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How To Get Motivated To Take A Shower.


PeacePilgrim

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Pardon, but this shower entry was delayed by storm prep for blizzard, especially in the face of my basement heat going out!!! Here at last is my report from last Tuesday....

Well, I did get a shower in the wee hours of Tuesday morning February 5, 2013, between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. Last shower was 9am Tuesday January 01-2013, so exactly 5 weeks between showers.

First of all, it did help to come here and post my intention in advance. I'm not sure whether it's simply putting the intention in writing, or a feeling of accountability, or a desire to come back here and post success--or a combination of all three. In any case, it seems to help.


I also turned up the heat a little (I have been keeping it low to save money), to create a warm environment for myself during my shower time.

Second of all, it was really torture to do it. I first tried around 11 o'clock late Monday, but unfortunately lay down to get enough energy to do it and accidentally fell asleep. When I woke up, I felt much worse than when I lay down. This frequently happens, I get this kind of sick feeling. Through sheer force of will, I kept myself upright and in motion and tried to wake up my brain and my body. I got into the shower, but realized that even stepping over the shallow lip into the shower stall caused pain. And initially, I felt very unstable, even with my quad cane and shower stool. I swayed off balance at least once. If it hadn't been for the stool, I would not have continued. I skipped my feet, figuring I can do those separately another day in a foot bath, but otherwise I did cover all surfaces eventually. It did get a little better as I went along. It is just shocking to me, how much I used to enjoy a shower, and how difficult it is now, with both the mental and physical barriers.

Speaking of which, I used the time in the shower with the negative ions flowing to further brainstorm about how to get both mental and physical help. I have been turned down on both fronts recently by specialists who would not accept the only insurance that I can get, which is Medicare. I am beginning to wonder if I should discontinue Medicare part B, and put the monthly savings towards seeing a specialist or two with money out of pocket. The OCD specialist I tried to see costs $187 for initial visit; the rheumatologist costs over $400. I'm not convinced that either can help, because I have tried both kind of specialist before, but I really need help of some kind.

In any case, shower is over, I'm clean for now, and I didn't injure myself in the shower stall. I'm very grateful to be able to come here with my report, and read about others who have the mental resistance to showering or bathing. It is great to know that I at least I'm not alone in this. The mental resistance has partly to do definitely with a "why bother" scenario. Many days I'm entirely alone, like today. And during the winter, I'm pretty much house bound. And the energy that is consumed for a shower is enormous, and could be going to other necessary things.

Final note, RE hives and showers/baths, mentioned somewhere above:
I have been getting a lot of hives lately, mainly on my extremities of arms and legs, resulting from excessive stress. The hives have actually been *worse* since my shower, because stress--over loss of heat in basement and upcoming blizzard--have been enormous (plus other things, too). Drives me to distraction.


My worst case of emotional hives ever was when my beloved grandmother died, and I had hives every single day for 5 straight months. I used to spend an hour a day sitting in very cold water in a bathtub to get some relief from the itching. The cold would help numb out the itch. Ironically, even after that long an immersion, the effect wouldn't last. As soon as the soothing cold wore off, it was back to scratching! So water immersion or shower may offer temporary relief, but it is not a cure, at least not in my case! I like to be careful to speak only for myself and my own experience.

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well done peace pilgrim, that must have been quite an ordeal for you but you did manage it. even though it may not feel like it now, the effort and strength you have used will have been worthwhile. i generally find that what ever it is i put off and regardless of the reasons behind putting it off, if i make the effort to do something that has been hard to pluck up courage for (or to find motivation to actually do) if I do achieve it, then I feel much, much better even it involved anxiety in getting there. For me, the challenge often is just doing a proper day's work once I get there. Its just like such an effort not to distract myself with less important things that are easier to do. The last week or so I managed to get much more stuck in and get a few more complicated things done. For that I am glad. Hopefully you will begin to feel a bit better ....also how are you faring in the blizzard?

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  • 1 month later...

This worked for me today:

1) Just go ahead and turn the shower on

2) Go back to what you were doing (probably obsessing over things on the internet)

3) You will hear the water in the distance and think I really should go in there before the hot water runs out

:bathbubbles: task complete.

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Smelling and feeling dirty usually motivates me to take a shower. Although I will say I am a lazy shower taker. Sometimes I rarely lather my entire body with soap. Just hit the few choice places where it is needed most.

