The end of the year isn’t the cheeriest time of year for everyone. Gloomy weather, the stresses of Christmas and financial troubles may combine to leave many people feeling low. For some, it can be quite serious. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sometimes called ‘winter depression’, is a type of depression that can leave sufferers feeling extremely listless and lacking in energy – particularly at this time of year.
If you find yourself feeling down during winter, one way to lift your spirits is through the practice of mindfulness. Essentially, mindfulness is a simple form of meditation. It encourages you to quieten the relentless ‘noise’ of your mind, by focusing on the moment. And the shower is perfect place to practice – here’s how.
First, it may seem obvious, but leave your phone in another room. You don’t want any distractions. Instead, focus simply on the act of taking a shower.
How to take a mindful shower
Start by laying out your towel close by. Then, as you disrobe, pay attention to each item of clothing you take off. As you step into the shower enclosure, take a moment to adjust the temperature then just breathe. Count ten breaths in and out.
As you do so, notice the way the water feels as it runs down your body. If you find your mind wandering, just bring it back to your breathing. After about five minutes, or whenever you feel ready, step out of the shower. You should feel a refreshing sense of calm and relaxation.
Enhance your shower experience with aromatherapy
Another way to make your shower a more rejuvenating experience is to indulge your sense of smell. Washing with soap or shower gels scented with soothing essential oils is one option. Or, you could take it a step further.
Pay a visit to your local farmers market or florist and pick up a piece of eucalyptus. Trust us when we say it works wonders in the shower! You simply tie it to the shower head and let the hot water cascade down over the leaves as you shower. Soon the cool, fresh fragrance of eucalyptus will fill the shower enclosure, giving you your very own spa experience! Again, focus your mind on your breathing, taking a deep breath in and out as you enjoy the soothing scent. Just the thing for clearing your head and getting your day off to an invigorating start.
Enjoy music mindfully
If you listen to music in the shower, it’s all too easy to let the sounds wash over you without really paying attention. But actually, focusing more closely on what you’re hearing can really lift your mood.
Put on a favourite song and step into the shower. As the music starts to play, close your eyes and slow your breathing down. See if you can pick out individual elements of each track. Start with the drums, then the bassline, then the guitars or the melody. Think about how each element makes you feel.
If music in the shower doesn’t work for you, try this instead. Turn the shower on slowly. Notice the sounds the water makes as it tumbles down onto the shower tray, faster and faster as you turn up the pressure. If you can, remove the shower head – what difference does that make to the sound? Does it remind you of rain? How does that make you feel? Spend a few minutes just listening, lost in the sound of the ‘downpour’, breathing in and out slowly.
Taking a hot shower is a surprisingly effective way to unwind in the winter. By making it a more mindful experience, you’ll find it can really lift your mood too. To create the ultimate relaxing shower experience in your home, check out our shower enclosure range today.