Feeling blue? A case of SAD? Winter weather causing depressive moods and low/short light days not helping? During bleaker months we’ll acknowledge it’s hard for sure. Waking in the dark, getting home in the dark and less than tropical mercury levels are enough to send anyone scurrying for the huddle of warm duvets. But wait, call us mad, there’s a simple cure!
Taking a dip in the brine might not sound like everyone’s cup of tea but the saline solution we call the sea is revitalising, refreshing and rejuvenating – even during the off season. So how to go about it?
There are a couple of ways to take a dip, some requiring more attire than others. Yes, it’s true, a bunch of hardy souls do paddle wild, without so much as a stitch of neoprene in sight. Wearing nothing but a swimming cozzie and stroking along the shoreline in winter isn’t so much about being nuts as being prepared. If you fancy a layer of goose fat can be applied prior but this is tad messy, even though the lard does form a protective barrier against the cold (those who sim ultar distance, such as the English Channel have been known to adopt this method). Alternatively mentally prepare yourself for immersion, adopt a positive state of mind and it’s amazing what you can achieve sans clothes.
Being honest the above isn’t the most tantalising of prospects and cold water can be a severe shock to system. Most who practice wild swimming at this time of year will wear some form of rubber. Triathlon suits, for instance, are good for fending off chill without restricting movement. Not necessarily as warm as a conventional 5/3mm surf wetty they’re designed with movement in mind. The wearer being active – swimming in this case – should wind up the furnace enough to stay warm enough with a 3/3mm.
Now don’t get us wrong, there’s a certain mind set needed for this kind of thing. You’ll really need to want it but the benefits far out way the downsides. And by all means, feel free to rubber up with thicker suits if required. Plus there’s something satisfying about participating in an activity your friends and family think bordering on loony.
ick your days also. It’s no good heading for a float on the coldest day of the year. Wait for a milder spell with calm winds and small swell. The last thing you need is Mother Nature’s wrath putting up (dangerous) barriers before you’ve even got to it! In some instances sheltered harbours and inlets might be more favourable, just watch out for strong tides. Know times of ebb and flow and where hazards are and don’t take unnecessary risks.
We’re not kidding though, swimming in the sea, if only for a brief time, will give you a zing money can’t buy. You’ll be buzzing and the stoke will permeate to other parts of your life – especially if you keep it up and dip regularly. Go on, take that leap, make a splash…
Pics courtesy of TaTi CoCo, depicted enjoying her own winter wild swim recently. Find out more: www.facebook.com/taticocoadventure/