Edited by davey118
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I am embarrassed to admit it, but shower, shave, ect is hard for me to do as well. I feel so down - what is the point? Who am i trying to impress? However, once it is done, i feel better.

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Last shower was Tuesday morning February 5, 2013, between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. So today's early morning shower from 12:45 midnight to 1:15am on Friday March 15, 2013 makes it 5 weeks and 3 days between showers. I actually didn't think it was quite that long.
Oh, well.

I have wanted a shower for days now, and finally got it done tonight. It is scary how much the physical part has become more difficult since I started posting on this thread. The one thing that would make it easier would be changing showerheads to one that includes a handheld shower sprayer to go along with my shower stool. But that involves a whole new complicated scenario of finding a new plumber, educating them about my OCD issues, and clearing space to have it done. I'm barely making it through each day with my basic to do list, and things keep going wrong in my life to increase that to do list.

Anyway, I am very glad that (1) I didn't even check in on this thread before taking my shower and (2) I did it in spite of feeling very tired after a day with a new electrician resolving some burnt out wires in a wall. I felt unsteady and unstable but it's done and at least I'm physically safe, and had a good chance to scrub my skin thoroughly, which always feels good.

The two reasons for wanting a shower were: wanting my skin to be able to breathe better and wanting to finish off a cold with a good drenching in a moisturized environment.

I don't feel that this is my best constructed post, but at least this post is done also. I don't want to give up on everything.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Peace

Sometimes when you are in a bad place, even the things that you used to enjoy end up being really hard to do.

Could you try and think of something else when you try and get into the shower.

Here is an example, perhaps work yourself into a certain mindset.

Think of it as a journey and learning something new (I know this sounds strange).

Instead of feeling like you are trapped in the shower, try and picture yourself as being somewhere else, like perhaps a waterfall, where the water is washing away all the bad feelings. Close your eyes and try and picture what would be around the waterfall.

Also to get back into enjoying it again, don't put too much emphasis on washing yourself, just get in the shower and let the water wash over you.

In time you may start to enjoy it again and then you can slowly start washing.

Trace

Trace ~ I just finished taking a shower - and enjoyed it almost the whole time - thanks for your post!

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Glad I did a Google search of why I don't want to take a shower! After reading alot of the posts I think I know why. I used to feel so great after taking a shower, all clean and shiny, ready to start the day! Now I'm 57, unemployed for the past two years, gained a lot of weight and I feel like crap and I still feel like crap after the shower. Now I just feel wet, fat and tired.

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  • 1 month later...

Last shower was Tuesday morning February 5, 2013, between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. So today's early morning shower from 12:45 midnight to 1:15am on Friday March 15, 2013 makes it 5 weeks and 3 days between showers. I actually didn't think it was quite that long.

I have wanted a shower for days now, and finally got it done tonight. It is scary how much the physical part has become more difficult since I started posting on this thread. The one thing that would make it easier would be changing showerheads to one that includes a handheld shower sprayer to go along with my shower stool. But that involves a whole new complicated scenario of finding a new plumber, educating them about my OCD issues, and clearing space to have it done. I'm barely making it through each day with my basic to do list, and things keep going wrong in my life to increase that to do list.

I am absolutely astonished how long it has been since my last shower: I showered tonight just past Sunday midnight until one am early Monday morning April 29th. My last shower was 12:45 midnight to 1:15am on Friday March 15, 2013, so six weeks and 3 days between showers, I think the longest yet.

I know I have been more scared of showering because of my physical disability; it's daunting when even stepping over the lip of the shower stall is difficult and fraught with danger! After my last shower, I did specifically look into adding a showerhead with an alternating handheld shower sprayer. But the one I got unfortunately can only be switched by reaching way up to my high showerhead everytime, which is definitely dangerous for me, so I have to find another solution. I do appreciate my shower stool and taking a quad cane into the shower with me is a necessity.

The good news is that I didn't hurt too much tonight, maybe partly because I had caved to taking 2 Aleve in the past 24 hours. I try not to take pain medication too often, because it could cause major damage to digestive system. And it didn't go too badly at all, wasn't as exhausted as I usually am afterwards, or depressed. Just kind of quiet and calm enough to for once appreciate being clean. PS Oh, and I had strong motivation for showering tonight, in that Monday the 29th I have plans to leave the house for the first time since December 26, 2012, to get caught up and squared away on my taxes, a big achievement for me in both regards. I wanted to have "spit and polish" to greet these challenges.

