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  • Writer's pictureapriladventuring

Day 8: Why I Don't Take a Cold Shower Everyday

Let me start by saying I'm not against cold showers. In fact, I had this thought while taking a cold shower this morning. So don't come at me, productivity/bio-hacking gurus.


There's so much information on the internet these days about the benefits of cold showers. I can honestly say I've seen some of these in my own life. Taking a cold shower in the morning helps me wake up and surprisingly doesn't leave me feeling frigid even on the chilliest of days.


Maybe I haven't consistently kept myself under a freezing stream for enough consecutive days to become a true believer in the practice. Maybe I haven't given it a fair chance.


But when I'm taking a quick shower in the morning and happen to remember -- which does happen often -- I'll flip the temperature control all the way over to 'C' and slowly rotate to cool down every part of my body. The initial unpleasant shock lasts only a moment. Then it's pretty nice!



So why don't I do this everyday? The answer is three-fold.



First, I haven't made cold showers a priority in my life. There are too many other things I'm more concerned with and this just doesn't reach the top of that list. I already find myself falling into the trap of trying to stack an unmanageable number of daily habits into my life: yoga, meditation, exercise, 10,000 steps, journaling, a gallon of water, writing 300 words, Duolingo. All that on top of working on my business and creating compelling content.


Cold showers didn't stand a chance. My mental and physical capacity is more than maxed out. Maybe one day cold showers will bump something else off my list, but today is not that day.



Second is a more practical reason: I don't usually shower in the mornings. Cold showers help to wake up your system, which isn't necessarily something I'm looking for when I'm hopping straight from the shower into bed to sleep.


I'm naturally a night owl, meaning it's hard for me to wake up or fall asleep at a reasonable time. I've worked on a nighttime routine for years that will help me knock out earlier than my body actually wants to so that I can wake up and participate in life on a somewhat normal schedule.


Warm showers at night help the body get into sleep mode because the automatic cooling that happens after leaving the shower is a signal that bedtime is coming. I would never cold shower in the PM just to maintain the precarious semi-normal sleep cycle I've built over the years.



The third reason I don't cold shower everday is that I love taking hot showers.


I know, I know. That's the entire point of taking cold showers. It builds mental toughness. It proves to yourself that you're someone who does hard things. I get that.


But also, life is plenty hard as it is without needing to subject ourselves to ice baths and polar plunges daily. Many of us would probably struggle to think of things we do for ourselves everyday simply for the joy of it. Our morning coffee? A daily walk? Spending time with loved ones or pets? Hopefully we all have at least one.


For me, a nice hot shower is one of those few simplicities of daily like that I truly savor and relax into. There's something to be said about being someone who appreciates the small joys in life and remembers to gift ourselves tiny gestures of self-care -- not just someone who does hard things.



At the end of the day, it depends what my body and soul need that day. There's a level of self-awareness and compassion that plays into my decision to cold shower (or not) each day.


If I happen to take a morning rinse, I'll often remember to ask myself before I shut off the water: "am I a person who does hard things?"


And more often than not, the answer is "yes" and I'll flip the switch and revel in the chilliness.


But occasionally the answer is "yes, but today a cold shower is not that hard thing for me" and I'll turn the water off and step out into the steamy bathroom to towel off.



What are your thoughts on cold showers? Are you a daily practitioner or too scared to try?


Let me know your thoughts!


Happy adventuring,

A

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