Selfie showing my hair put up in a colorful scarf

So you have [insert name of physical illness here] and it’s been decided that you should take a nice bath to soak away what ails you. There’s a cliche about moms wishing they had time for a nice, hot bath to relax, but when you find yourself facing about half an hour in the tub each and every night for a therapeutic soak, you start wishing instead for a bathtub where you can submerge your knees and your shoulders at the same time. So here are some survival tips for those long hours you’re about to spend in a tub full of water.

Buy stock in whatever you’re meant to be soaking in. - PackshotCreator - Epsom salt (4297933700)
I’m “lucky” enough that my feel-better bath is made with Epsom salt. A pound a day of Epsom salt. It says two cups per bath, but what they really mean is half the two-pound package. We’ve found some at Walmart for 44 cents a pounds. Maybe one of the warehouse stores will have it cheaper, because that still works out to $160.60 per year. Oh, and when you run out, it’s nice to have a significant other who can run to the store and buy more for you.

Put your hair up.

Selfie showing my hair put up in a colorful scarf

If you have hair that comes down past the base of your skull, you’ll need to put your hair up. A simple ponytail won’t work, because that will put an awkward crick in your neck when you try to lean your head back against the wall of the tub. So you either go for the ’80s-style ponytail high atop your head, or you opt for a stylish scarf. I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. Demille.

Find just the right temperature.

Low quality selfie of my red, overheated face

If the doctor said, “As hot as you can handle it,” you crank that temperature dial up to one step below lobster. If, on the other hand, you need to take a warm bath because a hot bath that raises your body temperature will cause you to get overheated and sap every last bit of strength you have, you sit in that tub while it’s filling up so you can fine-tune that bad boy so you don’t look like you spent a whole day out in the desert sun without sunscreen.

Figure out how not to be bored out of your skull.

My physical stuff comes with a side of autism, anxiety, and depression, so too much time alone with nothing to do but think is a bad thing. My arms and shoulders often need to soak with the rest of me, and there’s no ledge on the inside of my tub to balance one of those tub caddies on anyway, so I need a completely hands-off form of entertainment. I found that my local public library allows you to borrow audiobook titles and listen to them on various mobile devices. So far, I’ve listened to eight short stories from [incoming referral links!] the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes collection by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and now I’m onto a fascinating novel by Garth Nix called A Confusion of Princes. Of course, if you’re into that kind of thing, you can always partake of 50 Shades of Grey, as read by Gilbert Gottfried

Have a good bath!

One thought on “How to Survive a Therapeutic Soak”
  1. […] A too-hot bath (with Epsom salt) is the most rejuvenating type of bath for me. If I don’t feel the slight sting on my skin as I climb into the water, it just doesn’t seem to help soothe my aches and pains as much. A bath that’s warm-bordering-on-hot will still reduce the swelling in my legs and provide some pain relief, but I won’t feel like it was as helpful. […]

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