When the world is getting a bit much, is there anything more reassuring than a long, hot soak in the bath? It seems to have a magical ability to make everything feel just that little bit better. Worries fade away as muscles relax and the ten thousand thoughts a second slowly leave your mind. Getting the bath right is essential - too hot, and you can end up feeling lightheaded and uncomfortable; too cold, and you want to get out before you’ve even had a chance to convalesce. If the room is too noisy, too bright, or the bath is uncomfortable, relaxation can be hard won. All the little things have to add up to make the perfect bath experience.
The bath itself
If your bath is too short, too narrow, too shallow, or just a bit old and grotty, it isn’t entirely conducive to rest and relaxation. Keeping the bath clean and grime-free is essential, especially around the grouting - if you feel like you’re getting dirty just by being there, relaxation isn’t going to be easy.
A bright bathroom isn’t relaxing. Bright unnatural light can keep your brain whirring for far longer than you want - that’s why we sleep in the dark after all. A few pillar candles are perfect for setting the scene in the bathroom, but all the flickering flames can give some people a headache. It’s worth having an electric light, preferably with a dimmer of some description, to keep a more constant level of light, and use candles for scent and coziness. A few large, unscented, white pillar candles can offer lovely soft lighting - too many scented candles can create conflicting smells which can be quite overwhelming, so try to keep to one scent, and preferably one which also works well alongside your bath products too.
When you can hear the kids screaming downstairs, the traffic from the road, or your hubby’s computer game, your brain’s probably going to struggle to switch off. Some people just enjoy a noise generator, which is basically white noise, to block out background noise while they’re trying to bathe. Others prefer music - a relaxing Spotify playlist filled with your favourite chill out tunes could be perfect. Waterproof Bluetooth speakers are an amazing addition to a bathroom for any bath-lover, and you eliminate the risk of running into any electricity and water-based problems.
Getting the bath the perfect temperature is essential, not only for comfort but safety. Too hot, and you can end up feeling quite unwell, and too cold, and you just won’t want to stay in there. The optimal temperature is a couple of degrees above body temperature, and the quicker you can fill the bath, the more control you have over the temperature. Good quality bath taps, such as those from Tap Warehouse, are essential for filling the bath efficiently, but also for creating a bathroom which looks like a room in which you want to spend your time relaxing. If you find your bath is filling slowly, and cooling down before you even get a chance to hop in, check your home’s water pressure, and consider swapping the taps for a newer model.
It’s impossible to relax and let your mind wander when you’re uncomfortable. A bath pillow might be one of the greatest inventions, especially if your bath isn’t the perfect shape for you. The support on your neck can be essential to avoid that awkward cricked neck, and allow you to get as comfy as possible. A little bath shelf is also amazing, especially if you’re partial to the bathtime glass of wine, and it makes a great stand for a good book if you’re trying to avoid getting the pages wet. Don’t overlook the temperature of the room, as well as the temperature of the bath - your entire body won’t be completely submerged, so a cold bathroom can be particularly uncomfortable. The bathroom should be at least room temperature, if not a couple of degrees higher, to be perfect. And a fluffy towel kept on the radiator for the duration of your relaxing bath is the perfect cosy post-bath treat.
Everyone has their preferred scents for different occasions, but there are some scents which are just perfect for relaxing baths. Generally, sweeter and more floral scents are great for relaxation, whereas fruity, lighter floral scents, and citrusy scents are perfect for getting you energised in the morning. Look out for coconut, lavender, and chamomile scents for a bath that will get you right in the mood for a great night’s sleep.
Once you’ve perfected the art of the bath, you’ll never look back!