How Cold Showers can break Bad Habits during Quarantine

Elliot Tritto

Central Bureau Chief

Quarantine, Coronavirus and the news have been on the radar around the corners of the globe. Florida seems to be gradually shifting into a complete lockdown and it is crucial for its uninfected citizens to stay healthy and self-isolate. There has never been a time in known history where society tells people to stay home all day, work and make their own schedule. People need to take advantage of the quarantine life.

Uninfected Floridians are forced to pause their life, which can be used to create a viable opportunity of breaking one’s bad habits and getting out of their comfort zone.

On March 25, 2020, Joe Rogan hosted a podcast episode with longtime friend and stand-up comedian, Joey Diaz and discussed what people should learn and why they need to take advantage of these turbulent times.

“This is a wake-up call. This is a wake-up call that you have a finite amount of time in this life. And this life, the way you’re experiencing it right now, it’s just how it is, right now. There are a million different factors that are in play constantly. And you’ve been really lucky with this stretch of peace and harmony. But that can change any moment. We have got to use this time to be nicer.”

Joe Rogan implies how reflecting people’s values and choices in a, hopefully, calm environment can effectively change a person’s behavior. After listening to this episode, it’s opened my eyes to how I can break my comfort zone and habits so I can be the best me.

The greatest weakness I’ve encountered in my college life includes maintaining a consistent morning routine. When you’re tied down to several responsibilities, it’s difficult to create and sustain a stable morning routine.

Integrating work, school, writing for a school newspaper, band practice and a social life is hard to manage all at once. Time and time again, I would try new tasks like waking up early and meditating, yet getting into a rut, caused me to fall back to square one. So, what changed? I started taking a cold shower during self-isolation.

I know what you’re thinking; “What? Why are you punishing yourself to an ice-cold shower in quarantine?” Just hear me out. Taking cold showers and being in quarantine have helped me shape myself into becoming a better me.

I discovered this trend through Matt D’vellea’s YouTube channel. Matt’s channel publishes videos about accomplishing certain tasks and challenges that lead to a minimalistic life.

In his video, “I took cold showers for 30 days,” Matt confronts himself into completing this unusual task. Matt’s cold shower inspiration came from Julian Smith’s book “The Flinch.” “The Flinch is about the moments we shrink up before a big moment. Before you speak in front of that audience or that difficult conversation with your partner, either you push the flinch, or you succumb to a life of shrinking and defeat.” Ideally, having a flinch before you shower is a great technique to face your fears.

When I started taking a cold shower, I was petrified. After turning the shower knob clockwise, I stood next to the shower and prepared myself. An adrenaline rush entered my body which felt similar to getting on the Incredible Hulk roller coaster.

Maybe it was that “flinch” Matt was talking about. Anyway, I took a deep breath and rushed into the shower. When I felt the icy cold-water gushing down my head and chest, my body went into shock, my heartbeat elevated, and I had a tough time breathing. Instantly, I stepped out, caught my breath, and sat down. My conscious immediately said “Stop it. This is stupid. Take a hot shower. Try something else.”

Usually, I’d quit, let laziness win and go back to square one but not this time. Grabbing my red Bose Speaker and linking my phone to Mastodon’s “Chimes at Midnight,” motivated me to get back in there and take that cold shower. Hearing the powerful drums, primal guitar riffs and pounding bass encouraged me to finish my shower. After my first frightening experience, I was happy that I finished it.

Afterward, I researched the health benefits of cold showers and realized that it’s a great change. Organic Facts writer John Staughton analyzed in his piece, “8 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers: the positive effects of a cold shower.”

From his findings, Staughton found that cold showers are good for “strengthening immunity, increasing circulation, speeding post-exercise recovery, boosting the metabolism, stimulating testosterone production, aiding sleep, and improving mood and alertness.”

Later, he also divulged that “a cold shower can not only increase circulation but also promote the elimination of pathogens and the delivery of immune system cells where needed.”

Furthermore, Staughton divulges into how skin and hair care is impacted by what type of shower you take. “Hot water is known to dry out the skin, whereas cold water can cause the pores to clench up and close, which locks in the moisture. If you have naturally dry skin, try ending your showers with 10-15 seconds of cold water and watch your complexion improve. It also helps in retaining the moisture in the hair, thereby promoting hair health.”

Moving onward, Nick Greene from Men’s Health wrote in his piece “This Guy Took Freezing Cold Showers Every Day For a Week. Here’s What Happened” about experiencing the same positive effects aforementioned. “When you start to take a cold shower, it is impossible to think about anything besides “I am taking a cold shower.”

It makes those first 15 seconds or so feel like an eternity. But once you come to terms with the fact that you are being doused with frigid water, something interesting starts to happen, I began to focus on some very basic, elemental human faculties.”

Greene mentioned how “Cold water has long been used as a treatment for sore muscles by sports therapists and athletes. Other physical benefits of frigid H2O are said to include increased weight loss and improved skin, but there is also evidence that cold showers can help with your mental health, too.”

Overall, a Benjamin P. Hardy quote that stuck in my head in self-isolation was “The fastest way to move forward in life is not doing more. It starts with stopping the behaviors holding you back.”

Start doing one thing consistently. Take a cold shower. For a whole week, take a cold shower and that’s all you need to change in your routine. Personally, I recommend listening to a playlist that pumps you up to face your fears and enter the shower. Then place your head below the shower head and get a feel of the water. Over time, you’ll feel the refreshing and relieving effect that cold water has on your overall health and wellness.

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