I’m the first to admit it.
I’m a hot-water baby.
I like my showers nice and hot, something to turn my skin a nice shade of lobster red.
I don’t “do” cold water, and, as my husband likes to remind me of what I said when we first migrated to Australia, I don’t go into the ocean unless the ambient temperature is a minimum of 28 deg C.
(Such a princess!)
But sometimes it’s good to try something different and after a recent video where I shared the current trend for cold water immersion as a pick-me-up for mental wellbeing, the feedback from some of my friends was “We’ve been doing this for ages!”
(@Mike House I’m looking at you)
Then I had a lovely conversation with Heather from the charity “Waves of Wellness Foundation” which provides mental health surf therapy, during which she introduced me to their annual fundraising Ducktober event where the idea is to commit to cold water immersion on each day of October to raise money.
I did. In my special duck cossie, in our backyard pool.
As I gently lowered myself into the water, I thought, “This is ridiculous!” but did feel curiously invigorated and ‘alive’ afterwards.
It took me another week to give it a second go.
Yes, that water still felt mighty cold.
Then I had a good run of four early dips. It was starting to feel less challenging and of course, there was the promise of a nice hot shower afterwards.
My mindset had previously been firmly fixed as “I don’t do cold water.”
Letting go and permitting myself to have a go at doing something I would normally avoid actually felt good.
Has your mindset ever held you back from trying something different?
Challenging our beliefs isn’t necessarily easy but getting curious to ask, “What if I’m wrong about my thinking?” offers the opportunity to take a risk and explore.
This can help if,
- You’re stuck in a job that doesn’t inspire you but at least it pays the bills.
- You’d love to be considered for a promotion and are just waiting to be noticed.
- You want to commit to a new relationship but are worried about what your family and friends will think.
It’s the same if you’re struggling with burnout or mental health issues.
I totally get that motivating yourself to get outside your comfort zone to do something different here is hard.
This is where having someone to support you in your decision to do things differently, even just for one day as David Bowie sang, helps you to be a HERO.
Because now you have HOPE that things will get better
You have EFFICACY. Yes, you can do this.
You are RESILIENT, so much more than you ever give yourself credit for.
You are realistically OPTIMISTIC that you’re on the right track.
Have you ever taken the plunge to leave your comfort zone and found it surprisingly survivable and helpful?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Dr Jenny Brockis is a board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, workplace wellbeing specialist, keynote speaker, trainer and best-selling author. Her latest book Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life (Wiley) is available for purchase.
If psychological safety, burnout prevention and mental wellbeing is something you’d like to find out more about, please contact me to set up a time for a chat.