Taking the Plunge

Crisp, cold water hits my face as I dunk in the salty water.

My senses are temporarily numbed and my head clears.

I emerge from the waves seconds later, a gasp escaping my mouth and a smile spreading across my face immediately after.

girl running into ocean

Running into the water, November 2022

I’m swimming in November at the beach near my house, something I’ve been doing for my mental health monthly for a couple of years now.

This sort of year-round swimming has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, and for good reason. There’s something so refreshing, deeply meditative, and therapeutic about cold water dips in the winter that just clears your head and makes you feel absolutely amazing. 

I often enter the water stressed from the things going on in my life or hesitant (it is COLD in there, and there’s not really any getting around that), but once the waves hit me and I submerge, I feel awake, alive, and calm.

Once warm, dry, and out of the water is an even better feeling. The contentment of enjoying the heat in contrast to what you just experienced before is very comforting.

Though not necessarily for the faint of heart, if you can push yourself out of your comfort zone enough to try a cold water swim, you won’t regret it.

There’s a reason I’ve kept doing them over the years: the plunge has had a seriously positive impact on my mental health, especially in the dark and cold winter months.

Jumping in the water year-round makes you feel alive, strong, and unbeatable. So grab a friend (or two or three) for moral support, and go take a cold water plunge together before exam season hits!

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