Cold exposure is a form of practicing the art of letting go in tough situations. This is a transferable skill and it can help you to deal with the unknown, the isolation, the worries about health, the negative economic shift, a longing to visit friends and family (especially elders), and so much more during the lockdown. Why not use the cold winter and nature as a physical and mental health tool? It’s right outside your front door and it’s free.
A friend of mine was in the Canadian Military and one time he took a French Commando Course that was quite intense. Instead of taking daily showers in the winter, they made the soldiers go outside each morning to snowbathe. They were given a bar of soap, but no towel. They stripped down and then used the snow to get wet as it melted when it touched the skin. Next, they lathered their body with soap and again applied melted snow/water on their skin to wipe it off. Using their body heat and clothes, they warmed up naturally. He said over time he learned to like, and even prefer, snowbathing.
A couple of years ago a friend of mine started barefooting in the snow as it was natural for her. She shared with me that as a kid her Mother, a Polish immigrant, would make her go outside every day in the winter and wash her face with snow. She claimed that the cold snow would keep her face looking young.
By the time she was a teenager, she detested the practice, mostly because it was seen as something they did in the ‘old country’ and not acceptable in her world. It was, however, socially acceptable to use chemical face cleansers and hydration lotions on her face but her Mother wouldn’t let her.
Today, she is in her 60’s and has flawless skin, is very youthful-looking, and has started washing her face in the snow again. A true testament to her Mother’s theory and a good reason for all of us to consider doing this. The wisdom had been handed down orally from generation to generation when in fact it was improving vascular health. When her face got cold the blood vessels would vasoconstrict and tighten up. When her face warmed up again the blood vessels would vasodilate, flushing out toxins naturally and forcing her heart to work harder to get blood back to the area.
Come on, we are Canadians! Let’s show the world how we adapt to any situation. I encourage you to come up with other creative ways to work with the cold and help get us through this national crisis together with Mother Nature to guide us. Tag #lockdownbiohacks #snowbathing Tag me on Instagram @caminosue and FB Sue Regan Kenney
Keep being cool!
Soul to sole,