Challenge: Support 13 people to take on challenges (13 of 13)
Date: November 18, 2014.
My friend Peggy is always up to neat things whether it be dancing in a gum-booting feminist performance protest group or writing funky profiles for kittens so they get adopted among others. She has decided to take on an environmental challenge this time – committing to the 5 minute shower. Read below about what she’s up to and how you can do it.
What inspired this challenge?
My wonderful friend Lee’s birthday, for which his (even more wonderful) wife Melanie put together a series of environmental challenges that folks in Lee’s life could take on for a month, as a 30th birthday gift to him. The 5 minute shower challenge caught my eye right away because I have been feeling like I zone out in the shower and waste a lot of water lately. I rejected it at first because it struck me as too hard – I thought I would do one of the other challenges instead – but then I thought of you [Erin] and how you really are pushing yourself with your Chapter 30 challenges, and how you’ve always been such a good motivator for me to get outside of my comfort zone, so I thought I’d take on the Erin spirit and go for it.
[Editor’s note: Thanks Peggy! Let the inspiration spread….I’m keen to take on what you’re doing]
How it’s been going?
Not super great! I went with the timer method rather than the alarm method – so instead of setting an alarm to go off at 5 minutes, I’ve just been setting a stopwatch and then checking my time once I get out of the shower. My best time so far (a week in) is 6 minutes 20 seconds. I haven’t hit 5 minutes yet but I’m confident I’ll get there before the month is over! It’s very challenging to just get in the shower and focus up and just be really mindful of every second. But I think I was taking 15 minute showers before so this is progress.
How long do you plan to take it on?
One month! Hahaha. I mean once the month is up I’ll probably take a couple long luxurious showers (and shave my legs and armpits!) but then I hope to make the mindfulness a long term thing – I feel like trying for an average shower of 7 or 8 minutes is a good way to go. It’s certainly helping me to feel more awake in the morning and gets my brain going early.
Any advice to others?
Focus up! It seems hard to do five minutes only, especially if you have a shampoo & conditioner hair care routine, but really I don’t think anyone has more than five minutes’ worth of stuff to do in an average shower. We just tend to let our minds drift in the water. But it’s mean to the environment to be so wasteful!
If folks want to do the five minute shower challenge, I recommend timing your normal shower first to get an idea of what you need to shave off, then set incremental goals. And make sure you’re good and awake before you get in, so you can focus and not drift – maybe drink your coffee or do whatever it is you need to do in the morning to wake up first before you have a shower. But just being mindful is super important (and obviously widely applicable outside the shower, too).
[Editor’s note: Great challenge for all of us Peggy! Thanks for taking it on and sharing how we can too.]