What Happened When I Tried a Digital Detox Bath

“This bath is no joke. Put down your cell phone. Shut off the computer,” reads the label on the mineral-rich sea salts I’m about to pour into my tub full of hot water. The directions are specific, which I like (full disclosure: I love directions and beauty labels to make sure I have the steps down pat). I’m taking everything the Pursoma Digital Detox Bath says to heart, which, besides the obvious powering-down of all electronics, includes drinking 16 ounces of purified water beforehand (and during, and after), and a specific post-bathing detox ritual (I’ll get to that in a sec). For extra credit, I light a variety of very necessary Diptyque candles and immerse myself in the tub, ensuring I’ve stirred all the French green clay and hand-harvested grey sea salt together with a large wooden spoon. Oddly enough, I use my kitchen utensils more in the bathroom than in the kitchen.

 

I started to feel a bit light-headed, which I attributed to the digital toxins leaving my body. I kept hydrating and willed myself to fall asleep.

 

The bath itself doesn’t seem any different than normal, but I feel very fancy and detox-like as I try to be still, keep my body under water, and maintain a consistently hot water temperature. The only thing that’s different this bath time is that I don’t have my laptop perched on the toilet streaming The Mindy Project. According to Pursoma founder Shannon Vaughn, while I soak, the “montmorillonite clay assists in drawing out unhealthy toxins, while the sea salt stimulates circulation and helps relieve stiff joints and muscle cramps.” It’s all meant to combat the environmental stressors of anyone who’s “tired, stressed, and had excessive exposure to technology.” All the hands up.

After 20 minutes of soaking comes the best—and what felt like was the most important—part, the sweat and rest. After getting out of the bath, I pat dry (do not rinse, as the ingredients are still going to work on your skin), then run to my bed wrapped in a towel and arrange myself under the warmest, coziest blanket. I stayed like this (phone-, TV-, electronic–free) for 15-30 minutes. Since your body is still so hot from the bath, you continue to sweat, which Pursoma says is when the remainder of the toxins are purged from your body (I like). At this point, I start to feel a bit light-headed, which I attribute to the digital toxins leaving my body. I keep hydrating and will myself to fall asleep.

After the 30 minutes, I felt very refreshed and my skin felt super smooth—like I had done the whole hot-yoga-sauna-steam circuit at the gym and spa, but without ever leaving home. Pursoma recommends their baths every week, but I would say that even just a hot, phone-free bath followed by some quiet downtime would help your mind *and* body. It just gives you a legitimate excuse to relax and recharge quietly without any distractions or email notifications.

If you’re home or traveling for the holidays, Im guessing your parents or the hotel has a bathtub way more appealing than the one in your studio apartment, making it the perfect time to try a detox bath. Plus, holiday time also means more chances to power down a bit (*prayer hands emoji*) from work, Instagram, and Netflix.

12 Natural Ways to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

With brain diseases like Alzheimer’s becoming a growing concern, most of us want to make dietary and lifestyle choices that will protect our brains from this serious disease. While there are many ways to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, here are some of my favorites: Pomegranates These beautiful fruits deserve a place in your daily diet. […]

Gym Selfies on Social Media Might Be Ruining Your Self Esteem

On the list of places you’re likely to see people exercising, social media is perhaps second only to the gym.

Tricia Burke, an assistant professor in the department of communication studies at Texas State University, wanted to know why that is — and what scrolling past all of those workout selfies and half marathon medals is doing to your psyche.

Burke, along with Stephen Rains from the University of Arizona, surveyed 230 people who were active on social media about their thoughts on their own health, fitness and weight; how often workout posts appeared in their timelines; the people posting about exercise; their own tendency to compare themselves to others, and more. The results, which were published in the journal Health Communication, point to a fascinating relationship between health content and those who view it, Burke says.

Compared to people who didn’t see many fitness posts, those who were inundated with workout updates were more likely to be overly concerned about their weight, which may translate to a dip in self-esteem, Burke says. This effect was even more pronounced if the viewer thought of herself as similar to the poster, Burke adds, as perceived similarity may give rise to more side-by-side comparisons about size, fitness and physical ability.

The news wasn’t all bad, however. Among people who described themselves as likely to make “upward” social comparisons — that is, to compare themselves to people they perceived as superior — seeing health-related posts was actually correlated with a positive attitude toward exercise. “It might even be a motivating factor,” Burke says.

The average social media user likely isn’t consciously aware of which camp she falls into, Burke says. The point is more that what people see on social media does have an impact, which may vary from person to person, Burke says.

“A lot of us just kind of scroll through and see things passively,” Burke says. “We might not realize that we are internalizing it, and that it can be affecting our attitudes about ourselves.”

