Aug 8, 2023 - Health

New home trend: Spa-like showers

Illustration of a shower head wearing a towel and cucumber slices as if in a spa

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Restrooms are getting back to their original purpose: A place conducive for rest and relaxation.

Why it matters: Taking a therapeutic shower break could help you de-stress and reset your thinking.

What's happening: Many homeowners are enlarging their showers and installing spa-like upgrades in the name of wellness.

By the numbers: When removing a bathtub, 78% of U.S. homeowners enlarge the shower, according to a 2022 Houzz trend report.

  • And "larger walk-in showers" tops the list of desired bathroom features — with 60% of respondents interested — per a national survey by the American Institute of Architects.

3 in 4 homeowners incorporate premium bathroom features into their showers, per Houzz.

  • Among the bathroom updates: rainfall shower heads (52%), dual showers (19%), body sprayers (16%), thermostatic mixers (13%) and mood lighting (8%).

There are plenty of DIY ways to make your shower feel more spa-like. Jamie Gold, wellness design consultant and author, has suggestions that can cost next to nothing to several hundred dollars:

  • Add a water-resistant Bluetooth speaker.
  • Change your installed showerhead to a hand-held massaging one.
  • Plug in a towel warmer.
  • Install a motion sensor fan in the bathroom.

Having a mindful shower experience is about "deciding that that's a worry-free, gratitude-full space," says Jennifer Taitz, clinical psychologist and author of the forthcoming book "Stress Resets: How to Soothe Your Body and Mind in Minutes."

Taitz recommends using your shower time to focus on yourself and your senses. For example:

  • Pay attention to how the temperature of the water feels.
  • Take in the smell of your soap.
  • Notice how your body is holding you up.
  • Be grateful that you have running water.

Letting your mind wander while you rinse — as big ideas marinate — can also be good for your brain and lead to insightful shower thoughts, studies suggest.

The bottom line: Starting or ending your day with a relaxing shower is good for your well-being.

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