Updated: Nov 2, 2020
Three friends promoting the benefits of wild swimming for mental health are hoping to encourage 100 people to try it in aid of charity Mind UK.
Wild Swimming Cornwall was set up by three friends and freelance writers who grew up in Cornwall, for whom wild swimming has had a profound impact on their lives: Lydia Paleschi, Bethany Allen and Max Campbell.
Now they have launched a #selfcareswims campaign during October, to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week from October 4 to 11 and World Mental Health Day today (October 11).
The aim is to get 100 people to challenge themselves to try wild swimming and then donate £5 at www.gofundme.com/f/wild-swimming-cornwall039s-campaign-for-mind-namh, in the hope of raising £500 for mental health charity Mind.
Lydia, from Falmouth, said: "We'd like to ask you to help us by completing the challenge and having a bit of fun, all whilst investing in your own self-care.
"With over one in four people experiencing a mental health problem in the UK, the need for good quality mental health support, advice and information is vital.
"When we immerse ourselves [in water] it has the power to reset our bodies and minds, allowing us to forget everyday worries and struggles. We emerge stronger; refreshed and ready to embrace whatever life has to throw at us.
"Submerging your body in cold water provides numerous benefits to both our psychological and physical health, through reducing the body's stress response. It leads to improved mindfulness, an increased release of dopamine (happy chemicals), builds confidence and connects us to nature."
She warned anyone taking part in wild swimming to carry out their own risk assessment first and be aware of changing conditions.
If you want to learn more about the mental and physical health benefits related to open water swimming and cold exposure, feel free to join our ICEWIM Facebook group.
Have you personally experienced a positive impact on your life from open water swimming or cold exposure? We want to hear from you! Share your story with us by emailing an audio or video testimonial to firstname.lastname@example.org. and get a chance to be featured on the ICEWIM Instagram account.
This article was first published on https://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/18785579.wild-swimming-cornwall-challenge-mind-mental-health-charity/