How to take a mindful shower
Get your day off to a perfect start with a mindful shower. A rare moment of uninterrupted alone time, a morning shower is the perfect time to squeeze in a splash of mindfulness and get our day off on the right foot.
How to enjoy a mindful shower
Many of us turn to baths for TLC, but a daily shower can be equally restorative. Simply lay out your fluffiest bath robe, light some candles and spritz the room with your favourite essential oil blend. We like citrus oils (such as orange or grapefruit) in the morning to invigorate and energise, and soothing chamomile, jasmine or lavender to help us sleep.
Once in the shower, take time to gently exfoliate the body with a scrub. Pay special attention to dry patches on heels and elbows. You might even wish to try body brushing – simply sweep the brush along limbs in light, upward motions to boost circulation and smooth skin. We carry a lot of tension in our scalp, which can be eased by a firm massage, while letting conditioner work its magic.
And remember, your mindful moment needn’t conclude when you turn the water off. Gently pat yourself dry and take time to treat skin with a buttery body lotion or cream.
Set an intention
It’s easy to launch into a new day on autopilot without sparing a thought for what sort of day we’d like to have. Setting a daily intention while in the shower can help to plant the seed for a more mindful and intentional 24 hours. Of course, we can’t control what challenges or joys we’re going to be faced with throughout the day, but we can choose how we’d like to respond to events. Ask yourself: how do I want to feel today? How do I want to behave around my family, colleagues and friends? What would I like to achieve by the end of the day?
You might discover there’s an old friend you’d like to call. Perhaps you’d like to practise patience and try not to snap at others in moments of stress. There may be a commitment you’d like to make to yourself, such as getting outdoors to exercise no matter how busy your day becomes.
Whatever intention you choose, turn it over in your mind. Consider how you’re going to bring it to life once out of the shower.
Where do your thoughts drift to when in the shower? Perhaps to the demands of the coming day or to a source of stress you’re unsure how to resolve. You might find yourself replaying the events of the past 24 hours or anxiously imagining a worst-case scenario on the horizon. In these moments, close your eyes and tune in to any areas of tension in your body.
You might be holding stress in a clenched jaw, you may have tightness across your chest, a widespread feeling of heaviness or fatigue, or even butterflies in your stomach. Once you’ve located any places you’re holding tension, turn your attention to the sensation of the water against your skin and deeply inhale. Imagine the water easing and washing away this tension with every breath. Feel your heart slowing, and your body becoming lighter as your worries wash down the drain.
End this simple morning meditation with a big smile. Research shows flexing these face muscles can release endorphins and lift mood.