Beat your lockdown blues with the big blue!

Beat your blues

Science has been very consistent over the last decade – being by water is good for your body and your mind.

I don’t know about you, but the first place I wanted to go when lockdown 2021 ended was the sea.  It represented all that I had missed – a vast, beautiful space that I made me feel so free.  At one point during lockdown it got so bad that I watched episodes of BBC’s Coast back to back (and you know what, it helped!).  

It got me thinking.  What is it about the sea that makes us feel so much better?  Well, interestingly there is a lot of scientific evidence that proximity to water – especially the sea – is associated with many positive measures of physical and mental wellbeing, from higher levels of vitamin D to better social relations.  

Personal Training Taunton

An extensive 2013 study on happiness in natural environments studied people’s sense of wellbeing in random environments – from shopping centres and other urban spots to natural places including green (parks, forests, fields) and blue spaces (sea, rivers, lakes etc).  The study worked by prompting 20,000 smartphone users to record their sense of wellbeing and their immediate environment at random intervals.  Coastal spaces were found to be the happiest places to be (by far).  

What if getting to the coast is too difficult for you right now e.g. distance or not wanting to being around people?  There is good news on that front.  Studies show that rivers, lakes, streams, even fountains have a positive effect on your wellbeing.  I can speak from experience.  I had lived near the coast and with access to stunning green spaces for my entire childhood and early adolesence.  Then I moved to London and felt so desperate to experience blue space that I swam in the Thames (I don’t recommend this as a long term plan!). 

Wellbeing action:  Try to get to the coast or another blue space twice on a weekly basis.  Studies show that doing this twice per week will have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. 

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