COLD WATER CHALLENGE
I started experiencing seasonal depression like symptoms 2 years ago. It would start in September when ‘Raincouver’ would roll in and the days started getting shorter, colder and very, very wet. It became a serious challenge keeping an active lifestyle and doing the things that I knew would allow me to thrive. My work productivity decreased, I lost motivation and my energy tank felt empty to the point that is was almost debilitating.
I knew that my happiness and mental health were in serious jeopardy, so in order to overcome the season and maintain the life I love even through the dark, wet day… I needed a plan.
It became a serious challenge keeping an active lifestyle and doing the things that I knew would allow me to thrive.
THIS SEEMS LIKE A BAD IDEA
I reached out to a few friends for advice and one recommended a cold shower first thing in the morning, which at the time sounded like a terrible idea. Every part of me did NOT want to wake up and jump into cold water…but I decided to give it a try.
I put one toe in first. Then the other. I tried to slowly lather my body with the water (which is the worst way to do any of this by the way). The first 30 seconds were absolute misery, especially on a wet and cold day, but then I just told myself to just commit and breathe. And that’s when the magic happened…I fell in love with how my body felt.
I started looking forward to my cold shower and miraculously transformed from being a night owl to ‘a morning person’. I loved how it challenged my mental and physical strength and each day I got to discover what my body was capable of withstanding. It also helped my overall quality of life, I was yawning less, my energy increased and I felt powerful and resilient.
I loved how it challenged my mental and physical strength and each day I got to discover what my body was capable of withstanding.
I have been consistently taking cold showers every day for two years and to this day it is the best routine I’ve ever implemented.
MY HAPPY PLACE
After feeling the positive effects of the shower and how it helped bring healthy balance back into my life, I started experimenting with adding other elements into my morning routine. Now my rise and shines look something like this:
Early morning wakeups, a cold shower, breath work and/or meditation, movement, gratitude/affirmation journaling and a bulletproof coffee. The most important part for me is staying off my cell phone for the first 3 hours of my day.
Sharing this routine has allowed me to grow my community with likeminded individuals who share the same morning values as I do.
Sharing this routine has allowed me to grow my community with likeminded individuals who share the same morning values as I do. Groups of strangers who then turned into friends get together in the early morning and swim in the local waterfalls.
For me to continue living the life I love even when heading back into the fall after the sunny summer months, I need to commit to my morning routine. This gives me the energy and optimism I need to stay healthy, active, productive and keep playing outside in my happy place.
Natalia is a portrait and travel photographer based in Vancouver, BC. In 2012 she pursued her passion as a Professional Portrait Photographer and started Natalia Anja Photography.
Her curiosity led her on a mission to capture the world. In 2015 she won a contest to join the team of online travel series Global Degree where she had the opportunity to backpack throughout Asia and Europe and immerse herself into different cultures all while capturing every moment. Throughout her journey, she has had plenty of unforgettable experiences and also encountered personal challenges and health struggles. She became intrigued with personal development and finding her version of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Her experiences have inspired her to create a soon to launch blog www.foreigngrammar.com to share her passion for travel, philanthropy, human connection, health and wellness.