I have a great recipe for all of you who live in a house with a bunch of other people and you feel like you never have a moment alone. This recipe can make you feel like you're escaping the pandemic without leaving your home, like you're at a resort not your apartment, that you've visited a spa without stepping foot outside. This is a recipe for the best shower ever… or at least the best one you've had in a while.
The Best Shower Ever
This is not a shower you take when you wake, or in a rush between your workout and work, or the one you take to wash off the day before bed. No, this is the luxury shower. And the word luxury isn't used for cost but for the true definition of the word, “The state of great comfort and extravagant living.”
This is an extravagant shower you take in the middle of the day on a Saturday when everyone else in your house is occupied. 3:30 PM is often a good time where you can get a decent amount of uninterrupted time. I find at this time my family is deep into whatever activity they're doing and won't even think about me until it starts getting closer to dinner.
I like to start by taking some CBD. I have reviewed Equilibria CBD before and find it very high quality. I will take a dropper-full of their Extra Strength Daily Drops just before I undress and get started with the shower process.
For best results, dry brush your body first. I am a big fan of dry brushing, and it's especially nice before a shower. I like and own this dry brush, but there are a range of styles and levels of firmness. This article offers tips on how to dry brush and the benefits of dry brushing.
Okay, now grab your favorite cold beverage. This can be whatever floats your boat from an icy lager or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc to a can of Diet Pepsi or a Yeti of iced tea. For me, it's a Pineapple or Lemon Spindrift. You just want it super cold.
If you live alone, or your bathroom is far enough away from the rest of the house, you can likely get away with a Bluetooth speaker next to or inside your shower. If you have paper-thin apartment walls, a small home, or nosy roommates, I highly recommend a pair of waterproof earbuds. Below is a gallery of waterproof speakers and earbuds at a range of price points
Next, turn on your favorite album. Not a playlist, but a great album all from the same artist, that takes you on a journey. If you don't have one, I find Maggie Rogers' Heard It in a Past Life to be a nice choice. Rolling Stone Magazine has a list of the 500 greatest albums of all time if you'd like a different genre or generation.
Now turn the water warmer than you usually do because you're trying to keep down the bills or because you're the third in the house to bathe that morning and you don't even remember what a hot shower feels like. This is a luxury shower, a rarity, a time when you can go a bit hotter, a bit longer, a bit more for you than others.
Grab yourself a pair of exfoliating gloves or a skin towel (this is my favorite, I like the yellow which is almost neon in its brightness, very Pantone Color of the Year) and a fancy body wash that you save for special occasions (for me it's Necessarie Sandalwood) and scrub your body from behind the ears to between your toes.
Scrub in the same manner that you dry brushed your skin before the shower, in circular motions towards the heart. Start gently and see how strong of scrubbing your skin is comfortable with.
And if it is something you want to do, use this time to do a thorough scrubbing of your scalp, with shampoo or without, whatever method sounds best and is best for your scalp. Massage with the pads of your fingers, get your temples. If you have one of those scalp massagers, now is a good time to whip it out.
Once you have all your skin tingling with attention and exfoliation, put your head right under the stream of water, letting the water run down your face, your ears, as the music swells. Close your eyes, and imagine yourself somewhere.
Maybe it's a waterfall you visited on your honeymoon, or the bomb-ass hotel shower from that weekend getaway, or maybe it's not a place with water, but the feeling of being surrounded by scent and steam and the noise-canceling plus music helps transport you.
Breathe deep, through your nose if comfortable. Breathe squares. Breathe in one two three, four and you've drawn the top of the square. Breathe out one, two, three, four, and you've drawn one side.
You can be there until the end of the song. It will be okay. They will be okay. Let go at least until the end of the song.
If you can stay longer (or the hot water lasts longer), go ahead. If you can't, it's okay, focus on what you experienced, not what you couldn't.
Pat skin dry, and then slather it in your favorite moisturizer. Maybe it's the fancy lotion that matches your special occasion body wash, maybe it's a thick unscented cream that makes your skin so happy. For me, it's Neutrogena Body Oil. While skin is still warm and looking like a glazed donut, put on your bathrobe, or wrap one bath towel around your body and a second one over your shoulders.
Sit on the toilet seat, and with your eyes closed, do a few rounds of what is called “box breathing” and is famously associated with Navy SEALs.
- Exhale, expelling all air from your lungs. Hold for four counts.
- Inhale through your nose to the count of four.
- Hold that air for a count of four.
- Exhale through your nose to a count of four.
I visualize that my breath is drawing the sides of a square or a box; that helps me keep things even. This is a great way to calm down and relax, whether it's before sleep, before a doctor's appointment or interview, or just to soak in all the goodness of a luxurious shower that just for a small bit of time, made you forget the chaos, the sadness, the anger, and stress of the world.
Is this the Best Shower in the World or Only a Tribute?
We can't all afford or achieve a trip to a spa or a wellness retreat. Our family has been very cautious during this past year and we are not all completely vaccinated yet. It's nice to find ways to escape without having to leave home, and it's important to find times to feel alone and free, it's a form of self-care.
If you have other methods you've found in the past year that feel like an escape without spending a lot or going somewhere special, do share them in the comments!