I wake up and stare at my phone. The clock reads 6am. I check my phone for email or text messages, nothing important comes up. I roll out of bed and trot up the stairs. I find my headphones and foam roller. I proceed to search through my phone for my guided meditation app. I finally find the app, Headspace. I sit cross legged, using my foam roller as a cushion. The foam roller elevates my hips and allows me to sit with good posture. To the naked eye, I sit there cross legged for the next twenty minutes. Throughout the twenty minutes, I will stretch, fidget, and even foam roll. I am not one to sit still. But, the person doesn't see what my mind is doing. I am focused on the breath and only the breath. Thoughts and feelings are constantly coming and going. The only thing that is constant is the breath, the inhale and the exhale. I finish my meditation, head over to the kitchen and make coffee.  As I go through my stretches, which target my hips and upper back, I sip on my coffee listening to a podcast. I finish my stretches and head downstairs to take a shower.
     Now, up until my shower, my morning routine is very comfortable for me. At first, it was challenging and I had to force myself to do it. But overtime, I grew accustomed to it and it began to love it. My days seemed more productive and my smile much bigger. I am convinced that a morning routine can make the difference in a lazy day versus a productive day. Nevertheless, I am still not comfortable with everything I do in the morning. I am still dealing with certain morning rituals that are not a habit yet. For example, I love to journal, but some mornings I run out of time or I just forget to do it. The cold shower is another morning ritual that I am still working on. I still have to convince myself every morning to jump into the cold water. I know the benefits of a cold shower, they are too good to be true. Cold showers (cryotherapy) have been shown to increase energy, focus, productivity, burn fat and even make you happier.  Even though, I know all of this information, I still have to muster up the courage each morning to jump into the frozen tundra. 
   So the question is,  what makes me go into the shower and brave the cold water? Well, it is really simple. I do it because it makes me feel better. Everytime I go in the shower, I step out a happier person. This is the same reason why I eat healthy, this is why I exercise daily. I do these things because I know they are going to make me happier. I know they are going to make me the best version of myself.  I challenge you to do the same thing. Stop worrying about how difficult or uncomfortable it will be. When that moment arrives, deal with it then. As humans, we conjure up thoughts and feelings that may never come true. We fear the unknown, and make a habit of doing the thing that feels easy. I urge you to step outside your  comfort zone and to do something you didn't think was possible. It could be as simple as saying hi to the first stranger you see, going out to dance on a Friday night or even stepping into a cold shower.  Get out in the world and test yourself. Trust me, you will be surprised by what you are capable of. 

Cold Shower Checklist
- Start out at 30 seconds. Work up to 5 mins
Benefits ( increases norepinephrine)
-fat loss
-improved focus
-improved mood
-reduced inflammation

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