Taking a hot shower is one of the greatest pleasures on the planet. For centuries, humans had to trek to natural hot springs or chop firewood first to heat up water if they wanted a steamy shower experience. Today, all we have to do is turn a knob and clean, hot water falls most deliciously on our shoulders as we scrub-a-dub dub.
You no doubt love your shower – but are you getting the most out of it?
Learn how to take a better shower and make one of life’s great pleasures even better. Create more sacred space in your life by making your daily shower a ritual that reaffirms your positive body image and honors the temple that you have so graciously been given.
- Start with clean water by using a filtered showerhead. A filtered showerhead costs slightly more than a normal showerhead, but will remove chemicals like sulfur and chlorine as well as scale (the hard, filmy residue that the minerals in water leave behind). You don’t drink chlorinated water, so why would you want to pour it all over your naked body every day? Available in wall-mount, handheld or rainfall varieties, a filtered showerhead will remove up to 99% of chlorine and other chemicals from your tap water.
- Scrub the bathroom clean until it shines. For the best shower experience, you can’t have mold growing in the corners or crud in the tub. Clean your bathroom for a clearer mind.
- Remove mold buildup from your plastic shower curtain by tossing it into the washer with a couple of old hand towels and ½ cup of white vinegar. The abrasion from the extra towels will scrub your shower curtain shiny and clean. If you despise touching your shower curtain, consider springing for a curved shower rod that will keep it away from your body as you wash.
- To conserve water more efficiently, set a timer to encourage a tangible amount of time for getting clean - and stick to it. Even better, take a “navy shower” which involves cutting off the water anytime you are not actively rinsing (for soaping up, lathering shampoo, etc.).
- Set the mood with music. If you want to calm down, play something slow and languid; if you are prepping for a night on the town, put on an upbeat record and witness the power of music to transform your mood.
- Candles and dim lighting can help set the correct mental state when you want to relax. Go natural and hang a bunch of fresh eucalyptus in the corner of your bathroom. When you steam up in the shower, the eucalyptus leaves respond to the heat and humidity by releasing essential oils that can decrease stress as well as congestion.
- While most people prefer a hot shower, warm showers are less harsh for your skin, and cold showers offer benefits like increased circulation, invigorated mood and improved skin and hair qualities. To get some of these benefits without freezing your buns off, douse yourself in a quick cold rinse before you step out of the tub to wake your body up.
- If you put conditioner on your hair, let it soak in while you shave or exfoliate so that you don’t waste water waiting around. Comb through long hair with a wide-tooth comb in the shower if it tends to tangle, and always end your hair routine with a quick blast of cold water to close the follicles and make it extra shiny.
- Refuse to get clean with chemicals. Toss out (or donate to a shelter where they likely use worse) your soaps, shampoos and scrubs that contain chemicals. Choose instead all-natural products such as Dr. Bronner’s, or stick with traditional bar of soap to save money on pricey shower gels.
- If you like to shave your legs or your face in the shower, do it at the beginning when you are looking for a close shave. If you have sensitive skin, shave at the end when your skin has had time to plump up and your hairs will be softer.
- A cup of hot coffee or a can of cold beer can be absolutely delightful in the shower. Just be sure to set it where the shower water won’t get it. Enjoy!
- The very best showers take place when you are exhausted, filthy or both – so get out there and get dirty! Go for a hike, go camping, go roll in the sand with your dog – and return to a heightened shower experience!
image: penelope waits