I pour in the milk, the creamy consistency swirls in the water – instinctively I relax. I slowly take a long match from a glass blue bottle (a gift that I bought for myself for this very process) and I light the variety of candles that each remind me of a friend, a moment, a memory. I dim the lights, the clean bath mat goes down, and I am ready for my ‘go-to happy activity’.
Day 2 of our 21 Days to Happiness package talks of finding things that bring you joy – and going and doing them. Some have told me they have remembered hobbies they have done as a child, how they love to sing, play tennis, dance. Others have said they realise that they are so busy with family, work and daily lives that they make no time for themselves and that they must change this. And then there are those who say that they just cannot think of one thing that would bring them joy – life is a struggle.
And so this is where my bath comes in. I have been in all of the above places over the years, pending where I am at in my life and what has been happening. And to those who are struggling, I send you my love, and suggest trying this: close your eyes, breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth three times, and think of just ONE thing that would make you feel just a LITTLE better, or bring you an ounce of relief, relaxation or happiness. It could be as small as a cup of tea in your favourite mug, or a call to a friend – or like me it could be a bath!
Taking a bath, I have observed recently, is my go-to saviour – an activity of joy, peace, relaxation and whatever else my mood desires that day. It never fails to make me feel better in some shape or form. If I am in pain and feeling like a 2/10 on my happiness scale it can take me to 2.5. If I have had a great day of joy and am 8/10, surrounding myself with bubbles, leaning back and submerging myself in the happiness, takes me to an 8.5. And if on a normal day I’m floating in between, tired, stressed or just OK today, a bath always brings me some type of positive emotion and a leap up my scale.
It could be a chance to call someone on the phone for a catch up (yes I have dropped my phone in the bath on 2 occasions – and no I am not purchasing the new waterproof iPhone!). Sometimes I put on a meditation and relax (but I never fall asleep with meditation, so please don’t do this if you do – beware!). More often than not I just lie there and allow myself to be; occasionally I listen to music.
Since I was a young age water has always been a tonic for me – so whether it’s swimming in the sea or sitting by a river, these activities are always on my ‘happy list’. But with the bath, this can be taken at any time (well clearly not at work!), whatever is going on, my foolproof go-to feel-better thing. And it’s great to have one of those up my sleeve.
So, whether you are like my friend Sonia who questions why anyone would lie in their own dirty water (she has no baths in her house!) or like me who takes a shower before or after my bath (don’t laugh – I blame Sonia), or you just don’t like baths at all – I urge you to find your equivalent bath go-to. That one guaranteed thing that always pushes you up your happiness /peace/ internal positivity scale.
Happy bubbles Hubbers!