You’re an idiot.
You are amazing.
Isn’t it dangerous?
Thats just a few of the things that I hear all the time when I tell people that I like to swim in cold water.
In terms of being “mental”… What does that even mean? Have I struggled with Post-Natal Depression? yes, twice. Have I struggled with other depression? Yes, on occasion. Have I spent time in a psychiatric hospital because of it? yup. I think many people might tick one of those boxes. And of the mothers reading this there will be some two box tickers for sure. There seems to be a lot of interest recently in the mental health benefits of cold water swimming. The National press are covering it, with a piece in The Guardian last month – read it here, The Guardian
So far I have been lucky enough to write two articles about what swimming means to me – and to my mental health. I’ve shared them below.
I’ve also written about how swimming helps me be a better parent and my battle with Post-Natal Depression for The Motherload, a supportive and non-judgemental group of mummies – here it is – Swimming Saved Me – What Will Save You?
Depression vs cold water
In a battle. Who would win? I can’t speak for everyone but for me – cold water
After the intial shock and once my breathing steadies. My mind clears. My skin tingles and everything just. Leaves. All the worry and the fear vanishes. I can’t honestly think of a practise more mindful. Because I have to be fully present in the moment, and as a busy working mother thats very very hard unless I am in the water. I have to listen to and feel my body. When my little finger starts to contract and I start to feel cold. Time to get out.
But until then. Just me and the water… and my breathing.
I’m definitely crazy about swimming.
Maybe a little crazy in other ways too.
Truth is. I’m absolutely fine with that.