our brains, gives us space for self discovery, improves our focus and productivity, and gives us better work-life balance. A bath is the perfect place to get quality ‘me time’.
The trick is to make sure it is quality time. You need to ensure that you won’t have any interruptions or distractions, and make the experience as relaxing and de-stressing as possible. You can also make the time spent in your bath really count by adding detoxifying and balancing ingredients such as Dr Teal’s Pure Epsom Salts, and by creating a calming environment with essential oils and soft lighting.
Here are our tips for the perfect de-stressing bath:
#1: MAKE SURE YOUR BATHROOM IS FREE OF DISTRACTIONS
An overflowing laundry basket or a smear of toothpaste on a mirror are distractions you don’t need. Instead of relaxing and focusing on letting the stress float away, you’ll be thinking about doing the washing or cleaning the bathroom. So make sure the bathroom is a retreat: free of distractions, household chores and daily life.
#2: DON’T ALLOW INTERRUPTIONS
You may have to plan your de-stressing bath around other members of the household to ensure you get 20 minutes of uninterrupted calm. Let everyone know that you don’t want to be disturbed, even if Zac Efron calls. Switch phones and devices off so you don’t hear your email notifications and messages.
#3: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH HOT WATER
Nothing raises the stress levels like finding out there’s no hot water! Check there’s enough to run your bath, and to top up if you want to stay in for longer.
#4: BOOST THE POWER OF THE HUMBLE BATH
While a long soak in warm water is a great way to de-stress, you can boost the power of your bath by adding a bath soak with restorative ingredients. Aromatherapy oils such as lavender are excellent for relaxation, or you can boost the detoxifying and de-stressing power of your bath by adding Dr Teal’s Epsom Salt Soaking Solution to your bath. The magnesium contained in this staple beauty product can increase energy levels and improve your sleep, essential tools for fighting stress.
#5: SOAK FOR AT LEAST 20 MINUTES
If you’re feeling stressed you may find that you feel restless and fidgety when you first get in your bath. Your mind and body is telling you that there’s no time to rest, you need to keep going. Persevere! Allow the relaxing properties of your bath to calm your mind and soothe your body, and try to soak for at least 20 minutes.
If you’re not used to taking long baths, or doing anything to help your stress levels, you may find it hard to unwind. Keep at it, as the more often you book in this special ‘me time’ the easier it will become and you’ll start to notice some real benefits. We recommend taking a 20 minute bath at least twice a week using Dr Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt or other bath products to give a much deserved break from our stressful lives.
* If you suffer from heart problems, speak to your doctor about whether they would recommend taking hot baths.