Studies have shown that women experience stress differently than men. If stress in women is different, then it makes sense that women would need different stress relaxation techniques than men too. When women are stressed, they tend to want to talk about it and they want to nurture themselves and their loved ones, whereas men tend to go into fight or flight mode. Shelley Taylor, PhD has coined the phrase “tend and befriend” to describe the way women respond to stress differently than men. If nurturing is an important part of the way women cope with stress, then it makes sense that my girlfriends and I compulsively want to visit spas and take relaxing baths – a different approach than the men in my life tend to take.
Managing stress can be stressful in and of itself. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need a quick fix, there are a few simple things that can instantly make you feel better within the comforts of your own home. I often feel like I’m having a Calgon moment – a million stressful things going on at once and a need to escape them all, if only for a moment. Calgon was definitely on to something with their “Calgon, take me away!” commercials, “The traffic, the boss, the kids, the dog!” I’ve never actually used Calgon, but growing up seeing their commercials taught me that you can melt away stress by taking a relaxing bath.
From bath salts to bath oils, there are many different types of bath products that can help you create a relaxing bath. An aromatherapy bath will take advantage of the relaxing powers of certain scents, in addition to soothing and pampering your skin. SpaRitual organic bath salts will help you relax naturally while providing aromatherapy benefits. They offer variety of scents, but if you want the most relaxing option, I recommend the Geranium Oil-infused Close Your Eyes Organic Bath Salts. Geranium Oil is known to have a comforting and healing effect and promotes stability and balance. Learn more about Geranium Oil here. Another good choice — Pevonia Botanica makes Anti-Stress Bath Salts with Essential Oils that are infused with Lavender and Ylang-Ylang for a calming effect.
Bath Oils are great if you want to moisturize your skin during your quest for tranquility. Decléor is a French skin care brand that was started by aromatherapy experts over 30 years ago. They incorporate aromatherapy into many of their products, and have a great post-bath treatment oil that you can apply to your skin after a bath or shower – but I like to make this product do double duty and I pour a couple caps of the oil into my bath water. Learn more about Decléor’s Aromessence Spa Relax – Relaxing Body Concentrate at our favorite beauty ecommerce destination DermStore.com.
Several brands also feature bath products that are more of an elixir. We’re fans of Kerstin Florian’s Krauter Kamille Bath. Chamomile isn’t just for drinking! The chamomile flower in this bath soak will improve your state of mind and help you relax deeply. This is a great choice before going to bed.
Aside from having the right product in your bath water, make sure you create a relaxing atmosphere as well by lighting a few candles – personally I turn off all the lights and bathe by candlelight alone. A cup of your favorite tea, or even a glass of wine is a great companion for this experience. And if you’re up for it, some mellow music – but silence can be very fulfilling as well.
What’s your favorite way to relax?