“Everything showers” have dominated on social media as people have shared extensive routines that include things like scalp massages and treatments, dry brushing and exfoliation and both hair and face masks.
But now, a new opposing trend called “nothing showers” is making the rounds on the app, as TikTokers share how they take a nothing shower exclusively for their mental — not physical — health. In The Know spoke to a mental health expert about whether hot showers are even doing anything for mental health.
What is an ‘everything shower’?
An everything shower is a shower that encompasses a variety of beauty treatments for the body, skin and hair. It addresses every part of the body, from head to toe, and leaves someone feeling their physical best after exiting the shower.
TikTokers share their everything shower routines that include all-over cleansing and hydration.
“Keep everything hydrated- inside and out – something my grandma used to say — aaand she knew,” noted @soul_snatcher_11 with a wink.
Some people’s everything shower routines even start hours before their actual shower and encompass working out and even taking nutritional supplements before even touching water to their skin.
“I’m literally the same it’s a whole day event,” noted @jdcurreri.
What is a ‘nothing shower’?
You can call an everything shower an act of self care while acknowledging its physical roots. A nothing shower, on the other hand, is more focused on mental health.
There are no rules to a nothing shower, according to TikTokers who report taking them, but users claim that the benefits of a nothing shower include a chance to clear the mind with no real focus on cleansing the body.
“Need to rinse off the day and just stand there,” she added.
TikToker Alexandra Simpson (@alexandra.r.simpson) even admits that her nothing shower doesn’t even involve cleaning any part of her body.
“They aren’t called nothing showers for nothing,” she quips in her video.
One of the hallmarks of a nothing shower seems to be luxuriating under hot water.
“Sometimes I just wanna feel like a rotisserie chicken,” observed @cameelieon.
“When im rlly goin thru it soemtimes i take like 3 showers a day to avoid everything else,” admitted @iluvhotchailattes.
However soothing a scalding hot nothing shower may be for one’s mental health, dermatologists warn that routinely taking extremely hot showers can wreak havoc on your skin.
Are ‘nothing showers’ actually good for mental health?
FOLX Health clinician and mental health expert Melissa Miller told In The Know by Yahoo that there could be a correlation between experiencing a hot shower and “grounding” during a time of anxiety or depression.
“The ultimate goal of grounding is to reorient to the present moment and not get lost in thought or emotion,” Miller explained.
A helpful way to ground or distract is by focusing or directing attention to something else.
“In helping people cope with intense anxiety or panic, [dialectical behavior therapy]-style therapists aim to help people develop and implement a set of self-soothing techniques and skills,” Miller said. “Many times self-soothing skills are focused on the use of the five senses as a grounding anchor.”
In this case, playing a favorite song taps into the hearing sense, while using a favorite soap uses smell and the hot bath or shower water invokes touch. Leveraging as many of the five senses at once can help people counteract physical symptoms of anxiety.
“Overall, I think there is a lot of validity and real-life experience that demonstrates how and why hot water is soothing to our bodies and minds,” Miller added. “Additionally, as individuals continue to associate relaxation with hot showers, the more they will condition their minds to associate showering with relaxation.”
Grounding exercises you can do outside of the shower
“Box-breathing is a technique that is proven to relax the mind and improve concentration in the present moment,” Miller said. “1. Breathe in for a count of four. 2. Hold that breath for a count of four. 3. Breathe out for a count of four, and 4. Hold breath for the count of four. Repeat one to two more times or until calm.”
Some other exercises include:
Drinking a large glass of cold water
Taking a cold shower
Doing a body scan meditation
Counting backwards from 100 by 3s
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