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Mental Health Wellness and Starting Up a Small Business

Setting up our small business has come with its vast array of challenges in both personal and professional capacities. Over the past few months we have both been dealing with grief, in terms of losing a loved one, as well as grieving full time employment and with that, the safety and security of a regular paid salary. We have both worked hard to adjust with the new ways of working for ourselves and dealing with the highs and lows that come with it. Despite the challenges, this hasn't stopped us from pursuing our dreams and goals and turning our love of baking into something that can be shared and enjoyed by others. We came to realise though, that we also needed to look after our mental health and to do something that allows us some balance and grounding. Currently we both meditate and take regular walks in nature, but we felt we needed something else, but what else could we do? Cue open water swimming....

Open water swimming is something I have wanted to for a while but I readily came up with excuses and irrational fears as to why I couldn't do it... don't have a wetsuit, I don't like the cold, I'm embarrassed, I'm scared and the list goes on. So what changed? Well, basically my mindset changed and I told my ego and self-doubt to go and do one, and decided that I wasn't going to let it stop me from having a new experience!

Sam also jumped on board with the swimming idea too and despite her own reservations and self-doubt, before we knew it we were both encountering our first dip into the cold North Sea! The first foray into the water lasted five minutes, included lots of swearing at the shock of coldness, teeth chattering and shivering. Despite it being the summer months, it was bloody cold (and that's putting it politely!), but that did not stop us from repeating the process. I couldn't believe how great I felt after that first five minutes, I felt invigorated, liberated and empowered for the rest of the day. The feeling I got from that five minute dip was the catalyst to get me back in the water the next day and the day after and so on...

At present we begin our day with a 6:30am open water swim every day, (weather permitting and ensuring it's safe) and have joined some local Facebook groups such as, Seaham Seaside Swimmers and Wild Sea Women who offer support, guidance and thoughtful insights around open water swimming. We have also researched and looked at advice and guidance on keeping yourself safe and the health benefits around outdoor swimming. So if you're considering taking the plunge or just want to know more information, here's a link to a website we found beneficial to us

Hope you found today's blog insightful and if you have any comments or experiences you'd like to share, then please leave a comment as we'd love to hear them.

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Honestly it's the best thing ever, i miss it on the days i can't go and have a longing to be in the water - it feels like home 😍

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