COLD WATER & PARENTING

If you are new around here I have committed to sending newsletters with useful or relatable information in them. Not just photos of jumpers. The newsletter content ends up on my blog when I have the time to upload it (there’s a lag time!)
I think this one is useful (and relatable if you have small children). If you need an idea for how to stay calm when your children are going WILD at bedtime, this has really helped me. I think it would work for general stress / anxiety too.

Our hot water broke and so I started having cold showers whilst waiting for it to be fixed. I realised that even a quick wash under cold water had an instant calming effect. I mostly do early mornings and bed times by myself because that’s when the cows are milked and honestly it’s just too much sometimes. So now, I go into the garden as soon as I wake up and leave the little jack-in-a-boxes with their father. I do 10 minutes on the trampoline and then I have a cold shower. I am a much more tolerant person after this routine than I am without it. The motion and noise and chaos of mornings when I haven’t had a chance to do this just starts my day off on the wrong foot.

In the summer holidays after a couple of particularly awful, crazy, bouncing bedtimes I tried out a quick cold shower before bedtime too. IT WORKS. I can definitely keep my composure more during a wild bedtime if I’ve had a cold shower.

Yes, I know it’s a cliche - move to Cornwall start “cold water swimming”, talk about it on instagram and how it’s so good for your mental health. It IS funny I know. But it really works and I can’t live without it now. If I’m tired and I get a sense that I am going to be given a run for my money at bed time I say “hang on I’m just going to have a really quick shower”. It resets me and I am way less likely to get all strict and stressy.

I am trying to think of situations where it would help without children. Maybe a really stressful week at work? Scary presentations coming up? Social or family events you are dreading. The benefits are all over the internet - with varying degrees of evidence. I’ve outlined my top 3 below.

My 3 top benefits of cold water
1. Improves circulation and your skin: the cold water causes your heart to pump more efficiently and improves circulation. This flushes out inflammation and improves the appearance of your skin (I’ve definitely found this. I feel cold less and my skin is clearer).
2. Boosts your mood - the cold water shocks your body making it more resilient to stress and anxiety. Regular cold showers trigger electrical impulses in the brain that boost your energy levels, making you feel more alert. It decreases levels of cortisol and balances serotonin. It also causes us to take deeper breaths, lowering levels of CO2 in the body, which improves focus and concentration. I can 💯 agree that it makes me feel calmer, more alert, clear headed.

3. Bolster your immunity to common colds. We don’t get a lot of colds here 🤞 but apparently the shock of cold water can stimulate the blood cells that fight off infection. One study in the Netherlands found that people who switched to cold showers for 90 days called tool 29% fewer sick days than people who didn’t switch to cold showers. My friend Dan swears by this. I used to roll my eyes at him when he talked about cold showers. Not anymore.

There is more - it makes your hair shiny, helps with weight loss. The internet is FULL of articles and blog posts about it with varying levels of evidence. I can’t swim in the sea or sit in an ice bath (because who will watch the children) but in my experience, having a quick cold shower definitely makes me feel calmer. Try it!