Why Bath Rituals Should Be Apart of Your Self-Care Arsenal
My love for a Sunday soak began as a young girl when I watched as my mom would light her favourite incense and start mixing the unique bath blends that she crafted from various herbs, oils, and salts.
This Sunday ritual was my comfort, my solace and the way I found the clarity I needed to face the week ahead. It always felt like a transformative experience, and I would always step out of the tub feeling like a brand new person.
Research has shown that immersing the entire body in hot water almost immediately releases stress and tension, removes toxins from the body, and heals joints and muscles.
More than just a bath, here are five reasons why a warm bath should be an essential staple in your self-care rituals.
Activates a part of the nervous system that is responsible for relaxation
Taking a bath can activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is the part of your body responsible for relaxation. As your nervous system adjusts to the warming effect of the water around you, you begin to experience lowered stress levels. If you feel anxious, a relaxing bath can physically force your body to change how it processes that anxiety.
Immersive bathing rituals can help to uplift your mood and tackle the symptoms of depression
A study found that taking an afternoon bath can produce a moderate but persistent mood lift even just twice a week. A warm bath can help strengthen and adjust your body’s circadian rhythms, the daily changes in behaviour and biochemistry, affecting every organ, including the brain, by increasing your core body temperature. People with depression tend to have a circadian rhythm that is out of sync. However, the change in temperature that comes from bathing can help this rhythm get more robust and help to boost your mood.
It offers a boost to your serotonin levels
Serotonin, also known as the ‘happiness hormone,” is released within the brain due to increased body temperature. Serotonin helps to stabilize your mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. The warm feeling that you feel throughout a bath can act as a way to naturally relax your muscles and thoughts, priming your mind for healing and happiness.
An opportunity for uninterrupted meditation and reflection
If you are someone who finds it difficult to meditate in a typical setting, a relaxing bath may be the perfect setting for you to clear your mind. Since your body is already physically relaxed, it should be easier to empty your mind and focus on the present moment. Set the mood by dimming the lights, adding candles, essential oils, incense, flowers, your favourite playlist, and a cup of tea for an experience that leaves you feeling refreshed, nourished and restored.
It helps to promote a peaceful + restful sleep
Research shows that taking a warm bath 90 minutes before bed promotes a night of deep and restful sleep and can help you fall asleep an average of 10 minutes quicker than usual. The circadian clock regulates sleep and the body’s core temperature. During the late afternoon/early evening, your body temperature is about two to three degrees higher, while it hits its lowest temp while you are asleep.
The basic idea of warm water bathing at night is based on the core body temperature fall, which triggers the pineal gland to signal melatonin production. Getting a good night’s sleep consistently helps you look, feel, and perform better. Getting sufficient rest can help you get sick less often, stay at a healthy weight, lower your risk for health problems like diabetes and heart disease, and reduce stress and improve your overall mood.
If bathing is not currently part of your self-care rituals, we hope you’ll start reaping the benefits of the bath because it’s never too late to start doing something new to take care of yourself!
Until next time 🖤