Still don't know what a long term solution looks like....

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I wasn't aware how common this was.. I have seemed to always feel unmotivated to take a shower. I think the longest I have went was one week. It was becoming unbearable after that point. The weird thing is that I can often push myself to cook, or clean, but the showering thing just doesn't seem to happen on a consistent basis..

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Trace said: "To (help yourself to) get back into enjoying it again, don't put too much emphasis on washing yourself, just get in the shower and let the water wash over you. In time you may start to enjoy it again and then you can slowly start washing." - - - I tried that, Trace, and it really helps. It's a very compassionate/ self-compassionate way of alleviating this kind of resistance. Thank you!

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I'm not sure if this suggestion will be helpful to you, PeacePilgrim, but this is what I do. I made a schedule and designated Tuesdays and Fridays as my shower days, and so far I have been holding to it. Prior to that I would go weeks without a shower sometimes (a whole month after Christmas). When I shower I try to make it more enjoyable by doing it by candle light (don't like to see my body in bright light) and playing native american flute music.

I too have mobility issues due to disability and showering takes up much of my strength. I try not to task myself with too many other things on those days and do it first thing when I get out of bed. It is getting easier to shower now. This schedule works for other things often neglected while depressed. I also set aside a day for laundry, taking out the garbage, grocery shopping, and 2 for exercise.

Hopefully you can get your shower set up so it is safer for you. Take care.

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I'm not sure if this suggestion will be helpful to you, PeacePilgrim, but this is what I do. I made a schedule and designated Tuesdays and Fridays as my shower days, and so far I have been holding to it. Prior to that I would go weeks without a shower sometimes (a whole month after Christmas). When I shower I try to make it more enjoyable by doing it by candle light (don't like to see my body in bright light) and playing native american flute music.

I too have mobility issues due to disability and showering takes up much of my strength. I try not to task myself with too many other things on those days and do it first thing when I get out of bed. It is getting easier to shower now. This schedule works for other things often neglected while depressed. I also set aside a day for laundry, taking out the garbage, grocery shopping, and 2 for exercise.

Hopefully you can get your shower set up so it is safer for you. Take care.

I really appreciated your post, ImHere4U! Thank you so much. It's good to hear from someone else with disability issues, Peace

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PeacePilgrim, that is a big achievement on your part. That you felt compelled to slower again, it perhaps suggests that if you were able to sort out the practical side of things, would you then find showering generally easier and instead of it being scary, perhaps it would be something to you can come to see as pleasure able?

I struggle to motivate myself to bath, I do it but rarely it feels like a test, my counsellor suggested that this (& some other things I struggle with) are because I am not really feeling good about myself. I was bullied alot and teased in my childhood so I don't value myself as I should. But I am working on that. Reminding myself that whilst my body may not be perfect & yeah I carry some extra lungs, in my own way I am still as beautiful as the next person & I deserve the same levels of care that anyone else does.

I try now to feel the lather on my skin. Feel the enjoyable sensation of its softness and that afterwards, the feeling of being cleansed is actually with the effort. Too long have I spent just seeing it as a chore. I remind myself that bathing is something to enjoy, rather than something you have to do out of necessarily. I feel I have managed to shift my viewpoint a bit.

I think that I get tired and drained by life and that is what leads to the lack of motivation to bath. But what I need to remember us that it actually makes you feel refreshed and more relaxed and eases the tensions of life (whatever they may be).

Anyway, I am very pleased that you accomplished this because it is a big thing for you. Maybe if you can sort the practicalities, it will really benefit you. I am very interested to hear the ideas do you have in the pipeline for Improving the accessibility of your shower?

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I wasn't aware how common this was.. I have seemed to always feel unmotivated to take a shower. I think the longest I have went was one week. It was becoming unbearable after that point. The weird thing is that I can often push myself to cook, or clean, but the showering thing just doesn't seem to happen on a consistent basis..

I discussed with my counsellor my reluctance to take a bath or to do other things such as go for walks or maybe even indulge in pleasurable hobbies. She felt it was a case that I was struggling with self-care. I hadn't seen it this way before and was quite shocked.

