Reflection: Wild Swimming – one way to improve your mental health!

Ewan Reflection

One of our Champions, Marion, is known for her love of wild swimming and here is something she has written to inspire you to take up something that can also help to support your recovery.

Wild Swimming and Me

Wild swimming, is really just getting in water outside in nature either sea, loch or river, wet suited  swim suited or birthday suited.
I consciously first tried this as a contribution to support me and my mental health nearly 3 years ago one day in mid November, with a pal from Nairn who swims every day in the sea there. I remember it was totally FREEEZING, but very exhilarating. I had it in my head I wanted to make this a regular, once a week thing and did for a couple if weeks but found the extremes of this plunge, left me totally exhausted for the rest  of the day. I concluded this was as a result of the shock to my system of the coldness of the water, never having done this before at this time of year.
In fact, at any time of the year, even in the dizzy heights of a Scottish summer, I would have found it a challenge to emerge myself in the North sea. So after my first go from Nairn beach in November I concluded the best thing for my system was to wait for the following summer and start then.
So I made a mental note in my virtual calendar. I was going to do this thing… somehow, without doing any reading or research about wild swimming, I trusted my instincts and knew it was for me and was going to be good… eventually!
So the following July I started with another friend who lived in Forres and had transport, as I did not, and was a bit more practised and confident than me at getting in the water and shedding her clothes in public and risking the exposure of flesh… for me at the time a lot of flesh!
That was now just over 2 years ago and since then my aim had been to dunk, per chance to swim, once a week and I have more or less managed it. It remains a challenge every time I set myself the challenge to get in the water but at least I know I can do it, it will definitely be cold but I will survive it and although prior to going in, particularly in winter, I question my sanity, after I have managed it, I NEVER regret having gone in as I get that total rush of endorphins, tingling all over, feeling very alive, strong and at one with nature.
Marion, MWH Champion
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