You might think you’re not a bath person. Maybe the thought of sitting in a tub of water doesn’t innately appeal to you, or you can’t help but think of all the other things you could do with your time instead. But it’s also possible that you’re just not thinking about all the possibilities for how you can take a bath.
Bubbles aren’t for everyone and neither are color-changing bath bombs—perhaps a mustard soak is more up your alley or you just need a good podcast to help you pass the time. Here, seven people who swear by baths as a form of self-care (all featured in The Wind Down) share how they make their time in the tub all the more worthwhile.
Start With an Oil Massage
Jen Batchelor, founder of Kin, does abhyanga—a self-administered massage with warm oil—before getting in the bath. “When you’re in the water, your pores open up and get the benefit of the herbs that have been infused into the oil,” she says. “To me, it’s one of the most beautiful expressions of self-love.”
A cup of chamomile can calm you at the end of a long day, but HBFit founder Hannah Bronfman likes to soak in it instead. She brews two bags of the tea in one to two cups of water and then adds the concentrate to her bath, along with some Epsom salts and valerian and lavender essential oils. “It really helps my nervous system wind down,” she says.
Pair It With a Podcast
Model and author Naomi Shimada pairs her nightly soak with an hour-long podcast episode, such as 99% Invisible, and adds salt and essential oils to her bath. “I sit in the tub for as long as I can,” she says. “I’m that person that lies under the water like a fish in the ocean.”
Mix in Mustard
Bubble founder Jessica Young takes baths more than she showers, and recommends Dr. Singha’s detox mustard powder for a restorative soak, which can be paired with some productivity. “I practically live in the bathtub,” she says. “I bring a notebook and camp out.”
Stick With a Classic
Don’t want to overcomplicate things? Make like Busy Philipps and load up extra-hot water with lavender-scented Epsom salts, turn on Schitt’s Creek, and relax for two episodes.
After breaking a vertebra in 2016, Diaspora Co. founder Sana Javeri Kadri started turning to CBD bath bombs by Kush Queen about once a month to help with pain management. “Going to bed with relaxed, warm muscles is the best feeling,” she says.
Add Essential Oils
When she has time to take a bath, Loom founder Erica Chidi Cohen uses Ancient Minerals Magnesium Flakes, paired with a few drops of an essential oil blend. And even when a long soak is out of the question, she still makes the most of her time in the bathroom. “If I can’t take a bath, I drop some essential oils on the floor of the shower,” she says. “I make sure I’m always surrounded by good smells—aromatherapy can really help shift your energy.”
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