My assumption was that I am just lazy. But having read up on procrastination, I am more able to see that by not having a bath or taking exercise (both things that do make me feel better) I am not taking care of myself.

I am trying to learn that I am worthwhile, that I don't need to neglect myself. That the negative messages I received as a child don't have to govern me anymore.

I also try to see bathing as a l,ensure now not a chore. Same with taking walks. I am trying to amend my thought patterns so I see myself as valuable (to me) &'to enjoy my body and looking after it. Bit of a way to go yet but I am working on it.

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I once had a "redneck shower speaker system" that made taking a shower awesome !

I had a boombox on the back of the toilet which was right next to the bathtub but that wasn't really cutting it.

So I made an S hook out of a piece of coat hanger and put it on the curtain rod, put one 3"-4" speaker in a plastic grocery store bag, wired the speaker to an adapter that combines both channels, tied the top of the plastic bag and hung it on the S hook. The speaker wire was draped over the shower curtain, ran to and was plugged into a jack in the back of the boombox.

It was amazing what a huge difference it made to have the speaker actually inside of the shower !

There might also be small outdoor speakers available that could be mounted somehow inside the shower but I think they're sort of expensive.

If you want to radically enhance the quality of the experience of taking a shower and you don't care what it looks like, the "redneck solution" may be well worth the effort!

Now I'm motivated to go to RadioShack to see if they have some kind of wiring adapter to do that with my phone.

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you just be careful with water & electricity eh! I know what you mean though, when I lived alone i'd ramp up the music from my computer so I could hear it in the bath. but now I have a partner to consider, I cant do that! I love my music. when i'm doing housework I have music on. I have it on at work often too (through my headphones). it helps me concentrate and my bosses don't mind at all, in fact my manager does it too. I like having music going when i'm on the computer too. music is such a good motivator and also I find it blocks a lot of my negative thoughts too since the brain capacity I use for those is then concentrating instead on the music.

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This is the post that got me to join DF. It so completely encompassed my feelings about showers that I figured if anyone could understand, it would be these people.

Showers are bothersome to me. I like the way I feel afterwards, but doing it is so daunting and overwhelming. Especially washing my hair. I usually go 2-3 days without showering, and if I can smell myself then I know I need to do something. But it's just so hard to get up the motivation to do it. Doesn't help that I'm always tired, so I never feel like doing anything if I could be sleeping. I don't have any advice, but I'm glad someone else gets it.

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I can empathize with everyone here. I hate this morning ritual, and don't usually shower on the weekends.

But during those lucid moments - those decent "non-depressive" days, I always relate the shower scene to my broadest goals.

I've got an OK job, nothing special, but it pays the bills and I've managed a small amount of retirement for a few years away.

But I'm lonely. Depression, blah blah blah, ugly, blah blah blah - you've all heard it a million times before.

But I recently read a quote on another non-depression related forum. "Don't worry about being the best she's ever had... just be the best you've ever been."

And truly, how can I even start to be prepared for anything like that if I'm "three days old"? If I can't even muster the effort to keep myself clean, well then that trip to the store or movies or whatever has NO chance to bear fruit.

Am fighting this depression thing with everything I've got. I may ultimately succumb, but I've been up and out on occasion, and it's a great world out there.

So... how might a shower align with YOUR ultimate goals?

Best wishes to all.

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I've gotten to a point where I actually really enjoy showering, when I get around to it. But I still can't get around to it every day or even every other day. It's once every 3-4 days for me currently. I don't know why getting in there is so hard, because I really do enjoy it now once I'm there. It just seems like a huge task, and a lot of work, and I'd rather not be bothered when I could be sitting on the couch in front of the laptop with the TV on.

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RatBoy, you are such a special person! I really like you!

I have the take-a-shower thing too. I always enjoy it when I take one, but getting myself there is really hard sometimes. Hair washing goes with that too. Sigh.

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This is something I am going through at the moment. I have never in my 38 years had an issue taking a shower. It was ALWAYS the very first thing I did when I woke up. Now it is noon. I am not going days and days without. I never understood how people do that, no offense to them. Now I am going every other day at times. I feel so completely disgusted with myself. I love my showers, love feeling clean afterwards. So, what the heck is the problem?

Guess no job, no life, and no motivation will do that to you :(.

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