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  • Took my first cold shower today ..advice re shivering afterwards pls
  • kaiser
    Member

    Being a lifelong depression/ anxiety sufferer I am often at my worst at this time of year. I used to drink to escape but that nearly killed me so in desperation this morning I braved a 2 or 3 min shower set on the coldest setting to try and lift my mood. I know it’s bound to feel freezing and it was indeed unpleasant . I began to shake a bit whilst under the water but I was surprised and slightly concerned that I continued to shake and shiver all over for 30 to 40 mins afterwards when dried off and fully clothed. The duration of this shivering incl head shaking ( no teeth chattering!) seems abnormal from what I read online but I wondered if it was simply too cold or too long for the 1st attempt and the body overreacted?. I’ d like to carry on taking the showers but somewhat worried about the rather severe reaction. Any advice appreciated .Piss taking accepted but not really appreciated as I’m struggling tbh. Thanks, Bill

    bsims
    Member

    Shock as you are not used to it? It is winter. Try again in the morning when you are going to be active rather than sedentary.

    Wear a hat in bed, you’ll take it off in your sleep if you get too hot.

    Edit. Sorry missed the morning bit. It must be a shock, build your tolerance.

    Premier Icon sirromj
    Subscriber

    I’m working my way up to a fully cold shower. I started a few months ago, by turning the water slightly colder toward the end of the shower (about the point I wash my knees). By the time I got to my feet, I’d turned it a few more 100th’s of a radian towards cold. When I finished the shower the water still wouldn’t be properly cold (as in as cold as it comes out of the cold tap).

    Over time I’ve got braver. Now I get in the shower without waiting for the water to warm up at all. It takes perhaps a minute for it to warm up to normal showering temperature. Sometimes if I feel really brave I’ll turn it straight to fully cold after washing my groins, so legs and feet are washed with cold water.

    One day I dream of swimming in the cold sea, but I need to learn to swim first (3rd lesson earlier this week).

    HTH!

    Premier Icon csb
    Subscriber

    No words of wisdom. I only once got that cold, scared me. But i get the idea of your cold shower thing. Lovely riding a bike in stinging rain and reminding yourself you are alive and sentient.

    bsims
    Member

    What about, start at normal temp whilst you wash, then turn it down in increments until cold and increase the time daily?

    Premier Icon feed
    Subscriber

    Are cold showers an anxiety treatment ?

    Sounds like you’ve added additional anxiety !

    jamesmio
    Member

    Start warm. Gradually turn the temperature down.

    kaiser
    Member

    I did actually start warm but quickly went to full on cold and braved it out. As you can tell it actually wasn’t as horrendous as I’d expected ….hence wanting to do it again .. it’s the extreme bodily reaction that concerned me . On the head was almost unbearable but elsewhere just challenging. As said after 2 mins I noticed the legs starting to tremor.
    I’d originally considered trying the sea but glad I didn’t ..could have been dangerous. I have no idea of the domestic cold water temps and whether the sea would actually be warmer but I shan’t be trying it alone if at all .At 55 perhaps I’ve finally become a wimp !

    kaiser
    Member

    Are cold showers an anxiety treatment ?

    Sounds like you’ve added additional anxiety !

    I think the shock can clear the head and quieten the mind…Have a try! I did wonder whether it was excess adrenaline as I do pump out a lot whenever even mildly stressed. Horrible illness ..ruins everything .

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    My wife has started open water swimming, which mostly amounts to a “dip” in Loch Morlich at this time of year. Water temps are around 3-4c today.

    Advice is; no more than 2 minutes. Lots of warm clothes afterwards. Hot water bottle around the kidney area (not TOO hot though). If you’re on open water, DO NOT go alone.

    She (and the rest of the mad crew) tells me that it’s fantastic for lifting the mood and combating depression. I was supposed to be joining her today but got called away.

    qwerty
    Member

    Sounds a bit like your bodies response to the onset of hypothermia to me. Maybe don’t shower for so long!!! Try a short sharp shock approach.

    mrsheen
    Member

    Have your normal warm shower then just try it for 30 seconds and lengthen duration over time. 3 minutes is a bit long in my experience.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Jesus.  The thing people do to themselves.  You do know it’s 2019 right?

    I really struggle with cold showers, but in recent years, I’ve usually done multiple reps of jumping into the plunge pool at Center Parcs and then standing in the “freezing” water for ~30secs before then jumping back into the warm outdoor pool water. It’s very addictive in a strange sort of way, makes me feel so much more awake compared to normal!

    Premier Icon barkm
    Subscriber

    I’ve been having cold showers daily for a year or so now, you’ve picked the hardest time of year for it 🙂

    Build up over weeks. Start with 30secs daily for a week, gradually increase over time. Doesn’t have to be exclusively cold shower but better to start cold and finish warm than the other way around, especially if you’re getting tremors. Also always in morning for me! I wouldn’t be able to sleep otherwise 😂

    I Just prefer them now, sensation after can last a while and can set me up for the day. Fantastic for sorting anxiety or low mood if caught early.

    Premier Icon grahamt1980
    Subscriber

    If you are that cold after, then you are in far too long.
    I am open water swimming in skins this year and if I start shivering in the water it means I have to get out immediately and be very careful on warming up.
    cold showers are amusing but be sensible

    avdave2
    Member

    I’m the same with cold water, even the sea in summer will have me shivering for ages after getting out despite finding it tolerable while being in it.

