As a caregiver, you give so much to others, but the most important person you need to take care of is yourself. After all, if you aren’t properly cared for, you won’t be able to help anyone else!
Self-care is practiced in different ways. University of California San Francisco Health recommends good nutrition, exercise, meditation, letting other people help with simple chores, and especially taking time for yourself.
A great way to relax when you have a couple hours of alone time is a long soak in a warm tub, especially one filled with indulgent bubbles.
A successful bubble bath doesn’t need a lot of planning. You mostly need time and bubbles. But you can enhance the experience with a little pre-pampering prep.
First and foremost, a successful bubble bath calls for good, high-quality bubbles. Most bubble bath concentrates are scented, so depending on your preferences you might need to do a little research and sniff some bottles in the store before making a choice.
Lavender is a naturally calming scent, as is chamomile. A combination of the two could be just the ticket to enhance a good soak.
For those with sensitive skin, a bubble bath designed for babies might be a better option:
A glass of your favorite vintage while you soak in the tub is the epitome of indulgence. Everyone has a wine preference, but considering you’ll be in a warm bath you might want to opt for wine that tastes best at room temperature.
Unless, of course, you’re going for ALL the bubbles—including your wine! In that case, you’ll need an ice bucket to keep that champagne at just the right temperature.
Somm In the City recommends a bath-time wine that’s lighter on alcohol content. Depending on how hot you like your bathwater, adding too much booze with your bath could make you lightheaded. A nice pinot noir is one suggestion.
If you’re not sure, take the guesswork out of choosing through a wine club subscription. First Leaf helps narrow down your taste preferences through an easy quiz, and then sends you a selection of wines at a discount (with free shipping to most states).
Of course, there’s nothing like a puddle of wasted wine to ruin a good bath. So, if you’re indulging during a soak, a stemless wine glass helps reduce the odds of spilling.
A little mood lighting can maximize relaxation. Before getting into that tub full of bubbles, try turning down the dimmer switch and lighting a few candles. Look for lightly scented candles that go well with your bubble bath scent.
Soft music can enhance the bubble bath experience, but electronics and water don’t usually go well together. Waterproof speakers are a safe choice for listening in the tub. There are a variety of options at different price points, depending on the listening quality you’re seeking.
Meditation apps and podcasts designed for relaxation are also good options, and many are available via subscription, such as Get Sleepy. But if that’s not in your budget, check out some of free meditation apps available, such as these top picks, including the UCLA Mindful App from UCLA Health.
If you want something to hold your e-reader or phone out of the water – and somewhere to put that glass of wine – a bath caddy might be a good option.
A long soak in a warm tub might be relaxing, but hot water strips natural oils from the skin. It’s important to moisturize as soon as you’re done to keep your skin from becoming dry and itchy. Be sure to pick one that maintains that relaxed post-bath feeling!
If you need another reason to take the plunge and soak in a tub filled with bubbles, Danielle Pacheco of the Sleep Foundation reports that a warm bath or shower in the evening can improve sleep quality.
“A meta-analysis of 17 studies found that taking an evening shower or bath in water between 104 and 108.5 degrees Fahrenheit improves sleep quality,” Pacheco writes. “Those who bathe or shower one to two hours before bedtime also fall asleep faster. The researchers theorize that warm water stimulates blood flow to the hands and feet, which allows body heat to escape more quickly.”
A cooler core temperature also encourages the body’s natural sleep cycle, and a good night’s sleep after a warm bath is the perfect way to rejuvenate the mind and body.