A DIP IN THE WILD ATLANTIC -
I've been swimming in the sea on and off since April, but recently I’ve started going in on a regular basis. For the first time in my life, I’m hoping to do it, three or four times a week, all year round! -
I’ve been doing ok so far, but I was a bit lazy today, and the wind was howling outside by the time I packed my swimming things, put the lead on the dog and walked her down to this beautiful beach not far from my house. -
The more you do it, the easier it gets. The more often you expose yourself to the temperature of the water, the less of a shock it becomes to immerse yourself. I think I prefer swimming when the water is colder, because you feel all the more amazing when you come back out - like all the cells of your body are sparkling and brand new. I like it when it’s high tide and stormy too, and you can surrender your weight to the swell and the surge. -
I read only yesterday that - besides being good for your immune system, circulation, libido and metabolism - cold water swimming is currently being studied as a treatment for depression. Apparently, those on SNRI’s such as duloxetine may find it particularly beneficial - something to do with the stimulation of norepinephrine. I’d really like to research more about the Wim Hof method too. -
I’m enjoying just showing up, whatever the weather, and taking Nature as I find her. It’s easier to respect Nature when you cultivate a relationship with her. I feel very blessed to be living in the West of Ireland for all the different opportunities I have - woods, sea, mountains, meadows, bogs, rivers. I remember when I lived in the city centre of Glasgow, how starved I felt of these things and I think it adversely affected my mental health. When I came home to visit, I’d beg my Mum to drive me out to the countryside, and as I looked out the window, I was almost physically soaking all that wildness and beauty in through every pore, that it was altering my energy like an elixir. -
And it feels that way to be in the sea for a few minutes. Some kind of magical salty elixir.