There are a plethora of ways to approach self-care these days - from mindful meditation and breathing apps, to exotic-sounding adaptogens, the ever-expanding world of wellness can be a lot to keep up with.
We all know the importance of taking time out to rest and recharge, but often trying to squeeze in downtime between work, family, and social obligations can be a daunting task in itself - quite the opposite of what you need.
Many of us will be familiar with the 'Sunday Scaries,' the cute-sounding nickname that describes the anxiety you can feel before a busy week (the more cocktails you enjoyed over the weekend, the worse the dread). Anticipating looming deadlines and a packed social calendar can send us spiralling into burnout before the week has even begun.
If you find yourself nodding along, let this be your gentle reminder that self-care doesn't have to be complicated. As far as stress-relief goes, few things can compare to the comfort and relaxation of simply drawing a bath and enjoying a long, uninterrupted soak.
Whether you're a frothy bubble bath fan, or you prefer a tranquil soak, sans foam - Glow Lab's luxe new range of Sleep and Hydrate bath blends and bath salts are an easy, affordable way to elevate your 'me time' ritual.
Made in Aotearoa, the moisture boosting formulas are infused with mood-enhancing essential oils and magnesium to aid muscle relaxation - transforming the simple act of bathing into a physically and mentally cleansing experience.
Different cultures have understood the sensory and functional effects of bathing for centuries. Picture Cleopatra indulging in her famous milk and honey baths, or immersing yourself in a serene Japanese Onsen made of fragrant Hinoki wood. Whether it was the nourishing properties of milk and honey, or the therapeutic benefits of mineral-rich waters and steam, these ancient rituals showed us that bathing isn't just about getting clean – it's a chance to rejuvenate your body and soul, just like a spa day at home.
Similarly, Dr. Gillian Worth, Glow Lab's head chemist, explains how the new bath range has been developed with 'sense-hacking' ingredients scientifically shown to promote a sense of wellbeing.
"There is more to essential oils than a beautiful fragrance - the oil molecules can interact with the olfactory sensory neurons in your brain which then sends signals to your amygdala, the emotional core of your brain. They can also be absorbed by the skin and both absorption methods can have a positive effect on mood," she says.
"Our new bath range is specifically formulated with magnesium, an ingredient widely known for its muscle tension relief benefits as well as its ability to help with relaxation and sleep. Our Bath Salts also contain three forms of Himalayan salt, for added benefits including skin softening and exfoliating."
The hydration ritual
Glow Lab's Hydrate Bath Blend with aloe vera and coconut is like a salve for dry, winter skin. The deeply hydrating formula also contains betaine and shea butter, to replenish moisture and lock it in, leaving your skin baby-seal-smooth. Lean into the self-care experience and make yourself a herbal tea to sip during the soak (hydration from the inside out!)
For more intense relaxation, the Hydrate Bath Salts feature a blend of pink Himalayan salts and Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) to ease tired muscles, while hydrating betaine and coconut oil help restore and maintain the skin's natural protective barrier while you soak. Simply pour them into the running bathwater and soak in spa-like tranquillity in your own bathroom.
The sleep time ritual
If it's a calming experience you're after, Glow Lab's Sleep Bath Blend is the perfect way to melt away the stress of the day. It's infused with magnesium to help relax muscle aches, while lavender's soothing aromas promote a peaceful mind and a good night's sleep.
For ultimate relaxation at the end of a long day, unwind with Glow Lab's Sleep Bath Salts. Immerse your tired muscles in this concentrated soak, formulated with magnesium and Himalayan salts, and let lavender oil help alleviate any worries before drifting off into dreamland.
So dim the lights, leave your phone in a separate room and put on your favourite soul-soothing album - Sade or Erykah Badu always deliver. The lingering warmth from the bath will send you into the land of nod in no time.
Whatever ritual you choose, your body and mind will thank you for taking time for a self-care soak. Glow Lab's Sleep and Hydrate Bath Blends and Bath Salts are available for $14 each from supermarkets and Chemist Warehouse nationwide.