Pressure Management

Pressure Management

Usually, we can figure out which positive coping strategies to use to manage the demands of a stressor. Being able to manage stress helps us keep an even keel, think more clearly, and solve problems more effectively. Having the right tools in place to manage stress not only helps us deal with day-to-day pressures, but also helps ward off depression. They're good life skills to have, helping you feel more confident and in control.

Most guys know that working out, grabbing a pickup basketball game, chopping wood or a round of golf, can keep stress at bay and release pressure, but, have you thought about baths recently? Chances are, unless you're under the age of five or a professional athlete, the answer is no. Plenty of guys don't think about taking baths for whatever reason, the time commitment, bathtub size, or just plain old generations of gender focused marketing. But let's set the record straight once and for all: it is not weird for guys to take baths.

There's more to a bath than just relaxation, though let's get real, that's a big part of it. The benefits of a bath are so clear that there's even a fancy word for it, balneotherapy. Balneotherapy, taking a bath infused with minerals, salts or mud, has been practiced for centuries and is believed to treat some ailments such as arthritis and diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.

Baths are also often prescribed to ease pain and aid in recovery (which is why professional athletes are such big fans). You don't have to have a skin condition or chronic pain to enjoy the benefits of a bath either. Bathing helps release toxins and settle your body down. It has positive effects on your physical and mental well being and 'aids in relaxation, stress reduction and anxiety management. That's why baths have become cornerstones of a growing men's self-care movement and why you may want to make bathing part of your regular stress management.

Realistically, there's no wrong way to take a bath. However, here are some tips for taking the most relaxing bath.

Shower Before Taking Your Bath: There's a saying that "if you want to get really clean, take a bath" and that's true. Sitting in water for a period of time does get you cleaner than your average shower. But if the goal of your bath is to chill out, you might not want to sit there in the dirt that came off your body.

Warm Water Is Best for Your Bath: The temperature of bathwater is largely a personal decision and in some cases like ice baths, depends on what you’re hoping to get out of it. But water that’s too hot or too cold can put a strain on our cardiovascular system and send our body into shock. Scalding hot water is never a good idea, but especially if you have sensitive skin issues like rosacea. Hot water is going to bring blood to your skin, so if you get red or flush easily, think twice about hopping into a hot tub. Go for a moderate temperature (warm, but not hot) and test it with your wrist before you get in. Your fingers and hands have a higher tolerance for heat than other areas of your body.

Add Things to Your Bath Water

Epsom Salt Soak Formulations: These magnesium-rich salts are classic balneotherapy ingredients and are known to be soothing to the joints and reduce muscle swelling and inflammation. They're also known to stimulate the body's circulatory systems. Other kinds of salt, like sea salt, can be beneficial too. Dissolve about half a cup into the water before getting in.

Oatmeal: Finely-ground (colloidal) oatmeal is often used to soothe skin irritation and calm ailments like eczema and psoriasis. It replenishes some of the proteins that make up the barrier layer of your skin. Look for a formulation that has this ingredient if you could benefit from it.

Bleach: Yes, seriously. According to professionals, soaking in a warm bath with a quarter cup of bleach is a good, safe, easy way to remove bacteria from the skin. It's a remedy used often for people with eczema and can also be useful for people whose sweat tends to smell (which is caused by bacteria, not the actual sweat). It's not much different than the chlorinated water of a swimming pool.

Essential Oils: Adding fragrant oils to a bath can turn on the aromatherapeutic aspects of a bath. Try Lemongrass, eucalyptus, and thyme [oils] as they are anti-bacterial. Whereas oils like roman chamomile and lavender are really great for soothing the body. CBD oil helps with headaches and anxiety. Products like bath oils will often already contain essential oils or you can drop them straight into the water to release the scents.

Bubble Baths: There's nothing wrong with using a classic bubble bath, especially if your the kind of guy who likes a glass of bubbly or a bottle of beer to go with it. Choose one that suited your needs or use a bath bomb for a little fizzy action.

Don't Rush Your Relaxing Bath Time

If you're used to showers, a bath can feel slow, but to get the most of out of a bath means you need to commit. Allow yourself at least 20 minutes to really soak it all in. It takes at least that long for the minerals and oils to absorb into your body. And if you're not going to reap the benefits of what you're putting in the water, what's the point?

Seriously, Relax.

It goes without saying that to take a relaxing bath you have to actually relax, but it can be easier said than done. Keeping your phone out of the bathroom is a start and try putting on some calming music or a guided meditation. Realizing that a bath can actually give you time [instead of taking it up] can be hard to wrap your mind around, but when your mind is relaxed and your body feels better, you're going to be so much more efficient.

- shop the story -

Here are some simple products to get your detox started right. Our Detox Kit includes some of the essentials mentioned here in the story. Also displayed are some of the B.Witching team favorites. It's easy to put together your own selection of detox products too. Try it.