Self-care explored: Cold-water sea swimming

Last week I introduced the idea of hosting a series of guest articles, based around the importance of self-care and what people do to manage stress levels, stay motivated and ultimately be happy.  I’ve had interest from far and wide – from people wanting to share their own self-care hobbies, adventures and daily routines.  The response has been incredible!

And so it gives me great pleasure to introduce this week’s guest author, Louisa Nye – who tells her own story of cold-water sea swimming and the community of like-minded ladies, who have all adopted the sea as part of their own self-care routines…

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My name is Louisa Nye and I am a cold-water sea swimmer.

I live in Whitstable, am an Executive PA, wife, mum and have recently established getsalty in Whitstable (take a look on Instagram @getsalty_whitstable and Facebook @getsaltywhitstable).

By sharing our salty dips on social media, getsalty hopes to inspire others to give it a go and enjoy the benefits as much as we do.

Sea swimming throughout the year was something I had wanted to do for a very long time but didn’t feel ‘brave’ enough to give it a go.

After a chat in the pub last year, with my very good friend Helen Leah, we realised we were both mad enough to give it a go.  Our first dip was on 1st January 2020 and wow, did we laugh and have NOT looked back!  Since then, I keep asking myself, how can something make you feel so calm, ‘oh so buzzy’ and provide a complete mental reset for the day ahead (once you have warmed up again!).  I am still not sure I know the answer to that, but I know it feels good and that I am officially addicted!

Get-Salty-Logo

It became apparent quite quickly that living by the sea brings many like-minded people together and through snatched conversations, we now have an amazing group of ladies who dip together. These ladies are incredibly different in many ways but brought together by an addiction to getting back in the sea, day after day!

The getsalty crew is ever growing, and the original bunch have inspired me since the start of 2020. Helen, Stacey, Anna, Dawn, Jess, Sarah and Claire you are amazing! One thing we all have in common is the utter astonishment about how incredible you feel (mentally and physically) after the dip and we all want to come back for more. It is addictive! See what they have to say about what sea-swimming means to them… it is INSPIRING!

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Helen: ‘Sea swimming for me was the positive affirmation that I can be friends with the sea after years of not being able to swim and feeling terrified of it.

The calmness it brings as you focus on your breath and listening to the inner voice of yourself, allows you to exit with a sense of accomplishment and confidence at handling what the day might throw at you.’

Anna: ‘Sea swimming has made me realise how important self-care is. If you can take a cold dip in a lake, pool or in the sea I would completely make this a priority in your life. It has SO many physical and mental health benefits. 

If you can submerge yourself in the sea, you can achieve anything and with that comes a quiet confidence to believe in yourself. Sea swimming has totally changed my outlook on life and I can’t imagine life without it now. 

I am incredibly grateful for the friendships that have grown from the get salty crew, the support, love and kindness has been truly grounding and I can’t wait for my next swim’

Claire: ‘There is that moment when you doubt yourself to do it, those are the times you need it the most; the feeling it gives you afterwards makes you feel like you can tackle anything’

Dawn: ‘Why do i love sea swimming? I’ve been trying to figure it out myself. 

All I know is it makes me feel strong, brave like I can achieve anything that day (and sometimes I do!) when I’m in there for the first few minutes , I switch off. I breathe. My mind clears.

That buzz I got from the cold water back in March is addictive, it leaves me smiling all day. Like I have a secret that no-one knows… well, they do now! I prefer it in the winter- summer swimming is great too but winter swimming is the best as it challenges me. It pushes me to just ‘get in‘. Face it head on.

I also have met an amazing group of like-minded, strong wonderful women. We have all connected through the water.

I know that whatever happens in my life I know that they will always be there and so will the sea.’

Sarah: Why I swim:  ‘I grew up in Cornwall and am used to being in the water all year round.  Although I carried on water sports such as SUP and surfing when I left in the late 90’s I wasn’t getting in the sea enough and my heart and mind were craving vitamin sea.  I did a few solo dips and posted on social media.  My old work friend saw my posts and invited me to join a few of her friends in Whitstable back in Feb 2020.

I didn’t hesitate and joined in the very next meet.  There’s something particularly stoic and brave about sea swimming/dipping in the cold dark winter months.  I suffer with SAD and the cold water just makes you feel alive.  Your skin buzzes while submerged and your energy buzzes all day.  It’s a very mindful and grounding experience.  The friendships and swimming sisterhood is a real bonus.  Posting on social media has inspired others to join or try too.  It’s very addictive, in the best kind of way.

It improved my mental health during winter and I know it has been the beating heart of many of the getsalty crew during lockdown.  My soul has always been connected to the sea….now I make sure I connect my body to it as often as I can’

The Getsalty crew
The Getsalty crew
The ladies can't wait to get back to the days of swimming together once again.
Get-Salty-Sea

If you would like to share your self-care story with us, then please get in touch – either from our website contact form here or by emailing matt@loftustraining.com

We would love to hear how you prioritise your own mental health and wellbeing, reduce stress levels and keep yourself happy 🙂

Look after yourselves and stay safe.

– Matt

Loftus Training Solutions – Specialists in Mental Health First Aid training, accredited by MHFA England.

Loftus Training Solutions was founded by Matt Loftus – an experienced Mental Health Trainer, Consultant and Public Speaker.  Matt is passionate about sharing knowledge with others and supporting those experiencing poor mental health.  He currently volunteers as a crisis volunteer for Shout85258; helping others experiencing anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation.

For more information on any of our training courses, please click here

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