Bathtub Benefits

Stephanie Hill features Bathtub Benefits on The Style Bungalow

Slowing down hasn’t always been the easiest for me…mainly because of deadlines, a busy season ahead and a wedding to plan. 

But earlier this year, I felt like I found a rhythm to my day, where I practiced mindfulness in the mornings, so I wouldn’t mistake “hustling” with productivity so often. I finally “struck a balance” in some ways. However, all that came to an immediate pause just a few weeks ago with the heartbreaking COVID-19. 

Now I feel like I’m back at square one….

The pro? I have no excuse but to slow down, take it easy and #stayhome (a gift of time that I don’t take lightly). But this sudden isolation and halt from the norm conjured up some tough emotions for me this week: feelings of great uncertainty, lack of structure and connection. I began to miss a lot of the normal activities, overanalyzed a ton and in some instances forgot to dream about the future in positive ways (perhaps, these emotional battles along with “TBD ” work projects, canceled travels and hangs with family and friends IRL are the cons).

Then, I realized what my mind was putting off…self-care…which was never cancelled. Happiness can still be found when slowing down.

Yesterday I peeled myself away from the news and did my best to focus more on the pros during this situation. Easier said than done, I started with something I’ve always enjoyed, soaking in a steamy, nightly bath aka my little sanctuary (as seen here) at home. My apartment, originally built in the 1920’s, has a large vintage, prewar porcelain tub that’s very deep, which I believe is also original to the building. Though old, it’s in great condition and has become my end of the day ritual. I honestly didn’t realize how much I missed this until I started again. 

Baths have this wonderful combination of quiet and comfort. It begins with the sound of running water, which already soothes me mentally and physically (I’m also a Cancer so this may explain why I love being near water!). Plus it’s no secret there are other healing properties to baths, especially when you sprinkle in Epsom salts. Sometimes, I even crack open my window to let in fresh air…when there’s a thunderstorm, I love it even more. The droplets of cold rain sprinkle into my bathtub like a refreshing rain shower and fills my bathroom with sounds similar to a delicate waterfall. It’s as if the stresses from my day dissolves and evaporates with the steamy hot water, which does wonders for my breathing while the rain transports me to another calming place. Though the room is misty, my mind is clear. I know exactly what I need and my heart begins to dream again…

My Aerin candle, burning with hints of fresh white tuberose and a cool Jasmine scent, floods the room — call it a “mind-harmonizing aromatherapy.” I read from Business of Fashion (my daily news), sip on mint tea or a glass of red wine and blissfully drift…because this is the place where I can truly unwind without interruptions. Sometimes I leave my phone in another room, sit back and immerse myself in old paperbacks by candlelight…it all depends on my mood. Other evenings, I play jazz and classical music in the background as I read or stream a good series. And, #guilty, send out a few emails if it’s a busy day (just a few!)… After about an hour or so, I feel completely refreshed and ready for bed. My temperature naturally drops, signaling my body to slip into the next best thing, comfortable pajamas, and prepare for a good night’s sleep. 

(Bathtubs have built-in soundproofing…which creates a sense of quiet, comfort and ease.) 

Since there’s no better time than now to treat yourself to a luxuriously long, steamy bath (with almost everyone having a tub) I figured I would share a list of items I use during my ritual baths that help make them special.

Face Masks. 

As we know stress can cause a negative impact on our skin, so I’ve definitely been more intentional about keeping up with my face masks and scrubs. SK-ii face masks have always been my go-to. I also love Dr. Jart face masks and the glowing feeling from Joanna Vargas masks. It’s a bit pricey, but remember the key to using expensive face masks is to use them wisely. Since most have extra liquid, I usually save the mask after first use, by folding it and placing it back into the fridge. You can even use the same mask 3x just make sure your skin is clean. 

If you don’t feel like splurging on face masks right now (understandably so), grab two ice cubes and rub them over your face. I normally do this in the morning, but have done it in the evening too. It creates a firm effect, boosts blood circulation, helps to minimize pores and replenish your skin. Plus, the juxtaposition of hot and cold feels great.

Bath Caddy.

Ever since my mom gifted me with one for Christmas, it’s changed the game. I used to think it was silly (but I also used to balance my iPhone on my toilet seat), so having a bath caddy (love this) has made my soaking more seamless. I actually have a designated area to place my book, cup of mint tea or glass of red wine, bath scrubs (like this G. Tox 5 Salt Detox) and a dry brush without worrying about it falling into my tub.

Shower Curtain.

Since it’s considered one of the highlights in a bathroom, I recently swapped mine out for something more joyful, like the one I found from Pioneer Linens. Bathrooms, especially apartment bathrooms, can generally be dull and dark so having a beautiful shower curtain will help set the tone and style for the bathroom. I’ve shared how I made changes to my bathroom, through upgraded appliances and fixtures, but changing your shower curtain is one of the easiest ways to renew your space and create an oasis.

At-Home Manicure Kit. 

I love getting my nails done just like the next person. I get them done every two weeks! But when that luxury is no longer available, I have to resort to another solution. So I opted for an at-home manicure kit. I’m just focusing on the base coat, nail color and top coat along with trimming my cuticles to keep it fresh.

Good Books.

A special thanks to you and your list of must-reads right now. I’m just getting started and can’t wait to dive deeper into it (heard incredible things about A Well-Behaved Woman: A Novel of the Vanderbilts)! 

A Spotify Playlist

With the teeming stress the current crisis brings, music can be another therapeutic way in combating the long term effects. It’s something that deeply moves me. (I blame my grandfather who was a salsa composer.) To help, I created a playlist, composed mainly of jazz, classical music and some of my old favorites, to accompany your next bath and help your mind drift to far away places, holidays and bring an overall sense of comfort and ease back into your life.

I’m learning there are pros and cons to every situation in life. And I’ll always need to strike a balance regardless of how much a situation shifts my foundation. Happiness after all is an inside job – one that requires continuous work. Focusing on the positives, like creating an atmosphere where I can enjoy the little things, like a hot bath…

Sending you all positive vibes during this time!

Lifestyle Blogger Stephanie Hill features Bathtub Benefits on The Style Bungalow

Xo, Stephanie


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