Four Surprising Benefits of Your Daily Shower
Why do you shower? The most obvious answer is cleanliness, but did you know showers can help increase your energy and boost your mood? That’s right, taking a shower can help with more than just personal hygiene. Here are four ways a hot or cold shower can improve your health and well-being:
For some, a spa day may be the perfect form of self-care when experiencing stress or anxiety. For others, self-care may mean a trip to the shower. In fact, bathing has been linked to improved mental health. This is because taking a warm shower can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. The body’s reaction to being warm naturally relaxes your muscles and thoughts. Because of this mechanism, the risk of depressive symptoms is lower following a shower. Bathing can also be a form of meditation or serve as a healthy break from your daily busy schedule. Even showering at night can help you relax and feel sleepy before bed. Simple actions in the shower like using your favorite body scrub can be a calming and rewarding activity for your body and mind. Another way to promote calmness is to put some relaxing music on while you rinse off.
It may not be the most popular temperature setting for a shower, but cold water can actually be a natural pick-me-up. Cold showers are proven to improve energy and increase alertness. This is due to the chemical release in your brain that occurs when the cold water decreases your body temperature. Melatonin, the sleep hormone, drops as a reaction from the cold, which can lead to the body feeling awake. This also comes along with increased blood circulation, heart rate and breathing rate that will give you an energizing feeling. Taking a cold shower in the morning can help you feel ready to take on the day while showering during the day can get you over that mid-day slump. Letting the cold water run after a warm shower can increase your energy and alertness - making you feel like you just had a cup of coffee!
Did you know taking a shower as part of your morning routine can positively influence your mood for the rest of the day? Feeling clean and keeping up with personal hygiene on the outside can increase levels of mood-boosting hormones, like norepinephrine and serotonin, on the inside. These hormones help give you an energized and happy feeling, which ultimately leads to improved confidence. More confidence can lead to a better overall mood and motivation in your daily life. Therefore showering can mean taking care of your body while promoting self-love: a win-win.
Those who shower in the morning or before they start their day tend to have a higher productivity level. Having a daily routine, especially those including forms of self-care, can increase your motivation and productivity, which results in the feeling of accomplishment. In such uncertain times, it is healthy to create a routine in the chaos. Showering at a certain time each day is one way to help you get on a structured schedule. Additionally, showering in the morning can promote creativity by allowing the space for some quiet and alone time with your thoughts. If you are working from home, you can spend your former morning commute time in a relaxing rinse and get your day started on the right foot.
Learn more about improving productivity and other wellness programs offered by Wellness Workdays.
Written by Claire McDonald, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern