Mental Health: Week 5 - Gratitude Challenge
Day 5: What item in your home relieves stress? How does it relieve stress?
This may be an odd answer, but the shower is what helps me relieve stress. I know most women would probably say a hot steamy bath lined with candles, but I absolutely despise baths. However, since I am a water sign, water tends to help me think clearly and calm down.
Now if I were to be completely honest, I wasn’t always a shower lover. In fact, I use to consider both baths and long showers a waste of time, because I always had things to do, or things I could be doing. So I use to take 5 minute showers and get right back to work. But, after spending some time at the mental hospital, I learned the importance of showering and how incredibly powerful water can be. For instance, before I left the hospital, the nurse to me that if I were to ever feel overwhelmed or like I was going to have a panic attack, simply turn on the shower and either sit underneath the water or sit in bathroom and listen to the water fall. Something as simple as hearing water run, can bring immediate peace. To this day, I use this trick all of the time and it has yet to fail me. Usually when I am in the shower, I will either talk out my problems with God or I will be still and listen to Electus, allowing my thoughts and imagination take over, bringing an extra sense of tranquility to the experience.
Not only is the sound of water extremely relaxing, but the feeling of water hitting your skin, brings a sense of comfort that most cannot explain. Humans have an obsession with cleanliness, and showers are ways to embrace feeling clean, both metaphorically and legitimately. Not only are you physically cleaning your body (which your body is always grateful for) but you have a chance to wash away all of your doubts and negative thoughts down the drain, along with your dead skin and body odor. Isn’t that a beautiful thought?
There are many benefits to taking showers every single day. Whether it is simple daily hygiene or embracing the time to self-reflect and motivate your self, the benefits are endless. There are two different showers that I will typically take, and I want to explain why these showers are beneficial and how they should be incorporated into your life.
Early Morning Cold Showers-
First thing in the morning, or maybe right after your 5am workout, hop into a cold shower. Not only with the cold water, help increase your alertness, making you ready for the work day ahead, but the cold water, will also get your brown fat tissue active, continuing to help stimulate weight loss. An early morning cold shower can also help decrease negative thoughts, bringing a more positive outlook into your life. I typically will run through a 10 minute cold shower right after my morning yoga routine. I usually have a motivational mix playing in the background, keeping my mind focused on the goals for the day ahead. It is important for me to keep my morning showers short, because I like to get as much done before the sun rises as possible!
Late Night Hot Showers-
Right before bed, spend 20 minutes just standing in a hot steamy shower. This is the absolute best way to wind down and relax all of the muscle tension in your body. A hot steamy shower has similar benefits as a sauna with out having to pay to visit one. With a lot of steam, you will open us the pores in your skin, helping clear acne, and clearing out your sinuses (a good tip for anyone with allergies or suffering with a cold). Another fun factor to a hot shower, is the fact that hot water kills bacteria, and simply standing under hot water, will kill a lot of the bacteria you collection throughout the day. Finally the hot shower is perfect for soothing you to sleep. I swear by taking a hot shower right before bed! It is a vital step to helping me wind down and fall asleep effortlessly, for if I don’t spend the time in the shower, I would lay awake in bed, with my thoughts running. If I am showering in the morning after a work out, I don’t usually use soap during my night shower, for using soap too often can dry out your skin. However, if you moisturize your skin after every shower, you should be good to go!
All in all, a shower has a variety of benefits, from basic hygiene to mental and physical relief; and this is probably why I am most thankful for the shower in my home. What in your home helps relieve stress in your life? I’d love to know your thoughts and ideas in the comments!
Meghanlee Phillips is the Editor-in-Chief of The Volk Magazine. With a passion for fashion, a love for writing and her lifestyle focused around mental health; she has been able to bring all three together to create the mid-western fashion/lifestyle magazine, The Volk. Keep up to date with her and her vibrant style by following @msmeghanlee (Instagram)