Feeling anxious? Here are nine ways a shower can help you relax

Feeling more stress than usual right now? It’s quite understandable! here are nine ways you can switch off in your bathroom.

Right now we’re spending more time than ever in our homes. We’re also likely to be under more stress than usual, and you may be looking for ways you can unwind.

If you’re a water baby, here are nine ways a shower can help you relax.

1) A hot shower can relieve aching muscles

You don’t need to soak in a hot, deep bath to relieve aching muscles. A warm shower can help just as well. The steam from a hot shower can help to clear your head, and the warm water help your muscles to loosen up and relax.

A nice, hot shower or bath can also help to prepare your body for sleep. Apparently, when you get out of a warm bath or shower, your skin cools from the water evaporating – sending a signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep. Hot showers are also said to improve blood circulation, reduce headaches, and help your skin.

2) A cold shower can lift your mood

At the other end of the temperature scale, a quick, cold, refreshing bath or shower is thought to have several health benefits.

A cold rinse after you wake up in the morning can give you a shock which increases your oxygen intake and heart rate – making you more alert and ready to embrace the day. Your body also releases endorphins during a cold shower, which can help to lift your spirits.

After an intense workout at the gym, a cold shower or bath can help to relieve your sore and burning muscles. Doctors around the world also recommend that patients with depression take a hot shower followed by a colder one, by gradually lowering the water temperature over the course of a few minutes. 

3) Use essential oils for aroma therapy

Fans of the benefits of essential oils use them for a number of health benefits, including reducing anxiety, relieving headaches and inflammation, or even to re-energize.

Essential oils such as orange and lavender are believed to soothe the mind, and lavender to help you sleep better.

To reap the benefits, place a diffuser in your bathroom, and experiment with scents to find the ones you prefer. Wear an essential oil bracelet so you can still continue to relax even after you shower. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can simply soak a cotton ball with a few drops of essential oil, and place the ball on the floor of your shower, away from the direct flow of water. The hot steam will help to naturally release the oils.

4) Get a shower tablet

A shower tablet is much like a bath bomb. Aromatherapy tablets are an effective and simple way to experience essential oils during your shower.

You can even make your own DIY shower tablets. Just combine baking soda, sea salt, water, and your preferred choice of essential oils.

5) Bring plants into your bathroom

The calming benefits of plants is well known – the Japanese even participate in something called ‘forest bathing’.

But you don’t need to get out into nature to reap the benefits of greenery. If you want to create an oasis of calm in your bathroom, try adding some plants.

Not only do indoor plants make pretty decoration, but they also offer health benefits. Studies have shown that indoor plants can aid in boosting your mood, relieving stress, and even cleanse indoor air by absorbing toxins and producing oxygen.

The best plants to choose are those that thrive in a humid environment. Popular choices include:

  • Aloe vera
  • Asparagus fern
  • Bamboo
  • Begonia
  • Cast iron plant
  • Chinese evergreen
  • Cyclamen
  • Dumb cane
  • Ferns
  • Orchids
  • Snake plant
  • Spider plant
  • Weeping fig

When choosing your plant it’s also important to factor in the unique conditions of your bathroom. For example, how much light and ventilation does it get? And how warm? Choose a plant that will thrive in your specific bathroom environment.

6) Play relaxing tunes

Music has a powerful effect on our mood and emotions. In the morning, cheerful, energetic pop songs help to rouse us from sleep and set us up for the day. And in the evening, or at times of relaxation, soothing, slower music can help us to unwind and switch off.

So make a playlist to suit your mood and play it while you’re bathing or showering. And if you feel like singing along, don’t hold back! Singing has been proven to release endorphins and put you in a better mood.

Don’t fancy listening to music? Try meditations or even your favourite podcast.

7) Massage as you shower

Standing under a steady stream of water in a shower can almost feel like a massage. But why not go one step further and invest in upgrading your shower head to one that comes equipped with massage modes?

These massage hand-held shower upgrades can be relatively inexpensive and easy to activate. Just be warned that it might feel so nice you spend longer in your shower, and increase your water bill!

8) Invest in natural bath products

We’re far more aware these days of what we put into our bodies, and many people are switching to organic produce at the supermarket. But what about the beauty products you put on your skin?

Toxin-free body and hair wash products can be expensive, but are often very high quality and worth the price, if you can afford them. Some also have aroma-therapeutic properties thanks to the use of essential oils.

Even if you save these products for a treat, they can transform an average bath or shower to something that feels more special and luxurious. And not only do they smell wonderful, they can also bring aromatherapy benefits such as stress relief.

9) Be aware of the time

This may feel counter-productive – after all we often need to relax after a hectic day of battling against time – but think about installing a clock in your bathroom.

Knowing what the time is, and how long you have to luxuriate over your bath or show can actually reduce stress rather than increase it. You know you won’t get lost in time and then find yourself having to rush around in a panic. Instead you can take your time, full aware of exactly how long that time is.

Switch off in the shower

Whether you have a standalone luxury bathtub, or a shower, your bathroom should be a sanctuary where you can escape the world and indulge in your daily routines without being rushed.

If you’re making over your bathroom and are deciding whether or not to squeeze in a bath, take a look at corner shower enclosures. They’re very much in trend now, and can make a welcome addition to a bathroom.

Photo by Anne Nygård