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The chaos of the holiday season and the end of the year often brings little time (read: almost none) to relax and indulge in self-care. But it’s so necessary to feel good and stay healthy in the midst of all the craziness. Lively has you covered with an easy way to sneak in some R&R without having to fork over a bunch of money for a fancy massage or spa day. Sometimes all it takes is an elevated bath at home.

The soothing effects of warm baths paired with the right setup and products can help you wind down and take care of yourself. Let’s get started!

How Baths Help You Relax

Baths work wonders by helping the body relax, assisting in the overall chill-out mode we all aspire to reach. Not to mention, it can help prime your body for sleep. This is because our body temperature naturally drops while we sleep, so warming it up and then exposing it to room temps helps start that process up, signaling to your body that it’s time to wind down.

Goodbye, Holiday Stress: Your Most Relaxing Bath Awaits

Setting the Perfect Ambiance

Ambiance is definitely a matter of personal preference, but there are some factors to keep in mind to make sure you address each one and tailor it to your liking. Ambiance factors include sensory points such as olfactory (smell), vision (lighting), tactile (product added to water, temperature) and auditory (music or silence).

Calming Scents

Smells provide a powerful link to our emotions and mood and the right ones can chill you out quickly as you slip into a warm bubbly bath. Lavender promotes nervous system restoration and soothes tension. Bergamot contains flavonoids that soothe tension and stimulate serotonin and dopamine production – those feel-so-good hormones come to the rescue!).

Low-Key Lighting

A dimmed room can affect relaxation as the lights, especially fluorescent ones, stimulate the body to stay in its “wake” cycle. Whereas, darkness stimulates melatonin and signals the body to wind down into the “sleep” cycle. If you want some light, try lighting some candles. They won’t affect your sleep-wake cycle, and the flickering flames will provide a cozy feel.

The Right Temps

A warm bath promotes all of the feel-good but going too hot can backfire on you. There isn’t an exact temperature to shoot for, as it is part of personal preference, but you shouldn’t feel cool, and you shouldn’t feel so hot that you are sweating like you’re in the middle of a spin class.

Soothing Sounds

Soothing tunes or silence, depending on what brings you peace, can really make or break the experience. Luckily, Spotify has a “100 Most Relaxing Songs” playlist to help you out if music is your thing. Sometimes nature sounds or even a guided meditation (check out Meditation Minis)podcast. Music, like smell, is tied to our emotions, and the right type of music or nature sounds can have a relaxation effect on your nervous system. 

Goodbye, Holiday Stress: Your Most Relaxing Bath Awaits

What to Add to Your Bath 

Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is absorbed through your skin when you soak in it. Magnesium is shown to reduce stress and promote sleep due to its positive effects on neurotransmitters in the brain.

Another go-to add-on is essential oils. A few drops of lavender or bergamot can soothe your skin and promote restful hormone production. Better yet drop in a fizzy essential oil-infused bath bomb.