I hadn’t taken a proper bath in ten years. Maybe more. But for some reason, I felt compelled to dip in the other night. And while I didn’t drop 18 pounds or make $100,000 while I was in the bath, its effects were still life-changing to me. Because it was a simple reminder to take care of myself — something we could all use a little more of.
A bath is peak stillness, and is there anything we need more of right now in this technologically aggressive combustive cycle of digital waste? Several moments of calm. Nowhere to go. Nothing to do. Just sink in and let the water hold you.
Thirty seconds into my first bath in a decade I already felt different. A sense of ease lulled me into relaxation. The warm embrace of the water made my mind emulsify and there I lay, an island surrounded by the sea. A buoy.
I can’t say it was magic, but it sure felt like it. The combination of the warm water, the shape of the tub, the lack of distractions, and the lavender bath salts granted my wish. I just wanted to check out, if only for a moment, and this was my time clock.
Finding Peace in an Age of Distraction
“I find a bath meditative and usually prepare myself for the day in this manner.” — Tom Ford
Most things we do in life today, we do so while distracted by our phones. They come with us everywhere. Most of us even take them into the bathroom with us. But there’s something about a bath that makes it more difficult. Sure, many phones are waterproof now, but are we really willing to risk it during a soak? I wasn’t.
I kept my phone nearby in case my kids texted and for meditation, but the urge to touch it was greatly reduced by the water. And this tiny break from my technological umbilical cord allowed me to relax in a way that I rarely do. For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t actively trying to think about anything.
When I walk aimlessly I don’t think much, but I am still paying attention to where I am going so my mind is still working. When I am in the bath, there is no movement. I have nowhere to go. The tub is only so large and the curvature breeds a state of kickback.
I didn’t bathe for long, but I felt like I had. And when I was drying off I really considered the fact that there are few places that can provide more calm. To really engage in a routine of self-care, we have to get to a state of non-distraction. A bath could be the antidote.
My life wasn’t drastically different as I slid into my pyjamas for the night. I didn’t come up with the perfect introductory paragraph for my memoir. I didn’t suddenly put together all my haphazard ideas into one super-concept. But that doesn’t mean the bath wasn’t life-changing.
Now that I know the calm a bath can bring, I can move forward into the next chapter of my life with them as a staple and not an afterthought. I suggest you do the same.
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