    IHN
    Member

    My wife has started open water swimming, which mostly amounts to a “dip” in Loch Morlich at this time of year. Water temps are around 3-4c today.
    Advice is; no more than 2 minutes. Lots of warm clothes afterwards. Hot water bottle around the kidney area (not TOO hot though). If you’re on open water, DO NOT go alone.
    She (and the rest of the mad crew) tells me that it’s fantastic for lifting the mood and combating depression. I was supposed to be joining her today but got called away.

    Same here (apart from it’s a lake in the Cotswolds, not Loch Morlich, and there’s no effing way I’m joining her)

    gauss1777
    Member

    We don’t bother putting the heating on in the morning before work, so getting out of a warm shower is bad enough. The thought of taking a cold shower is grim. I don’t see how your body would be ‘over reacting’, we’ve evolved to shiver for a good reason. When you say take a cold shower, do you mean the water is lukewarm or actually cold (I guess 3 or 4 degC?)? Surely standing under a cold shower will cool you far quicker than swimming in similar temperature water?
    I only ask as it makes me curious. I cycle to work beside the sea, and there are still some people swimming in normal swimming costumes. They get out and walk along the prom in some sort of long coats, steam pouring off them. Just looking at them makes me feel cold!
    Building up a tolerance sounds a sensible approach, good luck.

    kaiser
    Member

    Cold as the shower allowed ..feels icy and certainly not lukewarm. I’m presuming ..as you say , you can gradually build a tolerance and the body reacts less so it’ll be 30 secs from now on with a gradual increase in time keeping a look out for the shakes. Thanks to all the contributions and the lack of sarcastic comments was appreciated.

    The water temp from your cold tap is much colder now than in summer. I would phase my introduction and i think 30 secs may be plenty.

    Keva
    Member

    have a warm towel and blankets ready? Make a hot drink. Cold water is fantastic for lifting mood, agree with the above though, shower as normal first then turn the water down gradually until you can resist it as cold as you can. I do this once in a while, but not so often this time of year. Also, just try to relax in the cold water, regulating and controlling your breathing is the key. Open water and wild swimming is a good way to go, whilst I was travelling NZ a few years ago I jumped in rivers to wash wherever possible and would feel fantastic afterwards, so alive and exhilarating.

    https://outdoorswimmer.com/blogs/after-drop-is-real-and-how-to-deal-with-it

    Have a friend who’s got into cold showering, and has slowly built her tolerance up. She also does open water swimming. She reckons the psychology is a big thing and breathing is very important. She’s followed something called the Wim Hof approach, but I haven’t got round to looking into it yet (tried one brief cols spell in the shower and Wim’ped out).

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    My boss said he did this for a bit, and the big benefit was that nothing else the day threw at him seemed quite as bad compared to that.

    Have you tried going for a walk in the woods every day instead? Or a run?

    johnners
    Member

    I seem to remember from the books that James Bond turned his morning shower to cold for a minute or so to finish off his ablutions. Mind you, he was just a bloke that Ian Fleming made up so I wouldn’t be using him as a role model.

    longdog
    Member

    Assuming you shower head comes off the wall ease into it by running it on your legs for a bit first, then arms, then chest and then put it back on the wall and go for a short blast on the back and head (was worst for me), before a short time just generally under it. That eases the shock a bit. But it sounds like you’ve just done too long at first and need to ease in to it more gradually.

    I ended up being able to get in with it cold straight away, turn it warm to soap and rinse and then cold again to finish off.

    It’s worth persevering with in my opinion and is a pick me up and good for the circulation.

    longdog
    Member

    Loads of Wim Hoff vids on Youtube about how to build up your exposure even if you ignore his other breathing stuff.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Oh – maybe avoid spraying your head, tempting though it is.

    Premier Icon bob_summers
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    I usually have ‘cold’ showers but the water here’s probably about 12 or 15 degrees all year, so doesn’t really count. OTOH the tap water at my dad’s gives me an ice cream headache when I drink it.

    easily
    Member

    30 seconds of star jumps should get your body temperature back up quickly, but basically any movement should work. Did you sit still after your shower?
    I’m a SCUBA instructor, and occasionally we come up very cold. The advice is always to keep moving and have something to eat.

    oreetmon
    Member

    Vodka.

    Trust me

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Build up your tolerance gradually.

    A few years ago I was on holiday in Portugal in about March time and the hotel had an unheated outdoor pool. In summer it would have been amazing but it still wasn’t much over 20° during the day so the pool was quite cold.

    First day, sort of sat on the edge dipping legs into it. Then stood on the shallow end (water up to mid thigh), them gradually waded in a bit, finally swimming and by the end of the week we could happily dive into it.

    Had to do cold showers at uni for a long weekend after our boiler broke down and again it was just a case of building up tolerance. A few seconds at first, in shower as fast as possible and jump out. By Monday morning I could stand in there for a few minutes. It wasn’t “pleasant” but it was tolerable.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    Did you hear about the masochist who liked cold showers?

    .

    He took hot ones.

    Premier Icon peajay
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    Wim Hof is yer man!

    johndoh
    Member

    I recently read that you should start the shower warm and slowly turn the temperature down until it is cold.

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