Life is busy. Sometimes we have so much on our plates as we care for our families and tend to our careers that we don’t stop and care for ourselves. But did you know that taking the time for self-care can actually make you more productive later on?

Imagine this: You are blissfully soaking in a warm bath. Maybe there are mountains of white bubbles surrounding you. Maybe a bath bomb fizzes on the water’s surface, scenting the air and water with your favorite aroma. A fluffy towel awaits you beside the bathroom sink. You let your thoughts drift as you rest peacefully.

Sometimes after a long day, a nice, relaxing bath is just what the doctor ordered. And there’s so much more to a warm bath than just a chance to unwind. Taking a relaxing bath can improve your health and make your day more productive.

Here’s how:

  1. Boost your brain power. Studies have shown that submerging your body in water can improve blood flow, which increases cognitive function. You might notice that after you go swimming, you feel more alert. Taking a bath can have the same effect.
  1. Relieve stress. Like many self-care activities, bathing is widely recognized as a good way to de-stress. It gives you an opportunity to step away from your normal environment and your normal distractions. (Tip: For extra stress relief, use a bath bomb or soap with calming scents like lavender, chamomile, or oatmeal.)
  1. Aid sleep. Taking a warm bath loosens your muscles, which means it is easier to fall asleep after soaking for a while. Your body temperature will also rise while you are bathing, then quickly drop when you get out. This drop naturally releases melatonin.
  1. Fight a cold. If you take a bath hot enough to make you sweat, it can serve as a detox that will help you bid farewell to cold and flu symptoms. It can even prevent you from coming down with a sickness if you catch it quickly enough! Add ginger to your bath for extra cold-fighting properties.
  1. Cleanse your skin. Taking a bath is also a great addition to your skincare routine. If you suffer from dry skin, soaking can open your pores, allowing your skin to naturally absorb more moisture.

Pretty amazing, right? But wait! Before you rush to your tub to partake in the amazing benefits of a relaxing bath, let us leave you with a few tips to make you self-care bathing experience the best it can be.

Firstly, try not to soak for too long. We know it feels heavenly, and once you get in you’ll never want to get out, but it’s important to limit time spent in the bath to about 30 minutes in warm water, and less in very hot water. If your bath goes much longer than that, you might encounter unpleasant pruney skin.

Also, if you have a heart condition, you should check with your doctor before taking a very hot bath. This might not be the best form of self care for you.

Now that you know how and when to take the ideal warm bath, you’re ready to reap all the amazing health benefits of, well, relaxing in a tub! Happy soaking!