Was.. was that a dad joke:)?
Ok johnram and easystreet, you make the shower sound potentially helpful and even fun. Maybe I'll try. Actually I'm used to and don't mind cold. May as well give it a try for therapeutic purposes, though in the past I've associated it more with rewarding physical activities, fun or admiring beautiful nature.
There's this event, a swimming "competition" in winter, depending on the water it can be between 4 - 12 °C. It's not so much about how fast you swim but to participate and have fun. I did participate 2 or 3 times a long time ago and I did like it (after 2 minutes the skin is anesthesised and you just need to take care of even breathing and gradual muscle work so they don't cramp up), then you get out of the water and people are standing shivering in their winter coats while you just casually climb out of the water in your bikini and don't even feel the cold anymore and the only small pain is the naked feet walking on concrete. It's quite a rush and feels good. Then properly warm up of course. We went to "train" for it a few times before that, though the only thing I managed to train was not hesitating before jumping in (hesitating makes the impact worse). I've been known to spontaneously jump into ice cold mountain lakes while hiking and swim around for 3 or 4 minutes. Very refreshing and warming up quickly if you get moving afterwards straight away. I used to like doing stuff like that just for the hell of it, I used to like pushing my physical boundaries, but somewhere along the way I lost the spark.
You know what I have no excuse. There's a beautiful lake with clean waters 20 min walk from here, with facilities to take a (reasonably warm) shower afterwards and a sauna, all of it not very classy but convenient enough, and it doesn't cost much. The water is currently at 10°C, which is enough for the adrenaline rush. If I take the non bumpy backpack I can slow jog back home to warm up.
I think I'm too weak to regularly do the shower thing right now, because it's so easy to just turn the water to warm again. But if I go down to the lake I can't just walk up again without having done it. And once I'm in I can't just go straight out again, it'll have to be a couple of minutes. Maybe doing this once today will kickstart my day into being just a bit different than the other sad days.
Will report back if the bottom line was more anxiety or more benefit.