For years, I have preached self-care to my clients. And as they open their mouths in protest, I have stopped them to clarify that self-care doesn't have to take a ton of time, nor does it have to cost a lot of money.
And then I always give a list of ways to care for yourself that do just that. Bubble baths are always on my list of examples, even though I'm more of a shower person. Bubble baths seem to represent luxury and relaxing for adults. Even though they are almost completely free, they often get overlooked because of time demands (or because of a disdain for seeing yourself naked for any length of time).
When was the last time you took a bubble bath?
Every time I mention “bubble bath” in my self-care examples, I silently cringe. I don't take them, so why in the world was I suggesting them? I rationalize that someone else may really enjoy them or find the time in their busy life to take one. So I keep mentioning it.
Enter Christmas 2014.
I had a lot of time off from the office, and I was determined to do a bit of relaxing. Someone must have known I'd be in that frame of mind, because I got a bubble bath kit for Christmas. It was the perfect opportunity to put that gift to use- and to practice what I preach.
I put in the epsom salts, added the bubble bath, lit a candle, and grabbed my laptop so I could watch a movie while basking. Though I had my doubts, I got in and immediately starting feeling giddy.
“I can't believe I'm doing this.”
“This is kind of fun.”
“Shouldn't I be working? This book isn't going to write itself.”
When I got out of the tub, something so simple and almost mundane, I felt so relaxed and proud of myself.
A few days later, everyone had returned to work. My clients decided they didn't need me that day, so I found myself with an open day. I kept saying, “I should be working right now. This time is a gift.”
Instead, my mind kept racing back to that bubble bath from a few days before. No matter what I tried to do, my body kept pulling me towards the tub.
So I did what any smart woman would do- I ran another bubble bath IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY. This time, I took my Kindle so I could read.
Even more giddy this time, I vowed that I wouldn't soon forget the effects of those bubble baths on me. Not only did they make me feel relaxed and warm, but I felt special because I took some time for myself. I was able to deal with the same tasks, but without the tension that normally sits quietly in the background. I even got the things on my list done, without feeling pushed for time.
“Hmm, there's really something to this bubble bath thing,” I thought. “I may need to schedule these on the calendar to make sure I don't overlook their effects.”
Do You Have the Bubble Bath Blues?
- If you can't remember the last time you took a bath (or a shower) that made you feel relaxed and refreshed, you may just have the bubble bath blues.
- If you are constantly giving yourself grief over not getting enough done, you may actually have the bubble bath blues. (I know you're scratching your head on this one. But research and experience tell us that self-care pays off in terms of productivity.)
- If you feel tense and achey in your body, you may be suffering from the bubble bath blues.
The “bubble bath blues” are when your body is pushing you to do something that will restore and relax your muscles and clear your mind, but your brain keeps saying, “Don't forget everything you haven't done yet! You don't have time for that mess!”
So whether or not you are a fan of a baths or you need to take a candlelit shower with some of your more special soaps, take some time to restore your body. You'll be surprised at just how much more you can accomplish, how confident you feel about your worth, and how your stress and anxiety will fade away when you take the time to invest in your own peace and comfort.