This Spring has been…… less than ideal recently. While all of us are quarantined in our respected places of residence, I decided to make myself more miserable. How does one do that?
They take cold showers.
Yes, this week I tackled the one habit I was dreading on doing the most. The relaxing steam of a warm shower with the soothing water running down your body can be the most pleasant part of a day, but this week it was ripped away from me for the sake of experimentation and here is what I experienced.
1. What was the biggest change/effects I noticed?
I’ve been in cold water before, but this was different. My body was so conditioned to hearing the faucet turn on only to be followed by a nice stream of warm water. When I walked into that cold blast of water, I was more awake than I have ever felt in my life. All week, I never got used to that feeling of instantaneous alertness that came from being immersed in cold water.
2. What were minor changes/effects that occurred throughout the week?
I noticed that I was in a better mood after the shower and I felt a different level of concentration for about an hour after I finished showering. My showers shortened significantly to the point where I was showering in about 2-3 minute. Each shower became a mission to scrub down as fast as possible.
3. Was this health habit enjoyable?
This habit sucked. I knew it was good for me, but I reallllllly hated it. It was a habit that I enjoyed the benefits of, but there was no joy in the habit itself.
4. How can this health habit sustainable in the long term?
This health habit is sustainable, but you gotta be a little crazy. I think a cold shower once or twice a week is doable, but I think it is all about familiarity. The more you do it, the better it will be. Just like waking up early, it is like ripping off a Band Aid.
I remember when I was in South Africa water was scared due to a drought they were having. I always volunteered to shower last which normally meant I got the cold water. Since I was there for 3 weeks, that meant just about 3 weeks of cold showers so I slightly knew what to expect. I still really hated this, but I’m so glad I did it. The mental clarity after the initial shock of the cold blast was slightly euphoric. That feeling of alertness was only thing that motivated me to keep on taking cold showers. I think I’ll consider taking a cold shower every now and then for that feeling of mental preparedness because ready or not….