Almost exactly one year ago I made a decision to take a bath outside at least once a week all year around. Even though I missed four weeks during the year, two times due to sickness and two times due to laziness, I feel impresses and proud for committing to myself in the long term. And I probably made up for those missed times with multiple baths other weeks.
I’m glad I took that decision back then which I believe have made my life better in a lot of ways. Not just because of things I gained from it, but also because of the things I can let go off.
Before I started this I had been introduced to cold bathing and fallen in love. So I realized that to be prepared for the winter to come the best way was to start already in September, or to put it another way, simply prolong the summer by not quitting. So to make it more interesting and make it a habit I decided I would take a bath every week for the whole year.
The cold bath introduced me to the world of breathing and meditation, which I believe have helped me to better connect with myself. This also lead me to being more comfortable with spending time just with myself and my thoughts.
At the same time it also helped me to disconnect from the rest of the world and connect with nature. Not just by the bath itself, but the whole experience of visiting forest, lakes, rivers and seas all over Sweden.
In addition to this I been blessed with a lot of beautiful memories, both alone and together with my wonderful friends.
Like the time in Åre last winter when we visited Ristafallet. Below a wild waterfall and strong river we were lucky to find a small, calm bay where I could sit and observe the forces of nature around me.
Or the first time the ice came on the lake. Just a thin layer, easily cracked by a foot. Every step made a magical sound in the otherwise quiet forest.
The cold has also taught me to be more comfortable being uncomfortable. It has taught me that if I remain calm I can handle anything. With this in mind it helped me to let go of anger, anxiety and insecurity.
So was I also less sick during the year?
Well, I can’t really answer that since I don’t know how much I would have been sick otherwise. What I can say is that I have been sick two times since I started this. Once in March and once in September. Comparing to the last couple of years I think that is quite normal for me. So even though I wasn’t immune to sickness the cold make me feel much more alive and makes me longing for the winter. I will definitely continue.