That message is important both for social media consumers and creators — who, Burke found, post about their hikes, bikes and burpees for reasons ranging from accountability to pride to a general tendency to put everything online.

“We should be careful about the way that we’re phrasing things,” she says. “We should be responsible posters and try to have a proactive, pro-health, positive message that makes people feel capable of engaging in these health behaviors.”

Who’s Got the Cheapest OTC Meds? The Answer Probably Won’t Surprise You

The other day while I was spiraling down an internet rabbit hole, I came across an article talking about how Amazon quietly released an entire line of generic, over-the-counter medicines way back in August 2017.

Wait.

You mean to tell me that for the past six months, I’ve been putting on real pants, driving to the pharmacy, dragging myself inside and actually encountering people, all while Amazon could have been delivering sweet relief to my sick, sniffly self in bed?

How did I not know about this?!

To be fair, it was a silent rollout.

But man, that would have been great information to have during the worst of this flu season when people (and their germs) were running to drugstores en masse rather than staying home and relying on virtual doctor visits.

Still, though the convenience of staying in bed and in a germ-free environment while a delivery driver hauls a box full of cold and flu essentials to my front door appeals to me on several levels, I couldn’t stop wondering if I’d be overpaying for Amazon’s Basic Care products.

How do they compare price-wise to my good ol’ neighborhood drugstore versions of the same products?

Well, after digging through the Amazon, CVS and Walgreens mobile apps, I was able to compare prices from a few of the products most of us have used this winter.

Over-the-Counter Medicine: CVS vs. Walgreens vs. Amazon

Here’s how the three retailers’ generic brand over-the-counter medications stack up.

Ibuprofen — 200 Mg Coated Tablets

Amazon Basic Care: $4.00 (200 count) — 2 cents/tablet

CVS Health: $10.99 (200 count) — 5.5 cents/tablet

Walgreens: $11.99 (200 count) — 6 cents/tablet

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl Equivalent) — 25 Mg Tablets

Amazon Basic Care: $6.09 (400 count — 1.5 cents/tablet)

CVS Health: $14.34 (365 count — 4 cents/tablet)

Walgreens: $19.99 (365 count — 5.5 cents/tablet)

Calcium Carbonate (Tums Equivalent) — 750 Mg Chewable Tablets

Amazon Basic Care: $3.82 (200 count — 2 cents/tablet)

CVS Health: $7.29 (160 count — 4.6 cents/tablet)

Walgreens: $4.49 (96 count — 4.7 cents/tablet)

Nighttime Cold Relief (NyQuil Equivalent)

Amazon Basic Care: $8.86 (12-ounce bottle — 74 cents/ounce)

CVS Health: $7.99 (8-ounce bottle — $1.00/ounce)

Walgreens: $6.29 (8-ounce bottle — 79 cents/ounce)

Triple Antibiotic Ointment

Amazon Basic Care: $7.30 (2-ounce tube)

CVS Health: $11.99 (2-ounce tube)

Walgreens: $11.49 (2-ounce tube)

Will Shopping Habits Change?

OK, Amazon, we see you with your low prices.

As a hardcore fan of the online retail giant (is “giant” even a large enough word to describe the operation anymore?), and an even bigger fan of saving money, I’ll definitely be Prime-ing some of these products when it’s time for a restock.

The tricky part?

Several of Amazon’s Basic Care products come as “Add On” items, so they will ship only with an already existing order of $25 or more. A few of the products are “pantry” items and could be added to your regular Amazon Pantry box.

If you’re in serious need of cold relief now, it might not be worth it to wait until you’ve filled a pantry box or a totaled out a $25 Prime order — and it certainly wouldn’t be cost-effective if you ordered extra items specifically to reach the shipping threshold. In that case, it would probably be wiser to make a quick trip to the drugstore.

If you’re doing a routine restock, however, or simply beefing up your first-aid kit, the Amazon Basic Care line has some pretty unbeatable prices.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

37 Secrets Nutritionists Won’t Tell You for Free

Sorry but there is no such thing as “healthy” sugar

“There is a misconception that switching from white sugar to honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar or agave is healthier. Sugar is sugar and eating too much of any of these alternative sweeteners will have the same effect on the body as white sugar. There may be a higher nutrient content in some ‘natural’ alternatives but these occur in very small quantities so in order to glean anything useful you would end up eating a lot of sugar. Natural alternatives tend to be richer in flavor so you may be likely to use less of them, but better to focus on healthier additions to the overall diet and limit all sources of sugar.” —Rob Hobson, nutritionist and head of HealthspanFind out how to tell if you’re eating too much sugar.

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