After 2020's pandemic and living through these incredibly dark times, taking the time to look after our mental health has never been so important. For many, the constant lockdowns brought on feelings of isolation and loneliness and had a profound effect on the nations mental health. With limited access to the outside world, feeling cut off from friends and family, and a deep sense of panic across the country, all of us hoped the future - and 2021 would bring better things. Although we kicked off the year in a long lockdown, the gradual lifting of rules and adapting to the 'new' normal this year means we are now able to have the freedom again to reconnect with the things that bring us joy, socialise with our loved ones or travel (within the limits of course!)
With the the UK being a small island, we are lucky enough to have over 400 miles of coastline, and an array of incredible beaches up and down the country, and great access to them - with most people in the UK being able to reach a beach within only an hour and a half! Throughout the pandemic, for those lucky enough to have a beach in their local area, beaches became more packed out - and its no suprise this was the case, as an escape the monotonous day to day lockdown life. And as the ocean is long renowned for being a great healer and place that aids relaxation, happiness and tranquillity, its no wonder so many sought solace in it over the pandemic. But what is it about the sea that is so good for the mind and soul?
1# The colour blue is aids feelings of calmness
Blue is associated with feelings of calmness, peace and serenity as well as boosting our creative drive.
2# The sea puts us into a meditative state
Experts have said staring at the Ocean actually changes our brain waves frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state. The ebbing and flowing sounds of the tides are a way of destimulating our brains. These noises combined with the visuals activate the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing us down, allowing us to relax whilst feeling more engaged. The sea has a truly magical, meditative quality, whether it's crashing or still, you are swimming in it or stood on the shoreline, you can fully immerse yourself in the feel, the sound, power of the ocean and truly let go in the moment, just as meditation teaches us to.
3# The feel good sea breeze scent
The fresh salty air is an instant mood booster! Ever inhale the scent a the beach and instantly feel rejuvenated? The negative ions in the air contribute to a soothed stated and are believed to help alleviate depression. To add to this, the increased level of vitamin D soaks into our skin making us feel good.
4# It can help aid sleep
Although there is no guarantee that spending time by the sea will definitely lead to a good nights sleep, sea air can be good for sleep due to the air being generally cleaner and fresher, with higher levels of oxygen which can improve sleep.
5# Helps us to look at the bigger picture
The vastness of the ocean offers great perspective, and acts a reminder of how small we are within the universe, allowing us to take a step back from the worries and minute details we get so caught up on in our daily lives. Being by the sea can give us a chance to pause, regroup and reassess ourselves from within.
6# Reconnect with nature
Slowing down and taking a break from the frantic fast-paced digital world can help us to become more mindful and be fully present in the moment. Many of us spend hours staring at screens and blue light in unnatural environments, and the sea is a wonderful remedy to this 'screen fatigue'. As we watch the waves and look at the large blue space, our breathing shifts and our attention is drawn out from within ourselves and back to the outside space, giving us a chance to push the reset button on our minds whilst allowing us to reconnect with nature and the beauty of our planet.
This blog is for educational purposes only. If you do feel your mental health declining or are in a mental health crisis contact one of these helplines.