As we ease ourselves out of the coronavirus lockdown, many of us are feeling decidedly demotivated.
Perhaps it’s the long swathes of working from home or the lack of physical contact with our loved ones that’s doing it, but many people have suffered psychologically as a result.
That’s why we’re always up for trying any new trick that might help us feel a bit more awake and ready to attack the day.
In Joe Wick’s recent podcast, The Joe Wicks Podcast, Fearne Cotton recommended cold showers to kick-start your productivity - a top tip endorsed by celebrities from Miranda Kerr to the late Katharine Hepburn.
The Happy Place creator explained: “I’ll have a warm shower and then I put it on the most cold, freezing setting it will go on. I can stay in there now for three minutes and then I get out. It is heaven, you are pumped!”
While putting yourself through a cold shower everyday sounds like more of a beauty nightmare than an indulgent mood-booster, there’s method in the madness.
Melissa Wood, Medical Director at Skin Emporium, explains: “Cold showers do not dry out the epidermis or disrupt your skin’s moisture barrier, stripping it of sebum and natural oils. Exposure to hot water can leave skin dehydrated for 24 hours post shower. The cold water also tightens and constricts surface blood vessels giving your skin an appearance of refined pores.”
We’re sold on the benefits - not so much on the freezing cold shower part.
It’s celebrity-backed, too. Katharine Hepburn admitted she swore by cold showers in her book How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living from Kate the Great. In fact, the Hollywood actress described the whole experience as “exhilarating”.
More recently, model, Miranda Kerr described cold showers as “invigorating” when talking about her morning routine: “It feels so invigorating and is so good for your scalp and your face; it really wakes you up.”
Exhilarating and invigorating are quite euphoric words to describe a downpour of freezing water, but it’s not just the skin that benefits from it.
“It wakes up our skin receptors which increases overall activity in the brain. It’s helps to tighten pores and decrease redness and puffiness to the skin whilst boosting our circulation. It makes the skin feel fresh, awake and clean and most feel as though they have a healthy glow,” Dr Lucy Glancey founder of Dr Glancey Clinics added.
For those wanting to give this novel rush of energy a go, starting slowly by only turning the cold tap on at the very end of the shower (à la Fearne Cotton) is recommended.
If you’re up for giving this mood-boosting technique a try, it’s also a good idea to get used to it during the summer months. Trying to add a cold shower into your morning routine in sub-zero temperatures is surely misery waiting to happen.
Not quite feeling the freezing shower? Fearne Cotton has plenty other tips up her sleeve.
“If I am feeling low but there is an edge of frustration – which is usually a kind of go to emotion for me – then listening to some really melancholic emotive music to make me cry and have that release,” the 38-year-old told Wicks.
Calming music or an ice cold shower? We know which one we’re leaning towards.