Many of us go through life taking quick showers in the morning to start our day or washing the grime away after work, without considering slowing down and soaking in a warm, tranquil bath. Though showers serve an important purpose for hygiene, frequent baths provide relaxation and renewal benefits for your mind and body that should not be overlooked.
Do You Really Read A Bathtub Instead Of Shower?
No, you don’t need a bathtub to live your best life—showers work just fine for most folks. While tubs can be the VIPs of relaxation, showers are the all-stars of quick and efficient cleansing. Both can be part of a solid hygiene routine.
Dr. Sarah Williams, a renowned psychologist, says, “The preference between reading in a bathtub and taking a shower is a complex interplay of emotional, physical, and psychological factors. It serves as an insightful indicator of an individual’s personality and their coping mechanisms.”
The Relaxation Benefits of Baths
Slipping into a warm tub of water triggers physiological changes in your body that induce deep relaxation. Studies have found soaking in a hot bath lowers blood pressure and reduces stress hormone levels.
The warmth from the water eases tense muscles, improves circulation, and stimulates the release of endorphins that block pain signals and produce feelings of euphoria. Your skin also absorbs the nourishing minerals from bath salts, essential oils or bath bombs you add to enhance the experience.
Sinking into the still, enveloping warmth of bathwater has an almost meditative effect, what some call a “relaxation response.” You consciously push aside thoughts and responsibilities to focus on the present moment. This mental stillness combined with physical muscle relaxation provides anxiety relief and mental clarity. Basically, baths provide an easy way to practice mindfulness without any effort.
Adding Epsom salts, lavender oil, or eucalyptus to your bath makes the experience even more soothing. The scents trigger your limbic system, which controls emotions and memories. Pleasant aromas elicit the relaxation response.
Bathing by candlelight also sets a serene mood. There’s a reason spas incorporate aromatherapy, massage and other indulgences – it taps into our instinctive love of water to promote healing and well-being.
In our fast-paced, stressful world, we often neglect taking time to relax and rejuvenate. Showers are rushed, while a leisurely soak in the tub forces you to slow down and be present. This self-care ritual benefits both your mental health and physical body long after you’ve dried off.
Reading and Other Activities You Can Enjoy During Bath Time
One of the best aspects of taking a bath instead of a shower is it allows you to partake in enjoyable activities like reading a book, listening to music or simply relaxing your mind. To avoid water damage, choose bath-friendly books made of coated paper, like trade paperbacks or hardcovers. Or, read on a water-resistant e-reader or tablet.
Magazines work better than novels, as they’re easy to maneuver and you can set one page at a time on the edges of the tub. Try soothing reads like self-care, nature or cooking magazines versus anything too cluttered.
Beyond reading material, place a tray across the tub to hold a beverage like tea, wine or coffee and a candle or speaker for music. Streaming playlists or nature sounds enhance the Zen atmosphere.
Some other activities that pair well with bathtime include:
- Sipping a glass of wine or cup of tea
- Listening to calming music or meditation tracks
- Writing in a waterproof journal
- Folding origami
- Sudoku or crossword puzzles
- Coloring books and washable markers/pencils
- DIY face masks or exfoliating treatments
Get creative with different combinations to find your ideal bath routine. The key is choosing activities requiring minimal movement or materials to avoid spills.
You may need to adjust your setup until you find just the right level of comfort. A quality bath pillow supports your neck, while a ledge or tray holds your book and bath accessories within easy reach. Avoid contorting your body in ways that cause strain. The goal is utter relaxation.
The Downsides of Fast Showers
In contrast to leisurely baths, quick showers often leave you feeling harried rather than refreshed. There simply isn’t time to relax and let the warm water soothe away tension. You may also miss out on health perks of hot water immersion, like improved blood flow.
Rushed showers contribute to feeling stressed, especially when you’re hurriedly preparing for work or an appointment. The brisk spray doesn’t have time to loosen muscles or stimulate your body’s relaxation response. You miss out on the sensory pleasure of lingering in the warmth and aroma of bath products.
Showering is also less sustainable, using more water in a shorter period. Frequent shallow baths use less water than lengthy daily showers. You can also reuse bathwater for irrigation or other purposes.
This isn’t to say you should give up showering completely. Quick rinses definitely have a hygienic place in our grooming routines. But for optimal relaxation and wellness benefits, balance your showers with 20-60 minute soaks a few times per week.
You can enhance lackluster showers by using calming essential oils, playing soft music or using a massaging showerhead. But there’s no true substitute for letting go of stress as you ease into a perfectly filled bathtub.
Making Time for Baths in Your Busy Schedule
Between work, family time and household obligations, it can be tough to carve out time for self-care like leisurely bathing. But with a little creativity, you can incorporate relaxing soaks into even the busiest lifestyle two or three nights a week or more.
Easy Ways to Fit in a Quick Bath
With some efficiency and planning, you can fit in a restorative 20-30 minute tub soak on weeknights.
- Prep materials beforehand – Have a bath tray set up with your book, drink, Epsom salts, etc. ready to go.
- Multitask self-care – Apply a hair masque or face mask while bathing to maximize pampering.
- Wind down efficiently – Unwind as you soak by dimming lights, listening to music or meditating.
- Take baths while dinner cooks, bread bakes or laundry runs to fit it in with household tasks.
- Replace a half hour of screen time before bed with a soak. The break from devices will also improve sleep.
- Get up a little early to have time for a leisurely bath without feeling rushed.
- On tighter nights, do a quick exfoliating scrub or soak your feet. Some bathing is better than none.
With practice, you’ll discover the ideal bathing windows that work for your personal schedule. The key is staying flexible and keeping bath supplies organized for spontaneity.
