Last year, quite spontaneously, I embarked on 100 consecutive days of wild swimming after reading an inspiring article about Beth Francis and her battle with a debilitating migraine.
Like many others who struggle with their mental health, I occasionally experience periods of uncharacteristic dark moods, or as Winston Churchill called it, his ‘Black Dog’
I was determined to say goodbye to my ‘Little Devil’, and restore my mental well being. So, I followed Beth’s example and on 27th July 2019, I completed my self imposed challenge. From day 21 onwards I never received a visit from my ‘Little Devil’. I didn’t miss him.
In those 100 days, I found my own way of taking care of myself and restoring my sense of well being and I am not alone. Mind, as well as many other mental health charities and support agencies, advocate open water swimming as a way of restoring mental health.
Remember, before embarking on open water swimming for the first time you must always take the necessary safety precautions. A great source of information can be found at The Open Water Swimming Society.
In these times of lockdown and social distancing it is difficult to get to open water, so how about the next best thing……
“A cold shower every morning?”
“Are you crazy?” I hear you ask.
“No, but I may be if I don’t get in the shower”.
Taking a cold shower every morning has been proven to be beneficial in many ways, these include;
- Helping to build strong will power
- Improving emotional resilience
- Increasing alertness
- Building a stronger immune system
- Boosting mood
- Reducing pain
Most importantly, it feels great, and creates a sense of being alive.
A cold shower won’t make problems or challenges go away, but it will help to build the mental strength and resilience to face them.
Open water swimming and cold showers may not be your thing. Take time to find what helps you to care for yourself, and even when your head is telling you that you are too busy or have other priorities, just move from where you are, and before you know it, you’re in a better place.