Mental Health Awareness Month, aka "Mental Health Month", has been observed in the United States since 1949 and reaches millions of people through media and social media, local events, and screenings.
Every year, approximately 42.5 million American adults (which is about 18.2% of the total adult population in the United States) suffers from some form of mental illness; enduring conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. That's nearly 1 in 5 Americans every year!
But did you know that doing something as simple as taking a bath can help your mental health? The health benefits of having a hot bath are extremely well known: they help to lower your blood pressure, induce healthy sleep patterns, and even help us lose weight. For centuries, Hungarian, Japanese, Turkish and Roman cultures, along with many more, have enjoyed the benefits of group baths. Sian Beilock, Ph.D., author of "Choke", says that if you're "feeling lonely", you should take a warm bath.
That being said, you really don't need another person to soak up the benefits of a hot bath. It is vital to your mental health to set aside time just for yourself - spending an hour in the bath will give you plenty of time to reflect on your day and accomplish that well-deserved goal. Reading a book, lighting some candles or turning on some soft music will help set the space for self-reflection that will truly inspire introspection, relaxation, and solitude.
- In today's busy world, being alone is one of the rarest commodities and we are oftentimes just too busy to do a little self-care and pampering.
- Remember to set aside time each week for yourself! Even an hour will do.
- Being horizontal in water actually helps your mood! The combination of bodily comfort, warmth, isolation and body positioning has been linked to significantly improved mood and optimism. Submergence also calms the nervous system, reducing the levels of stress and anxiety, too!
- Baths can help relieve skin conditions. Sufferers of psoriasis, eczema and other skin conditions are oftentimes prescribed baths as a method of moisturizing the skin, sloughing off dead skin cells, and attempting to remove potential causes of infections (Did you know Himalayan Pink salt is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial?!).
- Bath heat helps with muscle pain (but we still definitely recommend some Epsom or Magnesium Flakes for those serious aches, strains, and pains!).
- Hot baths before bed can help induce better sleep! A good night's sleep is just what you need to get everything from a strengthened immune system to better pain recover, and a heated bath before bed is a good way to ensure you drift off to a peaceful night's rest (and we recommend some Magnesium Flakes and Dead Sea Salt for that little extra boost to your sleep!).
- Steam helps to reduce cold symptoms by clearing out the nasal passages while reducing inflammation and the elevated body temperature helps certain elements of the immune system to function more efficiently.
- Saltwater baths help calm arthritic pain. Those suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, muscular lower-back issues, or other inflammation-based pain syndromes can find relief in a simple, salty bath (not only is our Dead Sea perfect for this but have you tried our Dead Sea Mud?! You can even heat it and put it right on target areas!). Salt baths are one of the oldest forms of medicine on the planet, beloved by the ancient Greeks and then turned into an industry during the 1700's in Europe.
- Bathing improves heart health! Unnecessarily high temperatures will put a strain on your heart (especially with a pre-existing condition! Be careful.), but taking a warm bath will cause your heart to beat faster, giving it a healthy workout. This causes improved circulation throughout the body, making the blood less viscous and improving vessel function, lowering blood pressure.
- Balance your hormones. Chronic fatigue syndrome or similar conditions, and even some fertility issues can be assisted by bathing in colder temperatures. Warm water bathing increases levels of serotonin, which is the chemical that causes feelings of happiness and well-being.
So take a little "me" time - grab up a good book and a bag of your favorite salt, and soak away the stresses of your day!
*Evidence has shown that bathing, whether done in cold or hot water, at home in a vessel or out in a natural body of water can have health benefits without adverse effects. However, it is strongly advised that you contact your healthcare professional if you have pre-existing health conditions before attempting any form of hydrotherapy.