I've never been very good at taking baths. I love the idea of sliding into bubbles and spending the next thirty minutes in a state of warm, distraction-free bliss, but in practice, I get bored and antsy, and end up spending the entire time willing myself to relax, but not actually enjoying myself. When I spoke to my bath-loving friends about this (which is to say: all of my friends), I asked them for their tips, but nothing they recommended—watching shows on an iPad, taking a bath right before bed—worked for me.
During a particularly stressful week, I started to crave an outlet to relax, and set my sights on finally perfecting the art of taking a bath. In my research, I came across this bathtub caddy which looked so promising I picked it up on my way home from work. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I have this caddy to thank for teaching me how to enjoy baths. The notched spot for the base of a stemmed glass inspired me to add wine to the mix, the ventilated pad for soap nudged me into adding a candle or flowers, and the backboard is the perfect spot to place a magazine. Getting into the bath, I realized that the reason I wasn't enjoying them was because I had skimped on the setup. As it turns out, creating a nice environment is just as important as figuring out the perfect water temperature and finding the time to do it. Even if none of this is groundbreaking information to you, you'll still benefit from the adjustable wings, built to fit most baths, and sleek, water-resistant teak. And if it is new information, read my tips for taking the perfect bath, below.
Shop the Item Here: Teak Bathtub Caddy, available at Bed, Bath, and Beyond
Now that I'm a reformed bather, here are some things I find helpful:
1. Set the scene. My bathtub isn't anything glamorous (as you can see from the photos), but adding something purely for the sake of aesthetics—flowers or a candle—made the experience feel a little bit closer to something I'd find at a spa.
2. Plan an activity. The first thing I do when I get into the bath now is a ten-minute meditation on the app Headspace, which helps me get into the zone, then I'll read a favorite magazine like New York or Bon Appetit.
3. Invest in a good aromatic bath oil or bubble bath. This probably goes without saying for most people, but I love this L'Occitane Bubble Bath (which Emily featured in a previous Find of the Week) or the This Works bath oil, which is expensive—full-disclosure, I received mine as a gift—but lasts forever (you only need a few drops for the entire room to smell amazing).
4. Drink something refreshing. One of my biggest bath complaints was that I would get hot, uncomfortable, and dehydrated so that I'd get out of it feeling like a zombie. Now, I set myself up with a glass of cold water and a refreshing drink like chilled prosecco or a cold beer (anything but red wine).