This is what you’ll look like if you stay in there for longer than a smooth half hour.
Image: Getty

Self-care yourself into peaceful oblivion however you must—jade roller, sheet mask, eye massage, etc— but if you are going to slide your nude bod into a bathtub and luxuriate there for any amount of time, I beg of you: keep that shit to a tight 30 minutes and no longer.

Like having sex under the dull roar of a waterfall or licking whipped cream off the bare flesh of your lover, the decadent ritual of sitting in a bathtub for hours eating cold clementines and drinking fizzy water while watching the Judy Garland version of A Star Is Born is not nearly as enchanting in real life as it is on the silver screen. Baths are fine for babies, children, and the whimsical adult. But like everything in life, there are limits. Anyone who tells you that they actually enjoy bathing for longer than 30 minutes is a liar.

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A bath is only at its most bath-like and pleasant when you first get in. On a cold night when you hate everything and wish to throw your phone, computer, and nearest roommate into a garbage can with a lid that will not open, drawing a bath and sliding gracefully into said bath is a small pleasure that I would not take from anyone. Clean the tub, you heathen, and turn down the lights. Light a nice candle. Sit in there for...ten minutes. Doesn’t that feel good? Mm, yes. Hot water—not too hot, not too cold, just right, Goldilocks—softly caressing your undercarriage and then maybe the upstairs. The water is nice, like a Jacuzzi without all the jostling. Calming, even. Soft. If you’re lucky enough to have a bathtub that actually contains your body in full repose, then you can lay down! A real treat.

However, after twenty minutes of contemplative bathing silence, the water begins to cool. The bath bomb you tossed in out of obligation or desire has mingled with your dead skin, forming a scum on the surface of the water. Adjusting the water’s temperature by adding more hot, than cold, than hot, has become tiresome. The water is now cold, your fingers, small prunes. The weed is gone, your water glass is empty, and I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that you’ve considered peeing in the tub because you really DO have to pee, but won’t. Reach for the phone you put on the edge of the sink. Thirty minutes have elapsed. It’s time to get out of the bath.