Best Times to Take a Bath When You Have Kids or Roommates
Having family or roommates sharing your space can make sufficient bath time challenging. With communication and creativity, you can still fit it in.
- Morning – Rise a little earlier to soak in peace before others wake.
- During school/work hours – Take a “me time” break on off days.
- After children’s bedtime – Unwind once they’re settled for the night.
- During kids’ activities – One parent can bathe while the other supervises an activity.
- Schedule it – Take turns choosing set bath times to avoid conflicts.
- Add reminders – Post notes or share a family calendar to reserve bath time.
- Get away – Book a night at a hotel if you lack privacy at home.
The key is being intentional. Discuss needs openly and get creative with solutions so everyone can enjoy the home space.
Justifying Time Spent Bathing and Relaxing
Many of us struggle with guilt over taking time for self-care amidst other obligations. But rest and relaxation truly make you a happier, more patient and productive person.
- Refilling your mental and physical energy allows you to show up better for others. Taking a lunch break fuels productivity, and so does bathing.
- By modeling self-care, you teach your children the importance of nourishing activities like reading, mindfulness and rest.
- Taking time to rest your body prevents burnout, injuries or sickness that disrupt your abilities. It’s an investment in future function.
- Honoring your feelings has emotional benefits. Reflection during baths provides mental clarity to solve problems.
- Happy parents and partners offer higher quality time and focus. The whole family unit thrives when individual needs are met.
- “Me time” is a necessity, not a luxury. Set priorities and boundaries to ensure your self-care needs are fulfilled.
Start thinking of soothing baths as a tool for living well, not a selfish indulgence. When your mind and body feel nurtured, you become a source of calmness and care for your loved ones.
Setting Up a Tranquil, Inviting Bathtub Environment
While any bathtub can get the job done, creating an ambiance tailored to your ideal soak makes bathing feel special. Upgrade your space with these tips for a spa-worthy sanctuary.
Lighting, Music, and Other Ambiance
Trade harsh overhead lighting for lamps and candlelight. Try waterproof string lights around the tub. Limit artificial light.
Curae playlists to set your desired mood, like classical, nature sounds,, or acoustic covers of favorites.
Add aromatherapy benefits with drops of lavender, eucalyptus, citrus oils, or blended calming scents.
Adjust water temperature and room temperature to your comfort level. Add a space heater or fan as needed.
Hang sheer curtains, and display plants, and art. Make the space feel like a getaway.
Look for tubs with built-in lighting, heaters, or jets if remodeling. Or invest in quality add-ons.
Robe & slippers:
Indulge in lush fabrics and accessories that cue relaxation.
Tips for Keeping Bath Essentials Organized and Accessible
Nothing derails a relaxing bath quicker than scrambling to find bath products or reading material. Stay organized with these tips:
- Bath caddy – Keep books, drinks, oils, etc. in easy reach with a ledge designed to fit your tub.
- Over-tub shelving – Install wall racks for storage within arm’s reach.
- Shower caddies – Use hanging shower organizers to hold supplies right inside your tub.
- Drawers – Store bath accessories neatly in a bathroom drawer or cabinet.
- Bins & baskets – Sort supplies like bath bombs, razors, and first aid items in labeled containers.
- Stool or table – Keep a small waterproof furnishing near the tub for staging items.
- Prep station – Have a dedicated space for laying out towels, scrubs, and clothes before bathing.
Take time to find a system that clicks so you can breeze through pre-bath prep and relax.
DIY Ideas for Sprucing Up Your Tub and Bathroom
Don’t need a full remodel to elevate your bath experience? Try these easy DIY upgrades:
- Fresh paint or wallpaper – Visual interest enhances the vibe.
- New shower curtain – Choose soothing colors and fabrics.
- Improved lighting – Swap bulbs for warm options, add sconces.
- Tub appliques – Apply non-slip decals, shelving or caddies.
- Essential oil diffuser – Disperse relaxing aromas.
- Fluffy rug – Step from tub onto lush softness.
- Towel warmer – Envelop in heated comfort.
- Tub pillow & tray – Increase bathtub ergonomics.
- Storage baskets – Discreetly stow supplies.
- Houseplants – Bring nature indoors.
Even simple DIY upgrades make your bath a more luxurious ritual. The key is focusing on sensory details – sight, smell, sound, touch – to create a relaxing ambiance. Clear clutter, add comforts, and soon your bathroom oasis will beckon you to unwind.
The health benefits of trading quick showers for leisurely soaks in the tub are truly profound. Lowered blood pressure, less stress hormone, eased muscles, improved sleep – it’s like a whole spa treatment each time you bathe.
Hopefully the tips above gave you some motivation and practical ideas for taking time to relax in the tub. I know after a long day, my ideal evening involves closing the bathroom door, lighting a candle, and leaving the cares of the day behind as I slip into a warm, fragrant bath. While showers will always have their hygienic place, when you need to decompress, grab a good book and let the tub transport you to your happy place.
- Can You Drink Water Out of the Bathtub Faucet?
- Can You Eat An Orange In A Bathtub?
- Can You Do Ghusl In A Bathtub?
- Can You Do An Ice Bath In A Bathtub?
- How Many Showers Does the Average Person Take a Day?
William J. Bullock is a licensed plumber with over 15 years of experience installing and repairing bathtubs. He runs his own plumbing company in Greenville and serves residential and commercial clients. William is dedicated to providing honest, transparent advice to help homeowners make informed decisions about their bathroom renovations.
He has established expertise in selecting bathtubs, planning custom installations, diagnosing issues, and completing repairs. William aims to share practical tips and reliable recommendations based on extensive hands-on work. When he isn’t on a job site, William enjoys spending time with his family and volunteering at local community events. He takes pride in delivering quality service and enjoys helping people upgrade their homes.