On May 5th 2015, a little over 30 days ago, I blogged that I was Accepting The Cold Shower Challenge. I successfully completed the challenge last week and thought I would share what I found. After doing this for over a month I have concluded that TAKING COLD SHOWERS IS AWESOME! With the challenge completed successfully I have decided to continue to take cold showers every day indefinitely. Here is a little bit about why I am continuing with cold showers...
I have long suffered with terrible skin. When I turned 13 or so the evil white, black, and red dots of doom covered my face and back like a horde of Uruk-hai descending on Helm's deep. I tried everything back then to try and help my skin look nicer, but most everything I did ended up making things worse. Once I finally got out of my teenage years things cleared up a bit, but only a bit. I've struggled with it ever since, even as I moved into my 30's this year. The worse part about having this problem is that bad ones always show up before I am about to have an audience, and knowing that people have a big red sore to stare at kills your confidence like no other.
Since I started taking cold showers the quality of my skin has increased significantly, raising my confidence along with it. I will not lie and say I am 'cured' of my problems. I am having a few issues right now in fact, but as a treatments go for this ailment it has performed much better than anything I have purchased off a store shelf. Especially when it comes to my back. Having better skin has done wonders for my self-esteem. I just wish I could have discovered this sooner.
In the same vein as skin improvement, I no longer have need for dandruff shampoo. In the past few years I have had more than one occasion where someone has commented on the fact I was brushing away noticeable dandruff from a black shirt I was wearing. I shrugged it off laughing, but I was pretty embarrassed. I wore one of these black shirts the other day. I looked down mid day expecting the normal sprinkling that would need to be brushed away. To my surprise my shirt was quite clean. I smiled and continued my work. I now use Main 'n Tail shampoo instead of Head and Shoulders. A big bottle is fairly cheap, and I figure they probably wash horses with cold water so it should probably work well for my situation.
My mood and outlook on life has improved tremendously in the last month. You may have noticed I have been blogging regularly. I have also been exercising, and have dropped a considerable amount of weight in the last 5 weeks. I haven't had the urge to go out and drink or eat a bunch of junk food. Once I've showered in the morning I am filled with a sense of vigor and excitement for the day. My dependence on coffee/soda/etc to keep me awake has diminished. Things that used make me upset or angry don't seem to affect me as strongly as they used to. Life seems a bit more positive. Goals seem a bit more obtainable. I am not as much of a little b*#$h when things don't go the way I had hoped. To put it plainly, I am just a much happier person these days.
COLD. That is about it. It takes a little bit of will power everyday to thrust myself into those streams of coldness blasting from the shower head. I have to tell myself everyday: don't be a wuss. However, these are words I can live by.
Other Notes and Observations
Cold showers are always tough to get started. However, they are much easier if you get a little sweaty before you take them. The cold water feels brisk and almost welcoming on a hot sweat laden face, at the same time it feels hellishly uncomfortable on a warm fresh-out-of bed face. I'd suggest incorporating a little bit of exercise in your morning routine to make the showers a little more bearable at first. Assuming you take them in the morning.
There are 2 things I experienced during the challenge than I had never experienced before. The first is an 'ice cream headache' on the outside of my head. When the cold water hits the front part of my skull I get this sensation regularly if I let it go too long. The second 'seeing my breathe', as if it were a cold winter day, twice while have showered in the last month. I never expected that to happen.
Last week I had a dream, nay, a nightmare that I woke up tired and hobbled my way into the bathroom and started taking a hot shower. I then realized what I was doing and flipped it to cold in an attempt to salvage my cold-water streak. I awoke later and was relieved to realize it was only a dream. I am curious if anyone else has had the temperature of their shower show up in a dream.
It's a bit weird, but I don't really remember what it feels like to take a warm shower. Maybe that is a good thing?
I would highly recommend that anyone who suffers from poor skin or poor mood give this cold shower challenge a try. I am no physician and you should probably consult one if you plan on doing this, but with that bit of legal mumbo jumbo out to the way the discomfort of the cold is the only downside I have found to doing this, and I am at this point be willing to say that this has life changing experience. If I find that things head south as I finish up my second, third, fourth, nth month I'll let you know.
Thanks for reading! Hopefully I didn't get too TMI talking about skin issues, but I would assume more people than not can relate with my struggle.