“My life turned upside down when I lost my husband to suicide. My children were five and nine when we lost him. We had a very difficult few years to say the least… I was so busy looking after my children, making sure that they were going to come out of this in the best way possible, that I had completely stopped taking care of myself and my own mental health. That lead me to 2019, when I was suffering very badly from stress and anxiety. I began to look for ways to try and heal myself. I tried exercise, I tried meditation and yoga but nothing really seemed to make a significant difference in how I felt. One day, I was looking out to the ocean, I had heard about the great healing of the sea, so I thought I would give it a go. The following morning I went in and I came out as a totally different person. The whole experience, the cold water and the waves gave me no time to think about anything else but to be present. I felt like I had left all my troubles on the shoreline that morning. It was truly a healing experience from day one. I wanted to grab onto this feeling, but I knew that life gets better through big commitments so I thought, I’d invite some people to swim with me and that would ensure that I wouldn’t skip any days. I put up a post on Instagram that night and the next morning there was one woman who’s husband saw my post and encouraged her to swim with me – and from then on it just grew and grew every day. The biggest number of people were about 1400 one August morning. My IG page took off as well and I found a new purpose in promoting the benefits of sea swimming, the importance of mental health awareness, community and being kind and looking out for one and another. The word began spreading from this tribe of like-minded sea swimmers lifting each other’s moods and supporting each other every morning. The transformation that I gained from this community was bigger than anyone will ever know. Nobody escapes this life without walking a few steps in pain, but we can help each other make the walk a little easier by giving a little company. Let it be a phone call, a walk in the forest or dipping in the sea together.”
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