When I was a kid, I was the child victim of an extreme religious cult. I worked 60-80 hours a week. I was required to take a daily shower. It made sense because we were digging ditches and shoveling horse crap. About 8 years ago, I decided to stop taking a daily shower.
Do You Shower Daily?
We want to look good. We want others to think well of us. There’s nothing wrong with that, unless you’re making comparisons in order to try to keep up with the Joneses. But taking a shower every day doesn’t really make a difference.
Read my post: 7 Silly Questions About Hygiene And Simple Living.
I became a single dad in 2006. After a couple years of trying to keep up with parenting and my full-time position as a college prof, showering daily became a lesser concern. When I was younger, I had hair. It got greasy easily. Taking a shower every day kept it looking respectable. I haven’t had much hair for the last 20 years. I decided to stop taking a daily shower.
Why You Should Stop Taking A Daily Shower
- You’re not really dirty: Unless you’re doing hard labor, sweating all day, or working at a greasy spoon, you probably don’t get too dirty in a day. In America, we’ve become obsessed with being clean. Unless you stink, you probably only need a shower every two or three days. That’s the norm in many European countries.
- You’re killing good germs: Germs can help build immunities. By showering every day we make ourselves more susceptible to getting sick. Most of our hygiene products can damage our skin, too. Check out this article in the New York Times: The Great Unwashed.
- You’re wasting water: I don’t live in California, but eastern Washington is nearly as dry. It seems a bit selfish to shower every day while the food that feeds an entire nation is in jeopardy. An average shower takes about 20 gallons of water. I know many people who likely use a lot more. If you stop taking a daily shower, you could save as much as 100 gallons of water per week.
- You’re wasting time: By cutting back on how often I shower, I’ve created a few extra hours per week. My old morning ritual took about 30 minutes a day. Now I spend 15 minutes a couple times a week. I’m able to get more important things done, like writing this post to spread the word about the negative side of taking daily showers.
- Nobody really cares: So if you’re worried about your image, guess what? Nobody really cares. Unless you smell like a dirty dog, I doubt anybody even knows what days you take a shower and what days you don’t. Even if they do know, does it really matter? If they do care, they’re pretty superficial. The key is to stop caring what others’ think.
Since I stopped taking daily showers, no one has ever said a word. Sure, if I work hard in the yard all day, I’m going to take a shower. But for the everyday activities of an average professional in America, daily showering is obsessive. As long as you look and smell acceptable, you’re good to go.
Back in the cult, I was once forced to shower in cold water and use a stiff-bristled brush for skipping my daily shower. If they only knew then what I know now.
If you’d like to learn more about my childhood experiences, I’ve written a book about my years in the cult and dealing with the after-effects. It’s available in several formats at Amazon:
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