It’s warm outside today here in Idaho. Last week it dipped down to -20˚F, and that started to get a bit chilly, but you know what? No cold feet. Today it’s 27˚F. 🙂 Like I said–it’s warm.
During the winter months it’s hard for a lot of people to consistently keep their feet warm. Growing up, I almost always had cold feet. Unless it was actually hot (like in the 80s–90s), I wore my socks to bed. I wore my socks to bed for probably the first seven years of our marriage–which my wife didn’t particularly like (she grew up in southern California where everybody pretty much wears swimwear all day long–just kidding, but seriously).
I remember I used to get a giant mixing bowl filled with as hot of water as I could stand, put a towel down, and soak my feet till they finally warmed up. Maybe this was wasn’t normal . . . but that’s what I did. And here’s the thing, it didn’t fix the problem.
I tried going barefoot more. I tried massage. I tried exercise.
Now though, I can sleep without socks, which is a first in my life. Some of this I learned from The Iceman, Wim Hof. Some I learned on my own.
What you’ll need:
—A large mixing bowl (or something similar)
Alright. Super simple. Fill up your mixing bowl with cold water. Make it as cold as possible. We want it to be below 50˚ F. If you can get it colder, awesome. Do it. This is where the ice comes in. Put the ice in the water; stir it around if you want it to cool off faster.
Put your timer on for about eight minutes.
Now, put your feet in the water.
I know, sounds crazy.
But it works.
What’s going to happen is your feet are probably going to start to hurt after a few seconds, maybe even after a minute or two, depending on how cold it is and how sensitive your feet are. That’s okay. Just breathe. Breathe deeply and slowly. Your heart rate is going to jump up. You might even have a sensation of panic.
But here’s the thing:
You are in control.
You are in control.
Once you take control of your breathing, your heart will slow a bit, but will still be pumping harder and faster, trying to warm up your cold feet. That’s what we want. There’s a ton of science behind this. But basically, and I think this is a fair way of putting it, the cold water is forcing your body to strengthen your blood vessels in your feet. It’s also almost like a mini cardio session–but probably even better for you.
Not only is it like a cardio session, but if you keep breathing slowly and deeply, and focus on what you’re doing, it’s like an eight minute meditation.
Once your timer beeps, come on out. Somewhere between thirty seconds and a minute, you’ll most likely start feeling a ton of heat in your feet. It feels great.
Do this a few times, and you’ll start noticing your resistance to cold heightening.
Now, after you’ve been doing the cold therapy there’s one more thing that you want to do to warm up those toes.
Focus on your feet while you breath.
I know how that sounds–trust me, I do.
But here’s the thing, your mind is powerful. You are powerful.
The technique is simple. Breathe slow and deep and on each inhalation, put your awareness in your feet. I’ve tried both feet or a single foot. Both works fine for me. So don’t just picture your feet. Feel your feet while you breathe.
You’ll probably need a place where you won’t be distracted if you’re not used to meditation, and that’s fine. Once you do it, and if you keep doing it, you’ll become faster and better at it.
Here’s another cool thing–it doesn’t just work for warming up your feet. It works to alleviate headaches, cramps, aches, pains, etc. I even showed my five-year-old how to do it for his headache, and my six-year-old to do it for her neck ache, and do you know what? It worked.