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Cold water swimming Swimming and mental health

Swimming during a pandemic

COVID-19 put many things on hold, including swimming, with many people unable to access the water. So what’s it been like for wild swimmers? In this episode I speak to swimmers about their experiences, including those who put training on hold, and those who started wild swimming for the first time.

Many swimmers – including myself – speak of a new appreciation for swimming, and the release that being in the water gives them, plus a new appreciation for nature after being stuck indoors for so long.

Thank you to Eva, Lisa, Liz H, Liz R, Nadia and Russ for sharing their experiences for this episode.

Categories
Episodes Swimming and mental health

Lenka Janiurek: Watermarks

Lenka Janiurek joins me to discuss her memoir “Watermarks: Life, Death and Swimming”, and shares how water and swimming empowered her to write about her remarkable life.

We talk about how swimming has given Lenka strength, and has helped her when facing life’s challenges by providing a chance to be playful and gain a fresh perspective.

Lenka is a writer and sea swimmer based in Wales

This episode includes some references to domestic violence.

Categories
Cold water swimming Swimming and mental health

P B Hughes: Courage from cold water

P B Hughes is a cold water swimmer and poet from London. In this episode she describes the courage needed to attempt cold water swimming, and observes that this courage is something she’s been able to take strength in during difficult times. She also describes the parallels between cold water swimming and her creative work.

P B finishes the episode by sharing a couple of her poems.

Categories
Cold water swimming Swimming and mental health

Tamsin Calidas: I am an island

Tamsin Calidas followed her dream of moving from London to a remote Scottish island. Relocating and adjusting to island life wasn’t without its challenges, and Tamsin shares how sea swimming and finding a bond with nature has helped her overcome those difficult times, and has now started to inspire her creative work.

I love how Tamsin describes the transformative impact swimming had for her, from forcing her to face her fears, to motivating her to get up in the morning. It’s allowed her to connect with her physical self and find a sense of release, or a place of peace, while being held by the water.

Tamsin shares an extract from her book at the end of the episode, and listening to it is like being in the water, swimming alongside her.

Tamsin is a writer and photographer. Her memoir, “I Am An Island” explores the challenges we all face, and is available now.

“I Am An Island” by Tamsin Calidas is available now

All images © Tamsin Calidas

Categories
Cold water swimming Episodes Swimming and mental health

How swimming helps with the tough stuff

The podcast is back after a short break! In this episode I talk about why I needed to take a break, and how swimming has helped me with recent life challenges; from allowing me to focus on being in the moment, to making me more resilient.

For more information on the cold water research I mention in this episode, have a look at these articles:

BBC News: Can cold water swimming treat depression?

The Guardian: Could cold water swimming help treat depression?