In today’s unprecedented times, never has self-care and wellness been more at the forefront of our minds. Overnight the foundations of our working lives and social routines have been thrown into disarray as our life in lockdown becomes the new norm.
With the world in crisis, and the majority forced into a restricted and slower pace of life, our focus has undoubtedly taken a transformative shift. Bereft of our usual distractions, simple pleasures and home comforts are experiencing a new emphasis and importance within our daily routines.
Our desire to fill time, fuelled by an intense pace of life has been put on hold, the new desire is to enjoy the time we have.
‘Time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time.’ – John Lennon
Bathing is just one of those underrated joys. Too often squeezed into a busy day of scheduling, relegated to a moment of necessity and function, it is actually one of the most powerful and effective ways we have to unwind, relax and reconnect. As we explore this new sense of time and adapt to a gentler pace, we also have the chance to explore our own sense of wellness and place self-care at the heart of our overall health.
Patina Copper Bateau Bath at Finca La Donaira
Our relationship with water, cleansing for both the body and soul holds a fascinating history spanning many ancient cultures and civilisations. From exotic rituals ranging from cleanliness to therapeutic, religious and even social occasions, it is no accident that Spas, water and nature hold such a key place in our sense of luxury and wellbeing. We are drawn to these experiences and moments quite simply because they make us feel great.
The human connection between water and wellness runs deep. The process of washing away the day ready for a new dawn, both in a literal and metaphorical sense is a powerful and cathartic ritual. We all value a fresh start, a psychological and physical cleansing that refreshes the soul and restores emotional balance. As a positive start to the day, or a relaxing wind down at dusk, since ancient times water and bathing have been used as the emotional reset button, a time to pause, reflect and continue on the right foot.
Long has it been know that bathing and immersion in water is good for our relaxation and mood, but now it has also been scientifically proven to be genuinely good for our health. A recent SF-8 Health Survey found that people who had a habit of regular bathing in hot water showed “good subjective health status, sufficient sleep and rest, low levels of stress, and high subjective happiness.” Found to positively impact the production of our ‘feel good’ chemical seratonin, researchers discovered that the “psychological benefits of bathing presented a real causal relationship.”
Tin Bateau Bath at The Wheatsheaf Inn
With the ability to reduce stress, ease muscle fatigue and release toxins, researchers also discovered that the “habit of immersion bathing contributed to a strengthened immune function” in those who made bathing a regular part of their lifestyle. The humble bubble bath it appears is not mere frivolity, but a crucial element of our overall self-care.
And… it is not just hot water bathing that is good for our health. From the opulence of Cleopatras milk and honey bathing rituals, to Icelandic geothermal pools, Turkish Hamam’s or the more recent phenomenon of the WimHof ice bath, water and wellness are intrinsically linked around the globe through a myriad of diverse cultural and experiential forms.
In these times of uncertainty, water has the unique ability to envelop and unite the senses, bringing us into the moment whilst shielding us from our cares. It taps into an innate and ancient pleasure, a childlike escape full of innocence and calm. Consider the magical scent of the ocean or the gentle lapping of a lakeside shore, waves reflecting sunlight… water captivates our memories and imaginations. It connects us to nature and reminds us to just… be.
Outdoor bathtub at The Crown Hotel
For many a long bath is the most accessible and affordable way to instantly boost your mood. In a world when we are continuously bombarded with the latest gimmicks and expensive treatments, bathtub therapy provides us with a sincere and unpretentious route to wellness on ‘tap’. Shown to alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety the healing and revitalising benefits of this most simple of joys should not be overlooked.
In these changing times the minutiae of domestic life, previously the functional backdrop to our ‘lives’ has fast become our primary source of ritual and a new creativity is infusing our daily tasks as we focus on the moment, slow down and find pleasure in the simplicity of the everyday.
So whether you light a candle and sink into a lovely warm bath, relax in a bubbling hot tub beneath the stars or simply dig out the paddling pool, unapologetically reclaim this time. Health and wellness have never been more important, so embrace the moment and make sure to nourish your health, your wellbeing and most importantly, your sense of joy.