In the current society we live in, there’s always a new “challenge” that’s coming out. Whether it is someone trying to eat very poisonous laundry detergent or attempting to pick up a piece of paper off the floor while balancing on one leg, we’ve all seen or done them. Normally I’m not one to jump on the bandwagon and video myself doing a challenge; I prefer to stand back and watch others do them, typically laugh at how some people react, and then move along. Recently I came across one that peaked my interest so much that I actually did it and plan on doing again.

About a week or so ago I was scrolling through Facebook videos at 1am because I couldn’t sleep. I could tell I was getting pretty deep into the depths of the internet when I started to become immune to the “Tag your friend and say nothing videos”. Then out of nowhere I came across a video that BuzzFeed posted and was immediately intrigued. The title of this video was: “Is Eating An Orange in the Shower the Best Thing Ever?”. The video consisted of BuzzFeed employees taking on a challenge where you eat a cold orange in the shower.

After watching the video I started to wonder where BuzzFeed got the idea, so I did some research. It turns out that it all started on the site where all the strangest information crawls out from the depths of the internet into the viewing spotlight: Reddit. After much more research I started noticing that people were eating oranges in the shower because it gave them a satisfying sensation that made them happier and less stressed. I audibly laughed to myself because only would someone with a degree in Psychology want to know more, not because it’s a fad but because it’s what we in the mental health community call “self-care”.

Self-Care acts are actions we do to make ourselves happy. It can be anything from yoga (my personal favorite) to buying that Kat Von D lipstick you’ve been having your eye on. It’s something that should be done regularly and is not cookie cutter to everyone. When I worked with addicts, my one patient would go and buy Tide Laundry detergent as a self-care act because she’d look forward to going to bed every night smelling it. It doesn’t have to be a big event or act; it can be something as small as sitting in the sun on a nice day. Taking time out of your day for a little you moment.

I’m personally a big advocate for self-care acts. Most of all, self-care acts help alleviate many mental illness symptoms. Can you say goodbye to multiple panic attacks a day and hello to more clear thinking? It’s helpful to note here that self-care will not make mental-illness symptoms disappear. They are not magical in the way that they make things non-existent; however they are magical in the way where you’ll most likely notice a decrease in the symptoms intensity or regularity. Since I’m all about finding new ways to battle mental-illness and research projects, I decided that because I love myself I’ll eat an orange in the shower.

The next day, I went out and bought my oranges. In the video it talks about taking a hot shower with cold oranges, so I put them in the fridge and decided to wait until night time to do the experiment. I have to admit, I’m all about taking things into the shower to make life convenient (like tea for example), but it was a little weird bringing a giant orange in there with me. After I got in, I started to peel the orange and immediately my bathroom smelled of wonderful citrus. While in the shower, you don’t need to worry about the orange juice running everywhere or getting sticky. I personally decided that (for the sake of the experiment, of course) I would eat the orange like I would an apple. It was surprisingly a very liberating and carnal experience. Throughout the entire shower I was wondering how I’ve showered my whole life without eating an orange in it. After finishing my orange and doing my normal shower routine, I got out and sat down to think. I know that my mood was heightened and obviously I enjoyed my shower orange, but why?

After much thought, I think I’ve found out why everyone show try a shower orange at least once and have some suggestions on how to get the best results.

I believe doing it in the morning would be ideal. If anyone is into aromatherapy, you know that citrus essential oils are known to boost mood, concentration, alleviate stress, and boost energy. I believe the same thing happens when you peel the orange. The smell of citrus basically takes over your shower and envelopes you in a delightful scent, which is ideal for first thing in the morning grogginess. I also believe not caring about the messiness plays a vital role in the whole process. It’s the act of doing something you know is so unconventional, but at the same time is rewarding. Almost like that mini adrenaline rush you get when you eat that chocolate cake you’ve been eyeing up, despite you being on a diet.

All in all, I enjoyed the experience of doing this challenge and out of it got another self-care act in my arsenal. If anyone else tries this challenge, let me know how it went for you and what your experience was like!