Cold Water Swimming: The Benefits & Falling In Love With January - by Lauren Evans

Cold Water Swimming: The Benefits & Falling In Love With January - by Lauren Evans

The inspiring (and totally magical) Lauren Evans from Tideline Surf has contributed this magical journal entry about her love of cold water swimming. We would suggest making yourself a cuppa and taking a read about her desire to connect with the sea daily.

"It’s January. The weather is alternating between ice cold temperatures and snowfall (my personal favourite), force-gale winds and torrential rain. Why am I choosing to plunge myself into the sea every day this month you ask? Well, let me explain!

Despite January being the month most of us dread year after year, dragging myself out of my warm cosy house and hundreds of layers may seem like a reason to hate it even more, but it’s been quite the contrary. Forcing myself outside, exposing myself to the elements and stepping into ice-cold waters in nothing but a swimsuit is the exact reason I’ve fallen for it.

Not only is cold water swimming proven to increase immunity, circulation, decrease stress, pain, and inflammation, it is linked to improving mental resilience. Each day I’m put outside of my comfort zone, and each day I become more comfortable with the uncomfortable. I’m unable to think about anything but the moment at hand - a welcome ‘time out’ from the constant stream of thoughts.

Conquering the initial shock of cold water is a game-changer that helps us to build our mental resilience. It’s not just a dip; it’s a mental workout that prepares us for the challenges life constantly throws our way.


January’s always been a time of self-reflection. A time to evaluate areas of your life;

to note what’s working and what’s not, what’s going well and what could be better. Whilst I love to set new goals and start the New Year off on the right foot, I'm often met with feelings of overwhelm, uncertainty, and judgement. The usual thoughts creep in telling me I’m not doing enough, not where I should be, and not doing as well as everyone else (the joys of comparison).

This year however, committing to my daily cold-water swim has given me the gift of perspective. There’s something quite primal about plunging yourself into the sea every day that reminds you you’re apart of something bigger, and how insignificant our internal critic really is.

Did I mention the post-swim high? A mixture of exercise and cold-water exposure creates dopamine, our bodies ‘feel good hormone’. For me, this is the biggest factor that draws me back to cold water time after time. It’s like catching the perfect wave - exhilarating and completely addictive. Swimming with a friend or in a group only heightens this experience. It also builds my motivation on the days I need it most and diverts my focus away from the cold with conversation.

It’s crazy to me that once upon a time I would’ve done anything to escape the cold, especially at this time of year. Now, I’m not sure I could live without it? Don’t get me wrong, I’d never turn down a trip to warmer climates and I’ll always be a summer girl, but cold-water swimming has allowed me to shift my mindset a little. Suddenly winter doesn’t seem so bad, the weather doesn’t dictate my mood as much, and I’m finding light in the darker days.

The more I swim, the less I dread winter. The more I swim, the less I worry about things outside of my control. The more I swim, the more connected I am, to people, nature, and myself. The more I swim, the more I believe in myself and the more ‘I cant’s’ get replaced with ‘I can’s’. For these reasons, I’m not ready to let go of cold water anytime soon.


If you would like to know more about Lauren please take a look at her website or jump on to Instagram to follow her ocean journey. 

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