[BUCKET LIST] Winter Lake Plunging, Ice Baths & Cold Showers

[BUCKET LIST] Winter Lake Plunging, Ice Baths & Cold Showers

**The intention**

A month of cold showers & Ice baths & Lake Plunges

It all started January 1st 2023 after a long night where I had a group of friends join me at the river:

**The purpose**

This is about dedicating time to re-connect to my physical form, especially when I have those feels of being out of body & disconnected.

I'm hoping it will be a way to re-invigorate myself as a reminder of how I intend to take on this year - Confronting fear, and challenging myself to go deeper. While I feel fear towards this intention the most, I am the most excited to take this on. I look forward to reconnecting into my physical form, to grasp a deep experience and better understanding of what it truly means to feel alive & to breathe intentionally.

Thank you for the inpso Wim Hof.

**The result**

I write this journal entry on January 30th, just a day before what in theory is my final plunge, my finger tips still numb from todays ice bath. First off…I am so incredibly proud of myself for taking this on, because I was, as previously mentioned, probably the most afraid of this intention for 2023. After the last 30 days though and all the plunges I found myself enduring, cold showers I had in the mornings, trips to grab bags of ice & visits to the lake in the middle of January so I could jump in…Surprisingly, I don’t think this is the last time I will give the cold plunging a go. While realistically I would have completed every single day of January, I didn’t and in my opinion I didn’t fail.

Although at first I was disappointed to “skip” a day when I found myself procrastinating a cold water confrontation that day, I encouraged myself to shift my mindset to see my skipped days as “rest” days. I definitely think those rest days gave opportunities for my body to recover from the cold, but also mentally I understood to not be so hard on myself. I learnt that my mind can guilt me into feeling underachieved for not showing up for myself, for feeling like I wasted a day or procrastinated my time. I realized that those feelings motivated me more to embrace forgiveness for not plunging that day and enthusiasm for the next day to be better, do better. Also on those so called “Rest” days I made the most of taking the “extra” time I had to learn more about the cold plunges, from the Ice Man him self. I immersed myself in his inspiring book ‘The Wim Hof Method’ and learnt new breathwork techniques along with Wim’s story ~ inspiring to say the least. I would definitely recommend it along side ice plunges or cold baths if you are still learning or simply beginning to explore the space.

Ice baths on those days where I almost allowed myself a rest, where I almost resisted the experience, where I really didn’t want to - those were the hardest days - but the most rewarding. Knowing that I simply had to do it, to not let myself down again, and to remind myself about all the emotions and physical feelings I would experience afterwards.

So let’s start with the mind. Wow. This whole experience affected my mind set in ways I never would or could have imagined. Simply cold showers in the morning for 5 minutes wakes you up without a worry in the world. I feel present in the moment of bathing in cold water and when I am done, already I feel accomplished because thats a really intense way to wake up and sometimes I definitely wasn’t in the mood (Im really not a morning person). So before I even really started my day I would feel accomplished, proud and energized. Energy…holy smokes. I feel warm and elated after a cold plunge, I feel alive and like I could run a marathon. Theres a rush of dopamine that floods through my body and makes me feel so much joy and happiness for life, I just always want to dance and jump around.

— I feel gratitude for what I just accomplished and how well my body was able to endure the cold.

They say that stress decreases when you sit with the cold consistently or when you have cold showers everyday…and yes. I think I am definitely less “stressed” and more like “Oh theres this thing that normally would be really stressing me out, but actually its going to be ok & its going to get figured out, so no need to stress”. After my sessions with the cold I ended up feeling relaxed, calm and rejuvenated…when you start to experience good feelings after something that you know isn’t harming you then it becomes addictive! A good kind of addiction though, one that harbors no guilt or self destruction, more encourages you to value your self worth and love for yourself.

The body. More specifically my body. Holy smokes my body is incredible. Each time there is an incredible flood of blood that rushes back from the depths of my core. It radiates all the way to my finger tips making a strangely enjoyable vibration sensation under my skin all over my body. Its addictive to be honest & a feeling I have never experienced in any other activity in life. While a big plus for taking a cold plunge is partially your physical body immersed in cold, breathing also has a big part in why you feel physically better. Normally I find myself reaching for that deep breath, but feeling like I can’t get there. It’s almost as though you are yawning but don’t get to do that final stretch of the jaw and finish the inhalation and cycle of the breath. Its so frustrating to me normally, but I noticed the other day that I haven’t been struggling with that lately. My body has been filled with an abundance of oxygen that is giving me life. Literally.

The big fear…but it’s soooooo cold. Yes for like the first minute its intense, almost physically taxing, painful & the word to summarize the initial dip ~ breath-taking. It shocks you to your core. But after making it a bit more of a routine its become more tolerable and almost desirable. You gasp for such large gulps of air in this state of “survival” it’s almost an immediate head rush & boost in super life juice. This is where mind and body align. Thoughts flow fluidly through my mind to help myself feel at ease…

Breathe.

Focus on your breath.

Take a long inhale in

Release a long exhale

Inhale warmth

Exhale power

I became one with my mind rather than fighting it and feeling the cold I accepted it and allowed my thoughts comfort me rather than distract me. While this is a physical challenge it is also very mental. This is where I found an incredible reconnection of body and mind…A part of this was to be able to reconnect to my physical form and I would say that was definitely achieved.

So while I didn’t get around to do the cold plunges every day of the month, I still see it as a success and huge accomplishment, because there were times when I was mid cold shower wondering why I would ever not have a cold shower? They say it takes ~2 months to create a new habit and after practically an entire month I would definitely say that this is one I am willing to continue incorporating into my daily life and it kind of feels like it is already a bit of a habit to run the bath and only turn the cold tap on. Perhaps this habit will not be daily and more like weekly…just being realistic with myself and a busy business owning mama. A weekly Sunday reset. An opportunity to cleanse, breathe and care for my body. This is definitely something that I am going to be incorporating into the rest of my life as a part of my wellness & self care routines.

So would I recommend it?

…For sure yes. Although if you have any health concerns, for sure chat with your doctor to know if it would be safe for you to undergo. It was a challenge I took on for myself but as I shared my intentions with others I found it was also a challenge that brought people together as they too were willing to experience the benefits of the cold and push themselves to another level both mentally and physically. It truly brought community together and for that I am grateful.

Lastly I’m excited to have documented the whole experience in video form and shared it on YouTube. Feel free to have a watch for more inspo ♡ 

 

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1 comment

I LOVE YOU JULIANA YASMINE
LOVE
RACHEL

RACHEL

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