Relish the solitude
The shower is known as an "off-limits" space. "It is a place where we are (almost) certainly not going to be bothered," says San Diego-based attorney and behavioral expert Wendy L. Patrick, JD, PhD. "Even the sound of a running shower functions as a do not disturb sign." But be sure not to make these mistakes in the shower.
Have a brainstorming session
From planning an outfit for a birthday party to making a mental checklist of errands for the following day, the privacy of the shower affords an opportunity for a mental workout, says Patrick.
Catch up on the news
Patrick cautions that news radio can be a distraction as you are driving—particularly if you get passionate about certain topics. Instead, invest in a shower radio and catch up on current events while you wash your hair.
Sing your heart out
Singing in the shower is something we've all done—and there's no reason to stop. Study after study connects singing to a multitude of health benefits, including stress relief and improved immunity. So, go ahead, belt out that tune.
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Use essential oils
Alena Gerst, a mind-body psychotherapist in New York City, suggests adding a couple of drops of essential oils to your bath or shower to help boost your mood or calm you down after a hectic day. "A couple drops of lavender is great for stress relief. If you're feeling groggy or need a little pick-me-up, eucalyptus or orange essential oil can help boost energy," Gerst recommends. Find out which essential oils take years off your skin.
Capture your "aha moment"
A waterproof notepad called AquaNotes sticks to the shower wall and allows people to write down any important thoughts as soon as they pop up. "This allows business people, entrepreneurs, authors, song writers, artists, comedians, software developers, and many other creative individuals to record their ideas and inspiration before they're gone," touts company founder Mark Knudsen. You can also use the notepad to leave sweet messages for your partner or make a quick to-do list.
Murray Grossan, MD, an otolaryngologist in Los Angeles, says hot water to the neck works wonders for stress relief. Dr. Grossan also says heat to the neck helps circulation, sending more blood to the area. This can facilitate removal of lactic acid built up in the neck area from prior bad posture. "Turning the head from side to side also accelerates the removal of toxins and increases blood flow," he adds. Here are other tips on how to take the best shower.
Practice for a presentation
Preparing for a speech? Practice makes perfect, especially when you can do it in the shower. Jane Praeger, Columbia University professor and founder of communications firm Ovid Inc., tells Forbes, "You're better off practicing in the shower and running the speech in your head rather than practicing in front of a mirror, which is distracting."
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Sandra Magura, a blogger and author in Stafford, Virginia, has cleaned the shower while lathering up. "I scrubbed the walls and cleaned the glass," she says. Sure, cleaning in the shower might sound odd, but it'll save you time later. Besides, Magura makes a good point: "If you're going to clean, you might as well get dirty first and clean yourself afterward."
"Taking a shower clears the mind of worry and negative thoughts, allowing a relaxation response," says Paulette Kouffman Sherman, PsyD, a licensed psychologist in New York. "The shower is a great place to meditate because it's one of the only places that people leave you alone, and there are no devices. Water initiates a relaxation response and increases creativity. You can easily imagine all negativity going down the drain so only peace remains." Here are other benefits of meditation, according to science.
No time for the gym? A workout in the shower is possible, says Brittany Thoms, owner of a communications agency in Athens, Georgia. "I enjoy doing a quick workout in the shower for two reasons: It's efficient and I'm clean afterward," shares Thoms. Some things you can try are squats, wall pushes, and calf raises. Just make sure to practice caution so you don't slip!