I used to think that if I read one more magazine piece telling me to take a candlelight bubble bath, I’d perish from terminal cliché. That was before I understood that a bath, when you see it right, isn’t just a bath. It is rather a metaphor for renewal. Every time you bathe (or shower, for that matter), you start fresh. You make a clean break from all that has gone before. The bath separates you from the argument you had with a coworker and the crowd that crammed you in on the subway. You really can wash that man-or job or deadline or irritation-right out of your hair. The candles and the bubbles simply make a good thing better.

Sometimes you just want a quick shower; it does the job and helps you wake up in the morning. A soak in the tub, on the other hand, melts away the general tensions of the day and can induce the kind of relaxation that nudges back the sands of time. It’s no surprise that this should be so pleasurable: when you started life floating in a warm, private sea, you’d never heard of laundry or bills or traffic, Bathing, when no one disturbs you and you’ve allowed enough time to do it right, takes you back there.

Don’t pooh-pooh candlelight and background music the way I used to. If anyone has earned and upper-class bath, it’s you. You can get all you need for such a bath inexpensively at the drugstore: a loofah for scrubbing your body, a pumice stone to do away with the rough spots on your feet, an inflatable bath pillow if your tub isn’t comfy without one. Collect bath salts and bath oils, and ask for them as gifts, Earmark an unbreakable mug for the cooled lemon water or steamy herbal tea you’ll drink as you luxuriate in your bath; and have some oil or lotion nearby for caressing your still-damp self when you emerge from it. You’re worth drying off with fluffy, warm towels. If yours have seen better days, those January white sales are going on right now. A soft, roomy terrycloth robe is a luxury that’s almost a necessity. Find them at lingerie shops and discount bed and bath stores.

Keep a few candles in your bathroom-mine are lined up on the radiator; they’re instantly available and haven’t melted yet-and find a safe place (away from the tub and basin) for a little CD player. You won’t always light candles or play music, but when you want them, they’ll be there. Besides, metaphoric bathing isn’t all or nothing. You can light a couple of candles for even a quick shower. At least once a week, though, indulge yourself and go all the way.

REJUVENATE YOURSELF WITH ACTION; Tonight take a bath that’s worth writing home about-or at least writing about in your journal.

Author's Bio: 

Victoria Moran is the author of ten books, including Creating a Charmed Life and Shelter for the Spirit. An international speaker, certified life coach and life transformation specialist, she has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and her work has been noted in USA Today, The Washington Post, and Parade. Her articles have appeared in Woman's Day, Ladies' Home Journal, and Yoga Journal. Her books have been translated into twenty seven languages