There’s nothing more despicable than an ice cold shower. Stepping into the shower’s welcoming stream only to be greeted by (what feels like) actual icicles pricking your skin, shivering as goosebumps form and your toes turn white — cold showers are truly the worst wake-up method.
But, there’s a hidden magic in cold showers. Switching your shower’s temperature from steamy hot to icy cold does wonders for the body. As one of my former high school students informed me, a cold shower boosts the metabolism, improves the immune system, and even helps you grow shinier hair. I even wrote an article on the wonders of cold showers a few years ago (don’t worry, I didn’t take my own advice; I love warm water too much).
Yet did you know that there’s a productivity benefit in taking a cold shower too?
There’s science behind this theory. According to Fast Company, a cold shower is the perfect wake-up call. When you crawl out of bed, sluggish and unwilling to start the day, a cold shower gives you the smack in the face you need to get shit done.
As Chris Gayomali, author of the above Fast Company article, writes: “Undergoing the treatment is said to help your body incinerate calories, jolt your immune system to life, and help trigger a flood of mood-boosting endorphins, similar to a runner’s high.”
Those endorphins are crucial to your productivity. Just like exercise, a delicious piece of chocolate, or laughing out loud at your favorite show, the endorphins spurred by a cold shower get you revved up — they get you excited and energized for what lies ahead. Even if you’re facing a dull day filled with Excel spreadsheets, emails, or inefficient meetings, the cold shower endorphin spike is strong enough to get you through your morning commute and your first few hours of work. The “high” you feel from your icy shower will encourage you to answer emails, fold laundry, pack lunches, or tackle any morning task with vigor and energy.
That chilly burst is something you can’t shake off easily; why not use it to your advantage? If you struggle to find the will to work each morning (or if you’re prone to staring at your computer screen until it goes blurry in an effort to prod yourself into productivity like me), try a cold shower. Yes, it’s sure to shock your body and leave you shaking as you try to wash your hair. But that freezing water temperature will also give you a wake-up call, spurring productivity during the morning’s toughest hours.
Oh, and if you can’t stand to shower with icy water raining down on your head? You can get the very same effects if you take a warm shower and switch the faucet to its coldest temperature for the last 30 seconds of your bathing routine. Now that’s a bearable productivity trick even I can handle without whimpering!